Kepa makes amends and earns praise from Sarri

What a difference a week makes. It's somewhere between possible and likely that, should Chelsea fail to qualify for the Champions League, Maurizio Sarri will also be looking for a new job come May.

Sarri had dropped Kepa for Chelsea's 2-0 win over Tottenham on Wednesday as punishment for the Spaniard's refusal to be substituted during last weekend's League Cup final defeat against Manchester City. "Both lost two points", Hazard told Chelsea TV. We need from everybody, the squad is ready to fight for everything and we have been working really hard.

Afterwards, we learned Sarri had considered dropping Kepa for the season - in response to his Brent-based misdemeanour.

"It was different from the way we played in the first three months".

With goalkeeper Willy CABALLERO back on the bench, the win kept Chelsea one point behind Arsenal in sixth place and two behind Manchester United but with a game in hand.

Chelsea's next Premier League fixtures are against Wolves, Everton, Cardiff and West Ham, before the trip to title-chasing Liverpool on April 14.

In the midst of a hectic schedule that includes a home game against Wolves on Sunday, Sarri is considering taking a risk by resting some of his stars for the Kiev game.

After being on the wrong end of a 6-0 defeat to City, Rüdiger says the Blues have turned a corner since that fateful day.

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Now Chelsea are emboldened. "Now is enough. But now I know very well that [Willy] Caballero is a very good goalkeeper and [an] important man for our group and our dressing room, so I have to find space for him".

Meanwhile Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri opted to restore Kepa Arrizabalaga in goal, having dropped the Spain global for the win over Tottenham following his refusal to be substituted during the Carabao Cup final.

The midfielder has had his detractors, due to his close relationship with Sarri, but 10 days after coming on to boos against Malmo, he was cheered off at Craven Cottage.

Speaking in an interview with bwin, Pires said: "It's a very unusual situation with Chelsea and how they treat their managers".

"We played very well only for 60 minutes", Sarri said.

Scott Parker, right, will take charge of Fulham against Chelsea following Claudio Ranieri's sacking. If you're up to challenging the best then play now! "I will treat this as long term because I want to help this club".

"They respected me before". But Kepa is a man and understood, and reacted very well.

  • Stacy Allen