Dropping Kepa is the right decision, says Sarri
Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri said his decision to drop goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga was justified after his side's 2-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur yesterday morning (Singapore time),but insisted the Spaniard would soon be back between the posts.
Arrizabalaga was fined by the club for his refusal to be substituted by Sarri during Sunday's League Cup final defeat by Manchester City.
The humiliating incident increased the pressure on Sarri but he responded in bold fashion to select Willy Caballero for the English Premier League derby, saying the decision was to "send a message" to his players.
Asked about leaving Arrizabalaga, the world's most expensive goalkeeper, on the bench for such a crucial game, Sarri said: "It was the right decision. Kepa made the wrong decision.
"He paid with the club and then he had to pay with the team. But now we have to stop. In one of the next two (games), for sure (he will play).
"You are young you can make mistakes but you need to understand after every mistake. But, for me, the matter is closed."
Sarri's position at Chelsea certainly looks brighter than it did a few days ago, with his side back in the race for a top-four finish in the EPL.
A 57th-minute goal by Pedro Rodriguez gave them the lead and they were gifted a second by Kieran Trippier's own goal.
Caballero, making his first EPL appearance of the season, was rarely troubled as Chelsea contained Tottenham's attack.
It was a sweet moment for the 37-year-old, who said: "The very good news is that he doesn't care what happened. We are ready and Kepa was fantastic today in supporting me.
"He learns, we learn and I thank him for supporting me."
Meanwhile, Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino conceded that the EPL title is beyond his side after the defeat left third-placed Spurs eight points behind leaders Liverpool.
Fourth-placed Arsenal can move to within a point of Spurs if they win tomorrow's North London Derby.
Said Pochettino: "We are disappointed because it was another defeat, but we need to be ready for another tough London derby against Arsenal." - REUTERS
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