Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri says he didn't see Manchester City counterpart Pep Guardiola when he appeared to snub the Catalan's handshake following his side's 6-0 humiliation at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
Sarri made a beeline for the tunnel immediately after the final whistle, with the Italian seemingly inconsolable after Chelsea's biggest Premier League defeat.
Per TalkSport's Joe Coleman, he said: "I didn't see at that moment. But of course as usually I will go to say hello to him later, as usual. It was by chance because I wanted to go to the dressing room at that moment, and I didn't see him. I don't have a problem with Pep."
Blues assistant Gianfranco Zola stepped in to greet Guardiola in Sarri's place while the City chief appeared perplexed by his peer's swerve, via Soccer AM:
City have played one match more than Liverpool and lead the Premier League on goal difference, while Chelsea have slipped to sixth and are 15 points off the pace. The Blues are one point behind Manchester United for the league's fourth and final UEFA Champions League spot.
Adam Hurrey of the Telegraph wrote Sarri's position at the helm is under doubt, though journalist Simon Johnson reported "business as usual" on Monday:
It's commonplace for managers to shake hands at the end of each match, but Sarri was clearly ruffled by the result if his post-match remarks were anything to go by.
TalkSport cited comments the Chelsea chief gave to Sky Italia, whereby he said his "job is always at risk" and welcomed feedback from club owner Roman Abramovich: "If the president calls, I'll be happy, seeing as I never hear from him. To be honest, I don’t know what to expect."
Despite Sarri's apparent snub, Guardiola was humble in victory and sympathised with the pressure placed upon Sarri to bring swift success at Stamford Bridge, via Goal's Sam Lee:
Italian sportswriter David Amoyal offered the point that Sarri hasn't acted out of character:
David Amoyal @DavidAmoyal
Anyone who followed his Napoli isn’t surprised by anything happening at Chelsea & yes the loss to Man City was embarrassing, but Sarri getting beat up way too much With essentially same squad, Ancelotti has 8 less points than last year & is eliminated in CL & Coppa Italia
The former Napoli manager is a fiery personality, which comes across in the attacking style of play for which he became renowned in his native Italy.
Sarri's side have lost their last four away games in a row and have the chance to stop their rut when they travel to Malmo on Thursday for the first leg of their UEFA Europa League round-of-32 clash.