Kepa Arrizabalaga

Luiz insists Sarri has ‘respect’ of Chelsea players

David Luiz has insisted that Maurizio Sarri still has both the respect of his Chelsea players and the power within the dressing room, despite Sunday’s incredible standoff with Kepa Arrizabalaga.

The Chelsea number one refused to be substituted in the dying moments of the Blues penalty shootout defeat to Man City in Sunday’s Carabao Cup final, leaving Sarri furious on the touchline.

The performance from Sarri’s side during that game was actually pretty good, especially considering that they had been hammered 6-0 by the Citizens just two weeks previous, but Kepa’s defiance left onlookers questioning whether the players had once again seized power in the dressing room.

However, Chelsea defender David Luiz has insisted that that is not the case and that the Italian still has the respect of the Blues’ squad.

“No. The coach has the power over the group. He has our respect,” Luiz told the London Evening Standard.

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“For me there is not a problem here for that. We all believe in his philosophy, we all believe in the way he wants us to play.

“That’s why we did a great game against the best team in Europe at the moment. It was a misunderstanding and we all want to do what is best for Chelsea.”

Luiz also backed up Sarri’s stance that it was just a miscommunication when asked for his version of events:

“It is never easy for us to listen from afar. I didn’t know if the coach wanted to make the change because it was his decision or because he’d (Kepa) already been on the floor twice,” he said.

“Kepa was saying ‘no, I’m good, I can stay on the pitch’, but from far (on the sidelines) you can’t understand. You have the fans too, they start to boo (so it’s hard to hear/communicate).

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“The game was stopped but the referee (Jonathan Moss) was saying ‘play, play, play’. The referee went there and said ‘okay no more substitution’, came back and we restarted.

“People can think in a negative way or a positive way (about this). It is always like that.”

Read also: This weekend’s Heroes and Villains in the Premier League

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