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07th Apr 2017

There was a “tunnel bust-up” after Chelsea’s midweek victory over Manchester City

Pep Guardiola got involved

Darragh Murphy

A tunnel bust-up involving staff members of both Chelsea and Manchester City followed the final whistle of Wednesday night’s game.

A fiery encounter saw Chelsea tighten their grip on the Premier League trophy as they secured a 2-1 victory over Pep Guardiola’s side.

And The Telegraph’s Matt Law has since documented how tempers spilled over into an altercation in the Stamford Bridge tunnel.

The row reportedly began when Chelsea fitness coach Paolo Bertelli and Manchester City masseur Mark Sertori clashed after the game, having exchanged heated words throughout the 90 minutes.

Witnesses claim that the pair’s argument continued at the mouth of the tunnel, prompting stewards and staff from both clubs to intervene.

It was at that stage that Guardiola is said to have got involved.

The City manager had already made his way down the tunnel but rushed back so that he could stand up for Sertori and ended up waiting outside his side’s dressing room until every last member of the staff had made their way inside.

There was never any danger of the incident becoming physical but it was definitely intense, according to those who watched it play out.

Conte reportedly led a team meeting in his dressing room which resulted in a raucous round of applause from his players, who had just seen their side maintain their seven-point lead atop the Premier League table.

With eight games remaining, it will take an incredible capitulation for Chelsea to be overtaken.

“A big win for us. It wasn’t easy,” Conte said after the game. “But when you play against City, it’s normal to suffer in some parts of the game. But I think we suffered as a team in the right way. The first half was very open, chances for one side and then the other. Usually I don’t like this happening. In the second half we defended very well, with good balance.

“It was a good win for us, above all because you played after a bad defeat against Crystal Palace where I think we didn’t deserve to lose. At this part of the season it’s not easy because the pressure is very high. To drop points at this moment would not have been good because you give hope to your opponents.”