Maurizio Sarri and Kepa Arrizabalaga both insisted that their row in the closing stages of extra-time in the Carabao Cup final was a misunderstanding.
“I wanted Caballero on the pitch, but the goalkeeper wanted to let me know he was in condition to go to penalties,” Sarri said after Chelsea’s penalty shootout defeat to Manchester City, per The Guardian. “It was only a big misunderstanding.”
Meanwhile, Kepa wrote in a statement on social media: “At no time has it been my intention to disobey the coach or any of his decisions.”
Chelsea have moved quickly to forget about the incident, with Kepa, who has been fined one week's wages, set retain his place in goal for Wednesday’s match against Tottenham Hotspur.
Yet there could be larger implications as a result of the incident that marred Chelsea’s performance at Wembley Stadium.
- Hazard left dismayed by Kepa row
- Kepa incident 'really sad' says Mourinho
- Kepa's Wikipedia page locked
Kepa undermined his manager at a point when Sarri was already under serious pressure to keep his job.
Indeed, the Italian was asked whether he still has control of his squad when he met the media afterwards.
Sarri ripped into Kepa in the dressing room
While Sarri downplayed the incident at full-time, The Sun claim he laid into Kepa behind closed doors.
The Chelsea boss lashed out at his No. 1 in the dressing room, reportedly going “wild” in front of startled players.
A club source said: “First he screamed at Kepa by telling him it was the striker’s job to score and that he had the option to change one misfiring forward for another.
“He went on to say that keepers were in the same position - and if he believed another keeper could do a better job he had the right to make the change.”
Sarri’s assistant, former Chelsea striker Gianfranco Zola, also made his feelings clear to Kepa.
It was clear that Sarri was frustrated, the former Chelsea boss heading towards the Wembley tunnel after Kepa disobeyed him.
The 60-year-old had to be held back from confronting the player, with the Daily Mail claiming he screamed, “How could you do this?” in Italian towards Kepa.
All just a misunderstanding? Yeah, right.