Maurizio Sarri always intended to replace Kepa Arrizabalaga ahead of last week’s Carabao Cup final penalty shoot-out – but the Chelsea boss reportedly failed to inform his starting goalkeeper of the plan.
Arrizabalaga provoked fury from his manager at Wembley last Sunday when the Spaniard refused to leave the field in the final moments of extra-time. The keeper appeared to be suffering from cramp but he was aghast when it seemed he was going to be replaced by Willy Caballero.
Sarri was incensed by Arrizabalaga’s actions but the Chelsea boss later said that the episode had been ‘a misunderstanding’.
The Mirror claims that the confusion arose from Sarri’s failure to inform Arrizabalaga of the pre-planned change, with the Chelsea boss said to have been convinced by his coaching staff that Caballero was a better bet to face Manchester City’s spot-kicks.
Arrizabalaga, though, refused to leave the field, believing he was being replaced because of his apparent struggles with cramp. The world’s most expensive goalkeeper remained in play for the shoot-out, which City won, thanks in part to Arrizabalaga’s failure to keep out Sergio Aguero’s soft effort.
Chelsea fined the goalkeeper a week’s wages and he was dropped for the visit of Tottenham in midweek, though Arrizabalaga is expected to be reinstated as first choice.