Manchester City vs. Chelsea score: Kepa-Sarri battle steals the show before City captures trophy in penalty kicks
The game ended in penalties, but what happened just before has everyone talking
Manchester City added another trophy to its case Sunday by beating Chelsea in penalty kicks in the EFL Cup final. But the match will be most remembered by a bizarre, out-of-this-world feud between Chelsea coach Maurizio Sarri and goalkeeper Kepa. The match ended 0-0 after 120 minutes that lacked many clear-cut chances, and in the penalties Ederson made a save, the post kept David Luiz out and City made enough to win 4-3 in the shootout. City had just three shots on goal while Chelsea did not force Ederson to make a stop in regulation or added time. Here are three takeaways from the match:
City wasn't sharp but did enough
This wasn't a typical Manchester City performance. You know, like when they have 10 shots on goal and score half of them. But they did just enough. Defensively, guys like Nicolas Otamendi made important tackles on Eden Hazard, and City was the only team that really threatened in the game. And when you can hold the opposing team to zero shots on goal, you have to feel good. Chelsea did some things well defensively to really throw City off, especially with a good performance from N'Golo Kante in the middle. It even felt like at one point that Chelsea was the most likely team to score, but Gonzalo Higuain did nothing in attack and it was another frustrating showing for the Blues.
City will take the trophy gladly and use this game as a way to improve for the massive upcoming games in the Premier League and Champions League races.
Kepa vs. Sarri sums up Chelsea's last couple months
If you didn't see the match, you missed something truly unbelievable at the end of added time. Sarri decided to substitute Kepa off after he appeared to be injured. So, Willy Caballero got ready, went to get substituted on and Kepa refused to come out.
Here's the scene:
Just shocking. There is no other way to put it. Here he is, the world's most expensive goalkeeper undermining his coach to stay in the final. And this all comes after Chelsea's poor run of form to start 2019. The club has fallen out of the top four in the league, suffered a 6-0 loss to City and a 4-0 defeat to Bournemouth, and now this? A dumpster fire, just like the second half of the campaign so far.
If I'm Sarri (and if he has a job on Monday), I don't play Kepa again as long as I'm in charge. On the field, if the coach tells you to jump, you say "how high?" To go against his orders, and to see the frustration on his face and that of his assistants, it's one of the more memorable moments the sport has seen in 2019.
Pep Guardiola's team is far from done
I'm sure City is thrilled. A trophy is a trophy, but if this is the team's only trophy this year, it will be viewed as a failed season. The EFL Cup ranks last in importance behind the Champions League, the Premier League and the FA Cup. While it's great to earn the title, Guardiola is ambitious and wants nothing more than winning the others. It's a good starting point for sure, but it will all go to waste if they don't celebrate like this again the rest of the way.
As for Sarri, we have to wait and see what happens. His team nearly won, and they should be praised for staying in this, but the feud with Kepa could have ripple effects throughout the team.
Relive the EFL Cup final
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