Kepa opens up on Carabao Cup final incident vs Man City as Chelsea ease past Tottenham

By Renuka Odedra & Louie Chandler

Chelsea reached the Carabao Cup final on Wednesday night thanks to a 1-0 victory at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, rounding off an emphatic 3-0 aggregate victory.

It gives Thomas Tuchel the chance to win his third trophy as Chelsea manager despite arriving at the club less than a year ago. But Arsenal or Liverpool will be determined to stop them.

While it was Antonio Rudiger's header that won the game for Chelsea this week, goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga has arguably been the Blues' player of the tournament so far.

His heroics in penalty shootouts saw off both Aston Villa and Southampton earlier in the tournament and, despite being second choice to Edouard Mendy in the Premier League, will have the chance to help the club to another piece of silverware.

But with Chelsea reaching the final, it has shone a light on a previous incident involving Kepa that took place in the 2019 final against Manchester City.

As the final ticked towards the end of extra time with the two sides still locked at 0-0, Maurizio Sarri started to prepare penalty specialist Willy Caballero to come on for the inbound shoot-out.

But when the substitute was announced, Kepa simply refused to leave the field, furiously gesturing at the sidelines that he was not coming off.

To his credit, the Spaniard saved Leroy Sane's penalty in the shootout but it was not enough to secure the silverware for the Blues, with Sarri insisting that he believed his goalkeeper had cramp as a reason for the attempted substitution.

Three years later, Kepa is once again the goalkeeper of choice in the tournament and spoke to Sky Sports ahead of kick-off about the previous incident, insisting that he has learnt from it.

"Three years ago already (2019 final). I spoke about that in the last interviews, I spoke very clear," Kepa said.

"What I can say is that I learn from that situation. It was not easy but I learn a lot. I want to look forward. I want to look at this season and arrive to another final and win the competition if possible.

"I want this trophy and competition. We know what happened in the last final, now I've learnt and now I want to look forward."


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