Chelsea stopper Kepa Arrizabalaga apologised to Maurizio Sarri and Willy Caballero for the substitution fracas he caused in the Carabao Cup Final in 2019.
Kepa Arrizabalaga made the headlines when he became the most expensive goalkeeper in the world. Chelsea readily paid his £72 million release clause to Athletic Bilbao in 2018. The Spaniard started life at Stamford Bridge brightly and looked very much the keeper he cost.
However, many high profile errors led to his career plummet at the club, and he currently is behind Eduoard Mendy in the Chelsea pecking order. The Spaniard did start cup games last season under Frank Lampard and then Thomas Tuchel, but he looks destined to sit on the bench this season.
While fans would like to forget his error-prone displays for Chelsea, one thing they may never forget was the kerfuffle he caused during the 2019 Carabao Cup Final against Manchester City. Maurizio Sarri was then in charge of the Blues and was left furious at what transpired.
The game went to extra time, and after a string of decent saves, Kepa signalled to the bench for treatment. With Sarri confused with the situation decided to call Willy Caballero to replace the Spaniard. However, Kepa flatly refused to leave the pitch, stayed on and saw his side defeated on penalties.
Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga has finally apologised to former manager Maurizio Sarri over the 2019 Carabao Cup final confusion.pic.twitter.com/xFgLmJM0Wb
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) July 27, 2021
Sarri was furious because he thought Kepa undermined his authority, let alone do it in front of 80,000 spectators. The manager was angry and vented out at anyone who approached him. However, Kepa has since come forward to apologise for his actions, although he maintained it resulted from some confusion. The Daily Star published some of Kepa’s quotes from his column in Players’ Tribune.
“I tried to signal that I was OK, that I wasn’t injured. But we were at Wembley in front of more than 80,000 people, so of course, Sarri didn’t understand me. When the fourth official raised the board, clearly I should have come off, and I’m sorry I didn’t. I was wrong, and I am sorry for everyone who was involved,” he said.
“For Maurizio Sarri, who it seemed like I had undermined in public; for Willy, a teammate and a great professional; and for all my teammates and Chelsea fans who had to put up with everything.”
Sarri left the side after that season to join Juventus. The eccentric Italian manager will start next season with Lazio, and we all will be hoping he has a response to Kepa’s apology. No matter what the keeper does for the rest of his career, no one will seemingly forget that incident at Wembley.