League Cup

Kepa: In no moment was it my intention to disobey but it wasn't the best image

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Kepa Arrizabalaga of Chelsea refuses to be substituted during the Carabao Cup Final between Chelsea and Manchester City at Wembley Stadium on February 24, 2019 in London, England

Image credit: Getty Images

24/02/2019 at 20:40 | Updated 24/02/2019 at 21:47

Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga has defended his actions in the Carabao Cup final but did admit what happened was not a good look.

The incident took place in the final minute of extra-time of the cup final defeat to Manchester City, when Kepa appeared to go down with cramp.

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Chelsea and manager Maurizio Sarri immediately prepared back-up keeper Willy Caballero, only for Kepa to signal that he was not coming off, which prompted a furious reaction from Sarri.

Kepa refuses to come off

Image credit: Getty Images

Kepa went on to make one save in the ensuing shoot-out, which City won, but he would have been disappointed not to stop Sergio Aguero's fairly tame penalty.

Speaking afterwards Sarri quickly moved to try and diffuse the situation and his goalkeeper quickly followed suit.

"First of all, I have to say it was misunderstood,’ said the goalkeeper in a statement released on Chelsea's website after the game.

In no moment was it my intention to disobey, or anything like that with the boss.

"Just that it was misunderstood, because I had been attended to by the medics twice, and he thought that I wasn’t in condition to continue. It was two or three minutes of confusion until the medics got to the bench, and they explained everything well.

"This was nothing to do with the problems I had this week, with [hamstring] it wasn’t that. And, well, it was misunderstood. Because he thought I couldn’t continue, and - fundamentally - I was trying to say that physically I was fine.

Maurizio Sarri (C) reacts after Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga remains on the pitch

Image credit: Getty Images

"I know if you see it from outside, I don’t know how it went out, it is not the best image. I have spoken with the boss. I think it was misunderstood. I understand that on television, on social media, they’re talking about this but I am here to explain it, to say that it wasn’t my intention to go against the manager. We have spoken now, and I was only trying to say I’m fine. He thought I wasn’t fine.

"I don’t think it has to be the major act of this final. I understand we played a good level against one of the best teams in the world. We were close to winning, obviously we’re sad that we didn’t, and I think the team needs to continue playing like this, because today we’ve shown we can compete against the best teams. Among the negatives, we have to take the positives."


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