LONDON (Halbeeg News)-Manchester City retained the English League Cup in a shootout after Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri’s hopes of a long-awaited first trophy ended in bizarre fashion on Sunday with his keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga openly disobeying orders.
Raheem Sterling smashed home the decisive spot-kick as City clinched the English season’s first silverware 4-3 on penalties, with the Wembley showpiece having ended 0-0 after extra time.
Chelsea’s manager was left incensed in the final minutes of the Carabao Cup final when the goalkeeper refused to be substituted ahead of the penalty shootout.
Sarri almost marched down the tunnel he was so enraged when Kepa, who had suffered with cramp moments before, refused to make way for former City keeper and shootout specialist Willy Caballero.
After City won the shootout 4-3, both Sarri and Kepa dismissed the incident as a “misunderstanding”, with the Chelsea manager saying: “I understood there was a problem and we needed a change, then I realised the situation only when the doctor arrived to the bench after 4 minutes, so it was a big misunderstanding.”
But Shearer, speaking on Match of the Day, said: ”I think it tells the story the way the manager reacted. He went absolutely berserk.
“I don’t think that’s a misunderstanding. He wants him off for a specific reason and he’s disobeyed him and undermined him.”
“When they go to the team talks for the penalties, he only joins his players with 10 seconds to go. He’s practically walking down the tunnel!”
Former Chelsea boss Gullit also claimed that “everybody knows what happened”, alluding to Sarri having lost control of the dressing room.
“The captain [Cesar Azpilicueta] should have gone up to him and said, ‘Go off’,” Gullit said.
“This is just a political answer for the newspapers so there is no confusion the next day. Everybody knows what happened. The way he reacted on the touchline says everything.”
Speaking after the game, Kepa said: ”It wasn’t my intention to go against the manager. I have spoken with the boss. I think it was misunderstood.
“It wasn’t that I was refusing to be substituted, it was a way of trying to tell the bench that I was fine.”