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Arrizabalaga fined wasn’t my decision – Sarri



Chelsea boss, Maurizio Sarri has revealed he did not push for the punishment of Kepa Arrizabalaga and says the goalkeeper personally apologised to him and his first-team squad.

Arrizabalaga has been fined one week’s wages and will donate the money to the Chelsea Foundation.

That comes after bizarre scenes late into extra time in Chelsea’s Carabao Cup final defeat to Manchester City, in which the keeper refused to be substituted.

The Spaniard had gone to ground moments earlier and appeared to be injured but brushed off the attention of Chelsea medical staff and repeatedly gestured to Sarri that he wanted to play on with back-up keeper Willy Caballero readied to replace him.

Kepa Arrizabalaga

Kepa refused to be withdrawn and the incident ended with Sarri furious on the touchline. The Italian almost walked down the tunnel before the penalty shoot-out and had to be held back from approaching Arrizabalaga by Antonio Rudiger before the spot kicks.

Post-match, Sarri declared it was simply a “misunderstanding” and that he only wanted to bring Kepa off because of his apparent injury and not because Caballero is known for his penalty-saving heroics.

The drama overshadowed what was an improved performance by Chelsea at Wembley at a time when Sarri is under increasing pressure for the club’s poor results and performance of late, which included a 6-0 loss to City a fortnight ago.

Maurizio Sarri

But Sarri insists he had no role in issuing the fine to Kepa and says it was a club decision, while also declaring that the pair have cleared the matter up after private talks.

In an official club statement, the manager said: “Kepa and I have spoken about the incident. It was a good conversation.
“There was a misunderstanding yesterday but he realises he made a big mistake in the way he reacted.

“He has apologised to me, his team-mates and the club.

“It is up to the club if they want to discipline him according to the club rules, but for me this matter is now closed.

“The team performance as a whole was extremely positive and it is a shame to see how this incident has overshadowed our efforts in what was a very competitive cup final.

“Everyone’s focus is now on the next game and we must all now put this behind us.”
In a statement of his own, Kepa said: “Although there was a misunderstanding, on reflection, I made a big mistake with how I handled the situation.

“I wanted to take the time today to apologise fully and in person to the coach, to Willy, my team-mates and to the club. I have done this and now I want to offer the same apology to the fans.

“I will learn from this episode and will accept any punishment or discipline the club decides is appropriate.”

Sarri’s comments appear to indicate that Arrizabalaga will keep his starting spot for Chelsea’s clash with Tottenham tomorrow (8pm) after calls for Caballero to displace the club’s No 1 shot-stopper.


PFA team of the year: Pogba included, Hazard absent on list




Manchester United midfielder, Paul Pogba, has been named in the PFA Team of the Year.

Pogba was the only non-Liverpool or Manchester City player to make the PFA Team of the Year.

Chelsea’s Eden Hazard misses out in a side which is dominated by Liverpool and Manchester City players.

The team is set to be revealed on Thursday and is voted for by players in the Premier League.

Four Liverpool players have made the cut, including Virgil van Dijk, who has won the PFA Players’ Player of the Year ahead of Raheem Sterling.

Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero has been named in the PFA Team of the Year for the second successive season, while Bernardo Silva is also included after his brilliant season for the Premier League champions.

Hazard misses out for the second year running, despite being on the six-man shortlist for the PFA Players’ Player of the Year.

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Hazard to earn £400,000 weekly in Real Madrid




Eden Hazard will be offered £400,000-a-week to join Real Madrid this summer and a new house, the UK Sun reports.

The Belgian superstar is ready to quit Chelsea and has his heart set on a move to Spain.

Zinedine Zidane is back in charge at the Santiago Bernabeu and is planning to overhaul his squad after this season.

Hazard is top of his wish list and Zidane is also said to want Manchester United’s Paul Pogba.

For Hazard, Madrid will sweeten the deal, by throwing in a luxury property and help with his relocation costs.

Chelsea won’t stand in the player’s way, but expect the LaLiga giants to get near their £95million valuation, even though Hazard’s contract expires in summer 2020.

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Why Chelsea was unable to defeat Burnley – David Luiz




Chelsea’s central defender, David Luiz has explained why his side drew 2-2 with Burnley on Monday night.

Luiz said Burnley refused to play the game and adopted time wasting techniques.

Mourizio Sarri’s men missed the chance to go to third position in the Premier League on Monday.

Jeff Hendrick had given the visitors a shock lead with a sensational volley from outside the area.

But N’Golo Kante scored an almost instant equaliser after good work from Eden Hazard on the left.

Gonzalo Higuain then put Chelsea into the lead with a well-taken strike from the angle, but Ashley Barnes stunned the home fans after sliding the Clarets level after a well-worked set piece.

Chelsea pushed hard for a late winner, but Sean Dyche’s side were well organised and defended their box masterfully to take a point which surely guarantees their safety from relegation.

Luiz told Sky Sports, “We tried everything to win the game. It’s difficult when you play against a team who have two chances and score two goals and didn’t want to play the game.

“It’s anti-football. Losing time [time wasting] all the time, especially when you have the ball. Their players went to the floor and stopped the game.

“They were playing 11 inside the box. It’s difficult to score against a team like that.”

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