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Sarri says Kepa standoff was a ‘misunderstanding’

Maurizio Sarri has played down this afternoon’s ugly spat with Kepa Arrizabalaga, saying that it was simply a ‘misunderstanding’.

£71 million goalkeeper Arrizabalaga went down in the area, seemingly suffering from cramp for the second time in the game, having initially gone into the game with doubts over his hamstring.

Maurizio Sarri decided to replace the Chelsea number one with substitute ‘keeper Willy Caballero, although the Spanish youngster point-blank refused to come off, a decision which sent Sarri into a fit of rage on the touchline.

Kepa stood his ground and kept his place on the field for the penalty shootout, with Chelsea being beaten 4-3, but speaking after the game Maurizio Sarri played down the whole situation.

“I misunderstood the problem and only realised the situation when the doctor arrived at the bench,” Sarri told Sky Sports.

“It was a big misunderstanding because I understood the keeper had cramp and was unable to go to the penalties. But it was not cramp. and he could go to the penalties.”

During the standoff, Sarri stormed towards the tunnel before returning to his seat in the dugout, but the Italian said that he simply wanted ‘to be quiet’.

“I needed to return to be quiet. He [Kepa] understood that I asked for a change for his physical problem and he said I haven’t a physical problem. And he was right.

“I realised after when the doctor arrived. I have talked to him [Kepa] but only to clarify because now I have understand the situation.”

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