Maurizio Sarri says Chelsea are 'not out to kill Kepa Arrizabalaga' despite Carabao Cup final debacle

Taking about Kepa, Sarri said: 'I think he made a big mistake, but we need to be taller. We don't want to kill him. So there is a position from the club. For me the situation is finished. He is a young player (24), he made a mistake, but stop.'

Agence France-Presse February 26, 2019 22:40:19 IST
Maurizio Sarri says Chelsea are 'not out to kill Kepa Arrizabalaga' despite Carabao Cup final debacle
  • Kepa, the club's record £71 million signing from Athletic Bilbao, refused to leave the field to be replaced by Willy Caballero.

  • Sarri then stormed off down the tunnel in anger before returning — Chelsea eventually lost to City on penalties.

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri said on Tuesday goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga had made a big mistake refusing to be substituted during the League Cup final but he was young and the club's intention was not to "kill him".

Sarri — speaking on the eve of their Premier League clash with third-placed Tottenham Hotspur — reiterated the board's ruling that Kepa be fined a week's wages for the episode.

Maurizio Sarri says Chelsea are not out to kill Kepa Arrizabalaga despite Carabao Cup final debacle

Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga (R) and David Luiz react during the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City at Wembley. AP Photo

Kepa, the club's record £71 million signing from Athletic Bilbao, refused to leave the field to be replaced by Willy Caballero.

Sarri then stormed off down the tunnel in anger before returning — Chelsea eventually lost to City on penalties.

"I spoke with the goalkeeper, with Kepa, of course," he said.

"Then we spoke altogether, because he said sorry to the technical staff, but it was not enough.

"Then he said sorry to his teammates, to the club.

"I think he made a big mistake, but we need to be taller. We don't want to kill him. So there is a position from the club.

"For me the situation is finished. He is a young player (24), he made a mistake, but stop."

Sarri, though, would not confirm that Kepa would be between the goalposts against Spurs.

It is a pivotal match not only for Spurs and their battle for the title but for Sarri's side's three way tussle with Arsenal and Manchester United for the fourth and final Champions League spot.

"I have to decide, maybe yes, maybe not," said the 60-year-old Italian.

"It will be a decision for the group. For all the players."

Sarri denied Kepa's petulance and refusal to obey his orders reflected a greater malaise that he had lost the dressing-room.

"Did you see the match on Sunday? So you have the answer.

"After the game is the same. I think better," said Sarri, whose side improved on their 6-0 league hammering by City a few weeks ago to only lose on penalties.

Asked if he felt the support of the players was now greater, Sarri said: "Yes."

"I am not under pressure," he added. "For me the pressure is a normal pressure."

Updated Date:

also read

'We'll fight until final whistle', says India women's football coach Thomas Dennerby ahead of Brazil match
Sports

'We'll fight until final whistle', says India women's football coach Thomas Dennerby ahead of Brazil match

India are currently ranked 57th while Brazil are placed 50 spots above them. Citing the higher level of the opponents, India captain Ashalata Devi said it will be a "huge opportunity" for her side to play against a top team in the world.

LaLiga: Real Madrid, Barcelona, Athletic Bilbao present alternative league investment plan
Sports

LaLiga: Real Madrid, Barcelona, Athletic Bilbao present alternative league investment plan

The detractors reiterated their position in a letter sent to fellow league members, calling it "ruinous for Spanish football and, besides, with serious irregularities."

Serie A: Injured Federico Chiesa ruled out till after Christmas, says Juventus
Sports

Serie A: Injured Federico Chiesa ruled out till after Christmas, says Juventus

Italy forward Chiesa played just the first half of Saturday's 1-0 home defeat to Atalanta and in a statement Juve said that he had picked up a low-grade tear in his left thigh.