League Cup

‘Kepa is the new Chelsea manager’ - Goalkeeper refuses to come off, Sarri loses the plot

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Kepa v Sarri

Image credit: Getty Images

ByBen Snowball
24/02/2019 at 19:38 | Updated 24/02/2019 at 20:27

The awkward moment when you’re a manager and humiliated by someone 36 years your junior.

That was the horrible situation facing Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri when goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga refused to be substituted for Willy Caballero during extra time in the League Cup final with Manchester City.

  • [REPORT: City lift cup on penalties after astonishing drama between Kepa and Sarri]
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The match went to penalties, with City claiming a 4-3 win in the shootout. Although Kepa made a save in the shootout, he let Sergio Aguero’s spot-kick sneak underneath his hand.

Here’s how the astonishing sequence unfolded:

  • Kepa goes down hurt and waves at the bench. Caballero begins his warm-up
  • Kepa returns to feet and signals he’s OK
  • Sarri decides it’s not worth the risk and tries to substitute his goalkeeper
  • Kepa refuses to come off
  • Referee Jon Moss intervenes, ushering Sarri over to speak to him
  • Kepa stays on the pitch
  • Sarri storms down the tunnel, then remembers he’s still manager and sulks back

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

Image credit: Getty Images

Awkwardly, Kepa was stood nearby in full kit during the whole episode.

An astonishing incident merited an astonishing reaction – and it got it on social media.

His Wikipedia page received a glorious makeover...

All in all, a bad day for Sarri – despite his team playing pretty fantastically for 120 minutes.

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