Chelsea NOT planning to punish Kepa as Blues attempt to play down Sarri bust-up – reports
The embarrassing scenes for the Blues came toward the end of extra time at Wembley with the scores at 0-0 and the game destined for penalties.
Italian boss Sarri signaled for Kepa to make way for Willy Caballero, apparently in the belief that the Spaniard was struggling with injury.
But the 24-year-old 'keeper steadfastly refused to leave the pitch, sending Sarri into a fury and forcing him to back down.Also on rt.com Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa REFUSES to be substituted, sending manager Sarri into meltdown
Chelsea went on to lose to City 4-3 in the shootout, although much of the talk after the game was on the embarrassing scenes that many said indicated a “mutiny” among players and a lack of respect toward under-fire boss Sarri.
Sarri, who stepped into the Blues hotseat in the summer from Napoli, attempted to play down the scenes after the game, claiming that the incident with his £71 million goalkeeper was merely “a misunderstanding.”
"I understood he had cramp, so I didn't want the goalkeeper to go to the penalties in that physical condition. I realized the situation after three or four minutes when the doctor arrived on the bench.
"I wanted Caballero on the pitch, but the goalkeeper wanted to let me know he was in condition to go to the penalties.
"It was only a big misunderstanding. Kepa was right, but in the wrong way. Wrong in the way he conducted himself, but mentally he was right because he was able to go to the penalties."
Kepa also released a statement amid the backlash against him, saying that “in no moment was it my intention to disobey or anything like that with the boss."
That has failed to quell the anger from many fans, however, while pundits have also questioned the explanations from the parties involved.Also on rt.com ‘He should never play for Chelsea again’: Kepa slammed after refusing to be subbed by manager Sarri
But the Stamford Bridge hierarchy have now confirmed they are not planning to sanction Kepa, according to the Evening Standard, echoing Sarri's initial calls after the game.
According to reports, both the player and manager are willing to put the incident behind them.
While Kepa may emerge unscathed financially, he will need to rebuild his standing with many in the club’s fanbase.
Sarri, meanwhile, will rue what was a missed chance to bring his first silverware to the Bridge and potentially buy himself more time as manager amid the team's torrid run of form.
There is no let-up for Chelsea, though, as they next face third-placed Tottenham in a must-win Premier League encounter at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.