Make no mistake, Chelsea’s goalkeeper showed a complete lack of respect for his manager at Wembley by refusing to be substituted.
It doesn’t matter if the change was for an injury or because Maurizio Sarri wanted a penalty expert in Willy Caballero on for the shootout. The manager’s decision is final.
When your number comes up, you have to go. What were the Chelsea bench supposed to do… forcibly drag him from the field? He’s done Sarri up like a Kepa.
Kepa Arrizabalaga showed a complete lack of respect for Maurizio Sarri at Wembley
You have to spare a thought for Caballero, too. He had been told by Sarri that he was coming on and will have been trying to prepare himself mentally for penalties.
Kepa was not even able to redeem himself as the hero, making matters worse by letting Sergio Aguero’s weak penalty slip beneath him.
It was a horrible, embarrassing situation for everyone involved. In the hundreds of games I have played in or watched, I had never seen anything quite like this — and I hope it never happens again.
Experienced goalkeeper Willy Caballero was forced to wait before embarrassingly retreating
We sat there in the Wembley studio watching it through our fingers. Sitting alongside John Terry, I thought there was no way he would have stood for this in his day.
There will be calls for the Kepa to be dropped and even sanctioned by the club. But if Chelsea come down hard on him, they are cutting off their nose to spite their face.
Everyone at the club has to draw a line under this as quickly as possible. Chelsea are in an intense battle for the top four and face Tottenham at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday. They simply cannot afford to go into that huge clash — and indeed the rest of the season — without their first-choice goalkeeper.
I cannot imagine the club would wish to jettison him just six months after they spent a world-record £71.6million to sign him from Athletic Bilbao. Kepa should not be vilified for this incident. He hasn’t done this consciously to embarrass his boss.
Sarri was left furious and at one point started to walk back down the tunnel at Wembley
Remember, this is a young man in his first final for his new club. His actions showed his determination to finish the job after shutting out a Manchester City side that have scored a staggering 127 goals in all competitions this season.
If this is to be the end for Sarri, it won’t be this final that has got him the sack. Look instead to the 2-0 defeat by Arsenal, the 4-0 drubbing at Bournemouth or the 6-0 by City.
Whether they did it for their manager, Chelsea’s players grafted unbelievably hard to take City to penalties only a fortnight after that 6-0 hammering.
They must try to build from here and channel all their efforts into making the top four.
THE 100 CLUB
Petr Cech (Chelsea) 162
David Seaman (Arsenal) 137
Jose Reina (Liverpool) 134
Tim Howard (Everton) 116
Peter Schmeichel (Man U) 112
Joe Hart (Man City) 109
David de Gea (Man United) 100
De Gea’s 100th clean sheet one of his easiest!
David De Gea brought up his 100th Premier League clean sheet for Manchester United against Liverpool.
Despite facing the mighty Mo Salah and Sadio Mane, he had to deal with just one shot on target!
He joins this impressive list of keepers to record 100 shutouts for a single club…
Brendan would be perfect fit for Foxes
When you look at the talent at Leicester, it is clear that Claude Puel failed to get the best from this group.
They have a host of exciting young players in Demarai Gray, James Maddison, Ben Chilwell and Harvey Barnes. This team should be pushing Watford and Wolves for seventh place, not languishing in 12th.
If Brendan Rodgers can be tempted to leave Celtic now, he can fire them back up the table. Brendan has a track record of developing and improving players.
Brendan Rodgers has emerged as one of the prime candidates for the Leicester City job
Stuart Armstrong came on leaps and bounds after working with him at Celtic and earned a £7million move to Southampton.
With a treble of trebles in sight, it will be difficult for Rodgers to leave Celtic. Whether he moves now or at the end of the season, Leicester is the perfect destination for him to return to England.
After being talked up as title contenders, Tottenham’s defeat at Burnley was not a case of them ‘bottling it’.
This has been coming. Not since their 3-0 win at Cardiff on New Year’s Day have Spurs won convincingly in the Premier League.
Tottenham’s defeat at Burnley on Saturday felt like it has been coming for some weeks
They have stumbled over the line against a poor Fulham side, scraped past Watford and Newcastle and only beat struggling Leicester 3-1 after Jamie Vardy had missed a penalty to make it 1-1.
That they came unstuck at a resurgent Burnley was no surprise.
I was really impressed by Burnley winger Dwight McNeil against Tottenham.
The 19-year-old has a lovely left foot and such is his technical ability that I can see him developing into a central midfielder.
It’s not uncommon for young players to start on the wing. It’s where I first played for Liverpool — I used to call it the graveyard shift! When the time comes, I expect McNeil will thrive in the middle.
Burnley winger Dwight McNeil gave a solid account of himself in the win over Tottenham