Maurizio Sarri was always planning to take Kepa Arrizabalaga off for the Carabao Cup final penalty shootout and yelled at the Chelsea goalkeeper in the dressing room after the defeat, reports say.

Kepa defied Sarri in last weekend’s Carabao Cup final against Manchester City, refusing to be substituted in the dying minutes of extra-time despite struggling with cramp.

Second-choice goalkeeper Willy Caballero had stripped out of his training kit and was waiting to come on when Kepa angrily gestured towards the bench and insisted he would be staying on.

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Kepa subsequently saved just one of City’s five penalties as Pep Guardiola’s side lifted the Carabao Cup for a second successive season.

Sarri described the incident as a ‘misunderstanding’ afterwards but the Daily Mirror say he had always planned to change keepers in the event of a penalty shootout.

It is claimed the Italian viewed Caballero as the best option because of his impressive record in saving penalties and his links with Manchester City.

Kepa, though, was out of the loop and therefore refused to be substituted off as he believed he was fit enough to continue.

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Sarri was furious at the time and the Mirror claim a row ensued in the dressing room after the game in which the Chelsea manager shouted at Kepa and said: ‘How could you do this?’

Kepa was dropped from Chelsea’s starting XI for Wednesday’s victory over Tottenham but looks set to return to the team on Sunday when the Blues face Fulham.

Speaking about £72million summer signing Kepa on Friday, Sarri said: ‘As I said in the press conference after the match, the Kepa situation is closed.

 

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