City Walked Out As The Champions In A Game Of Kepa Versus Sarri!

Rohit Ganguly  |  Controversy  |  1 Month Ago

Amidst chaotic scenes at Wembley, Manchester City walked out with the bragging rights in the Carabao Cup final after an entertaining penalty shootout.


After being thrashed mercilessly at the hands of an insuperable City a fortnight ago in the latter’s own den, Sarri took a cautious approach in the final showdown of this tournament against the defending champions.


Things did work out in Chelsea’s favour despite City relishing the lion’s share of the possession. However, proceedings took a very ugly turn in the dying embers of the second half of extra time. Instead of the game being duked out between Chelsea and Manchester City, it turned out to be a personal dogfight between Chelsea manager, Maurizio Sarri and the most expensive goalkeeper of the Premier League at this point in time, Kepa Arrizabalaga.


After gathering Aguero’s shot in the penultimate minute of the game in his second attempt, Kepa was seen to be down with a cramp. He never really looked to be comfortable throughout the night with his first attempt saves. On more than a couple of occasions, he went on to spill the ball, only for lady luck to come to the youngster’s deliverance.


Now, the actual story begins here. After receiving primary treatment from the Chelsea doctor, Kepa stood up and hobbled towards the goal in a probable gesture to resume the game. However, Sarri by that time had already decided to introduce the experienced Caballero under the woodwork, who went on to save three penalties in 2016 final to herald City with the championship.


The Spaniard looked at the raring Caballero and gestured a thumbs-up to his preceptor, articulating his will to stay on the pitch. Sarri, not impressed by this gesture, called him back but Kepa hardly budged. He started hollering at the Chelsea bench and this action incensed Sarri, who probably took a walk towards the exit of the stadium with an intention of never returning to the Chelsea stands again, at least for tonight. This could have accelerated the chances of him getting the notice of renouncement by tomorrow morning.

However, he did manage to exhibit maturity and walked back to the Chelsea dugout, still apoplectic with rage. Kepa decided to stay on the pitch and Caballero went back to the stands, shaking his head in an arrant expression of resignation.


As the game hardly had a minute to finish, it was a foregone conclusion that the fate of the tie will be sealed by a penalty shootout.


Kepa’s sole shot at redemption was going to be a heroic presence that will deny the defending champions a shot at glory for their sixth time. However, despite pulling off a remarkable save to vindicate himself from Sane’s spot-kick, the rest of the penalties were never really within his range. He went in the wrong direction in a couple of them and made a hash of things from Aguero’s penalty which rolled into the net, right below him.


Sterling bundled his spot-kick into the top corner of the net to notch up the Carabao Cup for City for the sixth time, successfully defending a major knock-out trophy for the first time ever in City’s history.


It was a mishit from David Luiz that cost Chelsea the title but an assiduous delving into the game will clearly indicate that a sudden loss of temper from the manager and an unnecessary bust up from Kepa did stir things up probably in the psychological aspect which led to a botched up penalty shootout from the Blues.


Sarri did turn up for the press conference and was heard citing, “I think we have to talk about football because we played a very good match. In that situation it was a misunderstanding, I heard there was a problem and we needed to change it. I realised the situation only when the doctor arrived on the bench after some minutes. It was a misunderstanding, I understood the goalkeeper had a cramp and would be unable to go to the penalties.


I needed only to return, to be quiet I think [on his near-walkout]. As I say, I asked for a change for this physical problem and he said he hadn’t a physical problem. So he was right I think. I have to talk with [Kepa] but only to clarify because now I have understood very well the situation.


I am very happy here. I think in the last three matches we have improved a lot. Today we showed we could become a very solid team. We conceded nothing to the opponents and against Man City that is not easy. I am very proud of my players.”


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