Chelsea Goalkeeper, Kepa Arrizabalaga refused Maurizio Sarri’s attempt to take him off late in extra time of the Carabao Cup final.
Kepa had just finished receiving treatment for cramp. With the game at 0-0, Sarri was preparing to bring on reserve keeper Willy Caballero in his place ahead of a penalty shootout.
But after some furious finger-wagging and screams of “NO!”, Sarri was forced to give in.
The match officiating referee Jonathan Moss ran over to confirm whether Arrizabalaga was going off or not and Sarri, begrudgingly backed down before storming off down the tunnel before returning, leaving Caballero a bemused spectator.
Arrizabalaga went on to save Leroy Sane’s spot kick – bringing out a fist pump from Sarri – but Raheem Sterling netted the winning penalty as Manchester City were crowned Carabao Cup champions for a second year running with a 4-3 shootout win.
Chelsea Coach Sarri didn’t react at full-time and went straight off the pitch while his players looked dejected in defeat.
Meanwhile, Ex-England and Tottenham midfielder Jermaine Jenas added that it was clear “there’s a lack of respect” for the manager, but said Sarri showed “a lack of class” by storming off the pitch following defeat.
“His players have done him proud today,” Jenas told Radio 5 live. “They are an inferior team to Man City now and they took them all the way. For him not to be congratulating the opposition or consoling his players shows a lack of class for me.
“The fact he went inside and was not out there with his players is one thing, but it has to be infuriating for one of your players to categorically tell you to ‘do one’ and say I’m staying on this pitch.
“This is a huge blemish. It all boils down to what is going on between Sarri and his players. That does not happen – there’s a lack of respect somewhere along the line.”
The incident comes after weeks of speculation surrounding Sarri’s position as manager of the club and concerns over his style of so-called “sarri-ball”.
By Olukayode Oniwinde
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