David Luiz has insisted that the players are backing Maurizio Sarri and respects his ideas.
Manchester City retained the League cup for the first time in their history after overcoming Chelsea on penalties at Wembley on Sunday. It was a nailbiting contest and Maurizio Sarri would have felt that his side deserved much more for that exceptional display by going toe-to-toe.
Fans were counting numbers before the start of the game, but the resilience shown by Chelsea was really admirable after getting drubbed 6-0 by the Citizens in the Premier League two weeks before. It was an even-steven contest, but Pep Guardiola’s men were superior on penalties.
During moments before the conclusion of the extra time, Kepa Arrizibalaga suffered a cramp in his leg and manager Maurizio Sarri wanted the goalkeeper to get substituted for Willy Caballero. But, the Spaniard decided to take things in his own hand and refused to come off the pitch which made Chelsea boss go crazy in the touchline.
In the post-match press interview, Sarri said that there was a misunderstanding between him and Kepa as he thought that the shot-stopper would not be able to carry on after suffering a cramp. Former Atletico Bilbao product also released an official statement via social media regarding the same.
“#Sarri has the power over the group. He has our respect. For me, there is no problem. We all believe in his philosophy, we all believe in the way he wants us to play,” #DavidLuiz said about the #KepaArrizabalaga incidenthttps://t.co/cS0rYNY8yg
— Firstpost Sports (@FirstpostSports) February 25, 2019
David Luiz is adamant that the whole squad is sticking together for Maurizio Sarri and Chelsea Football Club.
“The coach has the power over the group. He has our respect,”
“For me, there is not a problem here for that. We all believe in his philosophy, we all believe in the way he wants us to play.
“That’s why we did a great game against the best team in Europe at the moment.
“Apart from that, it was a misunderstanding and we all want to do what is best for Chelsea.” said the Brazilian.
— Mirror Football (@MirrorFootball) February 25, 2019
David Luiz has had his say on the Kepa substitution incident… https://t.co/usrdUrOiIF
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) February 25, 2019
David Luiz was the closest person to Kepa Arrizibalaga during that incident, but the former PSG defender said that he could not listen to Sarri’s instructions from the touchlines. He has also revealed what Kepa said to him during this incident.
“It is never easy for us to listen from afar. I didn’t know if the coach wanted to make the change because it was his decision or because he (Kepa) had already been on the floor twice.
“Kepa was saying ‘no, I’m good, I can stay on the pitch’, but from far you can’t understand.
“I’m sure if Kepa knew the coach wished to change him because it was his decision, he would have come off because he is a great professional, he is a great boy and would respect that.”
It was surely an uneasy moment for everybody associated with the club and former Chelsea midfielder Michael Ballack had his say on this crazy incident.
“It was not a good picture for Chelsea,” Ballack told talkSPORT.
“The board has to say something because it is really, really important that the players respect the coach and respect each other. Something shouldn’t happen like that.”