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Sarri: Why I Dropped Kepa After Sub Row

Despite Maurizio Sarri labelling the substitution row with Kepa Arrizabalaga a "misunderstanding", the Chelsea boss dropped his first-choice goalkeeper for the Blues' match against Tottenham Hotspur, and later explained why.

Read: Reports: Chelsea Stars Clashed In Dressing Room Over Kepa Antics

Arrizabalaga refused to be replaced by Willy Caballero after picking up a cramp in extra-time in Chelsea's 4-3 penalty shootout defeat to Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final on Sunday.

After the game, Sarri, who was visibly angry on the touchline as his keeper refused to be subbed, downplayed the incident, saying it was just a "misunderstanding" between him, Arrizabalaga and the medical staff.

However, Chelsea later fined the player a week's wages and Sarri also decided to drop him for the Blues' 2-0 win over London rivals Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday night.

"It's a choice," he told BT Sport when asked why Arrizabalaga was benched. 

"It's a message for my group that we are a group and not 25 (individual) players.

"I didn't tell him anything, I don't speak to the players in an individual way. I only speak in a team meeting. He found out then."

After the match, though, Sarri insisted the shot-stopper could return to the starting XI in the next game or two.

"It was the right decision, Kepa made a big mistake," he added.

"He paid with the club and now the team. Kepa for tomorrow will be with us.

"I don't know if the next match he will be with us, but in one of the next two, for sure.

"We cannot kill him. When you are young, you make mistakes, but you need to understand."

Read: 10 Stars Who Disobeyed Their Manager's Orders

Chelsea remained in sixth place after Manchester United and Arsenal also picked up wins on Wednesday night, but could overtake both with win their game in hand against Brighton & Hove Albion.

Do you think Sarri made the right decision in dropping Kepa? Have your say in the comments section below.


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