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BC-SOC--League Cup Final

February 24, 2019
AP Global Soccer Writer

LONDON (AP) — Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga was beaten four times in the penalty shootout to enable Manchester City to successfully defend its League Cup title after the Spaniard undermined manager Maurizio Sarri by refusing to be substituted during Sunday’s final.

Near the end of extra time, with the final locked at 0-0, Kepa was troubled by hamstring problems and Sarri tried to replace him with Willy Caballero.

But Kepa, the world’s most expensive goalkeeper after joining Chelsea in August for 80 million euros (then $93 million), would not leave the field — wildly indicating to the touchline that he wanted to continue.

Publicly humiliated, Sarri was furious on the touchline and initially headed down the tunnel before returning just in time for the end of 120 minutes.

In the shootout, Kepa made only one save from Leroy Sane and Sterling completed a 4-3 victory on penalties to keep City in contention for a quadruple.

It leaves the 60-year-old Sarri without a trophy in his career and Kepa’s defiance adds to the manager’s problems with Chelsea down to sixth in the Premier League.

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