Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga refused to be substituted in the Carabao Cup finals against Manchester City and has been fined by the club for his actions.
Despite Chelsea’s credible performance in the penalty shootout loss to Manchester City in the Carabao Cup finals, most of the headlines were about the shouting match between their Spanish ‘keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga and coach Maurizio Sarri in the 30th minute of extra time.
Arrizabalaga had pulled up twice before in the match complaining of cramps and Sarri seeked to introduce Willy Caballero, a ‘keeper with a good penalty record and knowledge of Manchester City having played there before, to the fold.
However, that was met with an unwillingness to be substituted off by Kepa, who refused to come off the field, leaving Sarri remonstrating furiously and almost walking down the tunnel at a point.
Although the Italian coach played down the incident to a misunderstanding later on in the press conference, it was still viewed as dissent by the club who fined the shotstopper a week’s wages for his conduct, the club’s website reflected.
The release also bore official statements from Sarri and Arrizabalaga.
‘I was very happy to play in my first Cup Final for Chelsea yesterday and very proud of the team performance. I have thought a lot more about yesterday’s events.
Although there was a misunderstanding, on reflection, I made a big mistake with how I handled the situation. I wanted to take the time today to apologise fully and in person to the coach, to Willy, my team-mates and to the club.
I have done this and now I want to offer the same apology to the fans. I will learn from this episode and will accept any punishment or discipline the club decides is appropriate,’ said the ‘keeper.