Chelsea lose cup final on penalties after Kepa refuses to come off

Chelsea 0 Man City 0
(After extra time – City won 4-3 on penalties)

Chelsea lost on penalties in the Carabao Cup final at Wembley after extraordinary scenes involving Kepa Arrizabalaga.

With a couple of minutes of extra time remaining, under-pressure Blues boss Maurizio Sarri wanted to take off keeper Kepa, who has been nursing a hamstring problem and appeared to be struggling.

With Willy Caballero stripped and ready to replace the Spaniard, he sensationally refused come off despite Sarri’s protestations on the touchline.

With Sarri absolutely livid, play continued and Kepa completed the game.

He managed to save a spot-kick from Leroy Sane in the shootout but before that failed to keep out a penalty from Sergio Aguero, which he should have stopped but allowed the ball to squirm under him.

It proved costly because, with Jorginho having had the opening penalty saved by keeper Ederson, David Luiz hit the post and Raheem Sterling blasted in the winning penalty for City.

Emerson Palmieri had scored from the spot and so did Eden Hazard – who needed to in order to keep Chelsea in it – but Sterling made no mistake when he had the chance to secure the trophy for Pep Guardiola’s side.

Kepa’s stunning disregard for Sarri’s authority came after the Italian’s gameplan had worked to good effect.

Having seen his team demolished 6-0 by City in the league, he opted to drop Gonzalo Higuain and deploy Hazard as a so-called false nine in an attempt to keep City at bay.

It worked to perfection and, having been under pressure but restricted their opponents to only half-chances for much of the match, Chelsea came on strong and N’Golo Kante missed a great chance to put them ahead in the second half, blasting over after being set up by Hazard.

Extra time was a tense affair, which ended in farce as Sarri lost his cool when Kepa disobeyed him.

Chelsea: Kepa, Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Luiz, Emerson, Jorginho, Kante, Barkley (Loftus-Cheek 88), Hazard, Willian (Higuain 96), Pedro (Hudson-Odoi 79)
Subs not used: Caballero, Christensen, Kovacic, Giroud.