Sarri told the media it was a ‘misunderstanding’ but sources at Chelsea claimed the Italian gave his no.1 a verbal hiding behind closed doors.
Chelsea’s under-fire manager produced an almost perfect tactical performance, only to be undermined by the messy actions of his goalkeeper. Maurizio Sarri’s tactical masterclass was undermined by the shameful actions of Chelsea’s record signing Kepa Arrizabalaga, who refused to leave the pitch in the closing minutes of extra time in order to be substituted. Willy Caballero was left waiting on the touchline by an act of rebellion from the £71 million goalkeeper, who didn’t allow the penalty specialist on the field despite suffering from an injury to his hamstring. With the scores level at 0-0, Sarri was left furious and had to be held back by Antonio Rudiger after the match, such was his anger. Here’s what Maurizio Sarri did after Kepa saved penalty in shoot-out. Here’s what Sarri did to Kepa after the final.
Maurizio Sarri laid into rebel keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga over his Wembley mutiny. The Chelsea chief went wild in the dressing room after Blues’ chaotic penalty shootout defeat against Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final. Kepa refused to come off when Sarri tried to bring on penalty specialist Willy Caballero ahead of the shootout. The Spanish stopper was fined one week’s wages by the club and apologised to fans for his actions. Caballero saved THREE spot kicks when City beat Liverpool in the 2016 final shootout — and knows many of the Etihad outfit’s stars. Chelsea lost 4-3 on pens after the 0-0 draw, with Kepa saving from Leroy Sane but letting in Sergio Aguero’s tame effort. Sarri claimed it was a ‘misunderstanding’ in interviews over whether cramp-stricken Kepa could continue.
But the under-pressure coach lost his rag with the Spanish keeper in front of startled players. A Chelsea source revealed: “First he screamed at Kepa by telling him it was the striker’s job to score and that he had the option to change one misfiring forward for another. He went on to say that keepers were in the same position — and if he believed another keeper could do a better job he had the right to make the change.” Chelsea assistant boss Gianfranco Zola also made his feelings known to the 24-year-old.
Kepa has publicly apologised for refusing to be subbed after initially pulling up with cramp just a minute before the end of extra time. In farcical scenes, the Spaniard would not come off for Caballero, while Sarri went potty on the touchline.
Sarri does actually have the players’ backing in the dispute although they did little to help out on the field at the time. Kepa should be obeying whatever Sarri is saying. Also if the player was refusing to move then it’s the captain’s job to tell the player to leave the pitch.