Chelsea locked horns with holders Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final and it turned out to be a hard-fought contest at the Wembley Stadium. The Blues surprisingly looked up for the fight, a complete contrast to their performance at Stamford Bridge when the two sides last met in the Premier League, as they were decimated by the Citizens by 6-0.
Manchester City kept pressing for goals throughout the match. However, it was a valiant effort from Chelsea. The Blues fought hard and long and even came close to scoring in the second half.
However, the most controversial moment in the match came when Chelsea custodian Kepa Arrizabalaga defied manager Maurizio Sarri’s orders and refused to come off the field. Sarri was all set to bring on the hero of the 2016 Carabao Cup final, Willy Caballero, who stopped three spot kicks to win it for his the then employers, Manchester City.
The Italian was visibly left fuming on the touchline owing to the Spaniard’s arrogance. However, Kepa made a fine save to stop Leroy Sane’s shot from going in, proving his decision to stay on right to an extent. However, he eventually ended up on the losing side as David Luiz and Jorginho missed their spot-kicks.
Here is how the Chelsea players were rated from their loss against Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final.
Kepa Arrizabalaga: 6
It was a night to remember for the Spaniard. He saved Aguero’s shot in regulation time to injure himself and then showed his guts and arrogance to deny Sarri’s orders to get off the pitch.
He almost justified his decision as he saved the penalty shot from Sane but eventually ended up on the losing side.
Cesar Azpilicueta: 6
Looked poor in the first half with his passing as well as backtracking. Made a good comeback in the second half as he took on the opposition attackers well.
Antonio Rudiger: 6.5
Was focused on his defensive duties throughout the match. Made decent tackles to dispossess the Manchester City attackers on a number of occasions.
David Luiz: 6
Looked a little bit on the back foot under relentless City pressing in the second half after having a decent first half. Missed his spot kick to let his side down.
Emerson Palmieri: 6
Tried his best to get the ball up the pitch but could not get the deliveries right. Looked shaky while backtracking on some occasions.
Was again off-colour in extra time after he seemed to be regaining his long lost form in the last quarter of the second half. Missed the very first spot-kick of the shootout to hand a huge setback to his team from which they could not recover and lost the match.
N’Golo Kante: 7
The Frenchman seems to be settling in well into his new role under Sarri as he kept probing into the danger area from with his accurate passing and dished out a diligent display on the big occasion.
Ross Barkley: 6
Looked a little lively in the second half after having a quieter first half. Went up the pitch with the ball on a few occasions but could not deliver any telling passes.
After the Spaniard dished out a cautious display in the first, his darting runs in the second half created some problems for the City defence. Looked a bit fatigued in extra time though.
Looked in a positive mood throughout the match and to the surprise of many, was withdrawn to bring on Higuain. His brilliant free kick in the second half almost got the better of Ederson but the City custodian managed to parry it over the bar.
Eden Hazard: 7
His classy footwork and intelligent cut-ins made life difficult for the City defence throughout the match. Scored from the spot-kick as well but was not able to get his side over the line.
Callum Hudson-Odoi: 7
His darting runs proved menacing for the opposition since he came onto the pitch. Sarri should look to start with him now.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek: 6
Decent outing for the Englishman. Tried to get the ball in the right areas with his accurate passing.
Gonzalo Higuain: NA
Played too little to warrant a rating.
Maurizio Sarri: 9/10
For his tactical mastery and brave decisions that he took throughout the regulation and extra time, even in the face of the current adversity.