It was indeed a tough final between Chelsea and Manchester City at the Wembley Stadium as both sides gave everything to win the Carabao Cup.
The match was full of tactical wits and high intensity, but at the end both sides had to settle for a draw as the game went into penalties.
However, a strange thing happened during the game as Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga refused to leave the pitch after Maurizio Sarri decided to sub him for Willy Caballero late in extra time. The Spaniard had pulled his cramp and the Chelsea boss decided to bring on Caballero who’s renowned for being a penalty hero, but Kepa refused to leave the pitch much to the frustration of Sarri.
Arrizabalaga has come out to explain his on-pitch row with Maurizio Sarri in the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City, insisting that he wasn’t trying to disobey the manager.
“I don’t know how it went out, it is not the best image,” Arrizabalaga told reporters after the match. “I have spoken with the boss. I think it was misunderstood.
“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
“Of course I did [see my number go up on the digital board]. But because of that, it was until the medics had got back to the bench to explain I was fine, that I could continue. It wasn’t that I was refusing to be substituted, it was a way of trying to tell the bench that I was fine.
“I think it was just misunderstood, and unfortunate, because now people are talking about this… I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know what to say, other than to say it was not my intention in any moment [top refuse].
“It has to be understood, too, that these were the last few minutes of a final, and I didn’t realise the reactions. It was only when I say they were going to change, I tried to say I was fine. It was the final minute, with a lot going on. I know the image it’s given, but I never intended to refuse to go off. It was only to say I was fine.
“I don’t think it has to be the major act of this final. I understand we played a good level against one of the best teams in the world. We were close to winning, obviously we’re sad that we didn’t, and I think the team needs to continue playing like this, because today we’ve shown we can compete against the best teams. Among the negatives, we have to take the positives.”
Kepa also posted this on his instagram page after the game.
He wrote: “Upset and sad for not being able to take the title, we fought until the end against a great team. We will continue working to be stronger.
“I would also like to clarify some facts of today’s match: First of all I regret how the end of the match has been portrayed. At no time has it been my intention to disobey the coach or any of his decisions. I think everything has been misunderstood in the heat of the final part of a match for a title.
“The coach thought I was not in a position to play on and my intention was to express that I was in good condition to continue helping the team, while the docs that had treated me arrived at the bench to give the message.
“I feel the image that has been portrayed was not my intention. I have full respect for the coach and his authority. “