90 minutes is all it took for Kepa Arrizabalaga to force himself back into Chelsea fans’ good books. In his penultimate showing, he was resented by his fans, but on Sunday, he was loved by all.
Maurizio Sarri decided to bring back his number one to the first team after he dropped the Spain international in the win over Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday. His mistake? Refusing to walk to the bench when his head coach wanted to substitute him for Willy Caballero, moments before the penalty shootout against Manchester City.
He was booed by his own fans and on criticised social media, they declared him unfit to wear the Chelsea shirt. His manager was visibly angry on the Wembley touchline and his playing colleagues also annoyed by his attitude. He apologized to everyone via Sky Sports and soon after, was restored to the first-team.
Kepa reminded everyone of his pure quality yesterday. He made outstanding saves to deny Fulham’s attack more than the one goal they scored in the game, most notably Alexander Mitrovic’s header in the second half.
In one game, Kepa proved why he remains important to the course at the Bridge but Sarri’s warning may have served a reverse notice to him, that he is not undroppable and must continue with his good behaviour.