Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri says Kepa Arrizabalaga’s refusal to come off against Manchester City was due to a ‘big misunderstanding’. Arrizabalaga defied his manager’s orders late in extra time of the Carabao Cup Final defeat after receiving treatment for an apparent bout of cramp, despite the fourth official putting up his number on the board and Willy Caballero being primed to come on.
After the Spaniard stood his ground, Sarri stormed off down the tunnel, furious that the change was not made.
Arrizabalaga stayed on the pitch as the first trophy of the season was decided by a penalty shootout after 120 goalless minutes at Wembley.
He saved Leroy Sane’s spot-kick, but City still won the competition thanks to Raheem Sterling’s decisive kick sealing a 4-3 win.
Sarri revealed after the match that he thought his goalkeeper was suffering from cramp, wanting to swap him for Caballero, and only found out he was not injured after the incident. “It was a big misunderstanding, I understood that he had cramp so I didn’t want the goalkeeper to go to the penalties in that physical condition,” Sarri said.
“Then I realised the situation when only the doctor arrived to the bench after four minutes and in the meantime I wanted Caballero on the pitch. “The goalkeeper only wanted to let me know that he was in condition to go to the penalties. It was a big misunderstanding.”