Chelsea's Sarri: I could have benched Kepa for rest of season

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08 March, 2019

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri was in the mood to forgive and forget after his recalled goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga produced a fine display in their 2-1 win at Fulham in the Premier League on Sunday.

With the game coming to a close, Chelsea's record-signing Kepa indicated to the bench that he was suffering with a cramp, to which manager Mauricio Sarri responded by replacing him with ex-Man City player Willy Caballero.

Chelsea were indebted to Kepa for a series of superb saves that preserved their lead after the break, lifting the sixth-placed Blues within two points of fourth-placed Manchester United, with a game in hand.

Kepa's return nearly started in embarrassing fashion when he made a complete hash of catching Kevin McDonald's cross in a swirling wind, the ball slipping through his grasp as he was challenged by Ryan Babel.

"With another man", he said, that would have been an outcome - before adding that with this one "I knew it wasn't the right decision". His reaction today was really very good. He made a mistake and [we had] a misunderstanding.

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Eden Hazard says Chelsea are targeting victory in each of their remaining 10 Premier League games to succeed in the "war" for the top four. "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". We need from everybody, the squad is ready to fight for everything and we have been working really hard. Now we are only two points from the top four.

"I think Zidane would be a very good appointment at Chelsea". The Blues still have plenty to play for this term, and they are undoubtedly in a better position now than they were this time last month.

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

Sarri signed Jorginho from Napoli because the Italy global was familiar with his coaching demands and says Chelsea fans will not see the best of him until his team-mates are up to speed.

Parker said: "I was a player here for four years, and came back as a coach, and ultimately there was a brand and identity to Fulham that everyone understood: passing team; lovely family football club".

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