Kepa and Sarri rowed openly from a distance (Picture: PA)Maurizio Sarri reportedly screamed at Kepa Arrizabalaga ‘how could you do this’ during a furious rant in Italian.
The Chelsea boss saw his authority publicly undermined in the final moments of the Carabao Cup final when Kepa refused to be substituted.
Sarri raged on the touchline as the goalkeeper waved away his demands to come off, but then insisted after the game the whole incident was a ‘big misunderstanding’.
Rudiger had to hold Sarri back before the penalty shootout (Picture: Sky Sports)But the Daily Mail claim that even after Sarri claimed he was told Kepa was not injured, the Italian shouted furiously at his player as Antonio Rudiger held his manager back from confronting the goalkeeper.
Sarri, speaking in Italian, shouted at Kepa: ‘How could you do this?’. This rant happened as Chelsea prepared to take on City in a penalty shootout.
‘I misunderstood the problem and only realised the situation when the doctor arrived at the bench,’ Sarri said after the game.
‘He understood I asked for a change for his physical problem. He said: ‘I haven’t a physical problem.’ And he was right.’
Despite Sarri’s playing down the incident publicly, it is believed the substitution was tactical and had nothing to do with a potential injury to Kepa.
Sarri wanted to bring on No.1 stopper Willy Caballero who had a history of shootout heroics and was an expert in City’s penalty kick takers having spent three years at the club as a player.
Sarri was furious Kepa refused to come off (Picture: Rex Features)The substitution row has been a big embarrassment for Chelsea and Sarri after the Blues put in a much improved performance against City.
Chelsea were thrashed 6-0 by City earlier this month, but seemed to have turned a corner in the cup final.
Sarri’s future at Stamford Bridge continues to be shrouded in doubt, but there is anger behind the scenes at Kepa’s refusal to obey his coach.
Kepa released a statement echoing Sarri’s version of events and insisted he had full respect for his manager.