Almost every Chelsea fan will remember the infamous 2019 League Cup final incident, back when Maurizio Sarri was in charge of the club.
The Blues faced Manchester City in the final and with just a couple of minutes left in extra time, the manager subbed Kepa Arrizabalaga out – the only problem was that the Spaniard refused to leave in what was a bizarre incident that we’ve never witnessed before.
After 2 years now, while writing for the Players’ Tribune, Kepa has apologized for his actions as he explained what happened: “It was all a big misunderstanding. Manchester City were dominating the game in extra time and there was barely any time left until penalties.
“After making a save, I felt something in my leg and I called for the physio to make sure it was nothing. Above all, though, I wanted to make sure that we as a team could catch our breath.
“Suddenly, I saw that the coach, Maurizio Sarri, had sent Willy Caballero to warm up.”
“He thought I couldn’t go on. My intention, right or wrong, had only been to waste time to help the team. I didn’t have any serious problem that was going to keep me from continuing to play.
“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,
“[I’m sorry] 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.”
That’s all – an apology and explanation from the keeper. While the incident was surely very unprofessional, Chelsea’s season ended on a good note as Sarri led the Blues to the Europa League title.