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Kepa’s Carabao Cup Final Introduction Described As “One Of The Poorest Decisions Ever”

Written By Jacobs Dunga 

Chelsea lost to Liverpool 10-11 on penalties despite the Spanish goalkeeper being brought on specifically for the shootouts.

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Kepa Arrizabalaga appeared to have left his luck at home during Sunday’s Carabao Cup final loss to Liverpool at the Wembley.


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The Spaniard was introduced in the closing stages of extra time in place of regular number one Edouard Mendy, a move that has always paid off in previous tries.

Sunday was however a different situation for Kepa and Chelsea as a whole with the 27 years old failing to stop any of Liverpool’s eleven kicks before skying his to hand the Reds their ninth League Cup trophy.

Ally McCoist has however criticized the decision to have Mendy subbed off in place of the supposed penalty hero and described it as the poorest decision ever.

The Rangers legend told the Breakfast Show: “I get what he’s trying to do but sometimes I think you can be too clever.

“Mendy, I don’t think he’ll have another game like that in his life.

“I wouldn’t have made the decision, just because I think Mendy was having one of those games.

“What if I’m a Liverpool player? I’m ecstatic with that decision! This guy for 120 minutes has been unbeatable, taking him off would’ve given the Liverpool players a boost.

“We’re sitting here with hindsight. As decisions go, it wasn’t just wrong, it was one of the poorest decisions any coach will ever make.

“In a move to try and win the cup, the goalkeeper actually cost you the cup.”

It was the second final Chelsea have lost to Jurgen Klopp’s side in just over a year after the European Super Cup last season between the two clubs was decided on penalties with the Reds taking home the trophy on that occasion as well.

Meanwhile…

Former Chelsea defender Mario Melchiot disagreed with McCoist and insisted he would have done the same thing if he were in Tuchel’s position.

He said on talkSPORT how Kepa’s ability from the spot has helped Chelsea in previous triumphs one being the Europa League winning run in 2019.

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Kepa had already stopped penalties in the previous rounds of the Carabao Cup against both Southampton and Aston Villa while it was he who ensured Chelsea lifted the European Super Cup against Villarreal.

Melchiot said: “People will jump on it and say, ‘Why did you do it?’ But he did it before and it’s not the first time I’ve seen this happen.

“Holland did it and it worked as well. If it worked, nobody would talk about it.

“How can you get through the whole team, everybody scores and then it comes to the goalkeeper? That’s one of the hardest things, you don’t expect that to happen.”

Asked whether the Liverpool players would’ve taken such emphatic penalties against Mendy, Melchiot added: “Yes. When it comes to the penalty record, Kepa is normally way more confident, Chelsea are usually way more confident about Kepa than they are about Mendy.

“It doesn’t mean Mendy is no good. But Kepa has a better record, so that’s why they did it.

“Tuchel said the right thing, they talked about it before. If something works, why would you change it?

“If you have the feeling that goalkeeper is better at penalties. Mendy would be my first goalkeeper, yes.

“But if I see that my second goalkeeper is good at penalties, why would I not take the advantage and put him on?

“If it doesn’t work out, later on I will figure it out. He took that step and I would’ve done the same.”

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