Chelsea goalkeeper, Kepa Arrizabalaga confirmed that his negative response to be substituted in the Carabo cup final, defeat to Manchester City was not a display of disrespect to manager Maurizio Sarri. Sarri attempted to substitute Kepa with reserve goalkeeper Willy Caballero ahead of the penalty shootout, with the Spain international appearing to suffer from cramp in the closing stages of Sunday’s defeat at Wembley.
However, He refused to abscond the field, with this causing a lengthy delay to the match and prompting an angry reaction from the manager, who stormed down the tunnel before returning to the touchline shortly afterwards. He said he was not seriously injured; he only wants to buy time for his players to reduce the level of pressure from Manchester City.
The goalkeeper however continued with the match to penalty shoot-out but was able to save only one shot, but Manchester City won with 4-3 to retain the Trophy. In his words, Kepa said:
“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”. Kepa said. “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. It was in tense moments, with a lot happening.”
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The former Athletic Bilbao player, who became the most expensive goalkeeper when he joined the club insists his refusal to leave the field was not an act of insubordination against Maurizio Sarri.