CHELSEA

Kepa: Chelsea keeper refuses to come off in cup final

Kepa: Chelsea keeper refuses to come off in cup final

Michael Regan

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Maurizio Sarri had asked Willy Caballero to warm up for the penalty shoot-out after the Spaniard appeared to suffer an injury but he refused the order to leave the pitch.

Manchester City won the Carabao Cup for the second successive season after defeating Chelsea 4-3 in a penalty shoot-out after the game had ended 0-0 after extra time but it will be Chelsea keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga hogging the headlines for all the wrong reasons on Monday morning.

With the game in the final minute of extra time, the Spain keeper appeared to be suffering from an injury after making a save from Sergio Agüero and Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri ordered number two Willy Caballero to prepare himself for the imminent shoot-out.

However, in extraordinary scenes, Kepa refused to go off, causing Sarri to fly into an apoplectic rage on the touchline and at one stage to march off towards the dressing rooms turning the air blue in his wake. Even the referee’s invitation for Kepa to make way for Caballero fell on deaf ears as the former Athletic keeper, who Chelsea signed for a fee in the region of 80 million euros last summer, staunchly refused to acknowledge his number had come up.

Kepa comes up short in shoot-out

All of which might have been fine had Chelsea won the title, but City were triumphant in the shoot-out when Raheem Sterling hammered the final spot-kick into the roof of the net. Kepa did make a save in the shoot-out, from Leroy Sané, but let another under his gloves despite looking in a decent position to make the stop.

Sarri’s future has been in doubt since City thrashed his side 6-0 in the league and this latest display of flagrant dissent by his keeper, coupled with the failure to prevent City lifting the trophy, will pile more pressure onto the combustible Italian come Monday.