'Bringing Kepa Arrizabalaga on was ridiculous'


A former England star has slammed Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel's "ridiculous" decision to bring on Kepa Arrizabalaga just for the penalty shootout in their Carabao Cup final defeat to Liverpool.

Jurgen Klopp's side clinched their record ninth League Cup title after a hard-fought victory over Chelsea at Wembley Stadium on Sunday evening.

The two teams could not be separated for 120 minutes, which ensured that penalties would decide the victor. 

Scroll through the gallery above to see some of the scenes from the Carabao Cup final

However, just two minutes before the end of extra-time, Arrizabalaga was brought on for Edouard Mendy, with Tuchel seemingly believing he is more competent at penalties than the Senegalese star.

The Blues would go on to rue that decision, however, as the Spanish shot-stopper was the only player to miss from the spot, in addition to not saving a single attempt.

With Liverpool walking away with a 11-10 victory from the shootout as a result, former England international Jamie Redknapp felt the decision to withdraw Mendy backfired. 

"I don't like it, it is a rubbish idea," he said during a Sky Sports broadcast.

"I think it is a case of being too clever for your own good. It just complicated it.

"How could anyone say they wouldn't have won it if Mendy was in goal? It's rubbish, it's nonsense – he didn't even get near to a penalty.

"Mendy's one of the world's best goalkeepers, and then you bring on Kepa instead, ridiculous."

Read: Liverpool clinch ninth League Cup title

Reacting to his goalkeeper's miss from the spot, Tuchel said he was to blame as the coaching staff's prior assessment of the situation was that Arrizabalaga was "slightly better at penalty-saving" than the Lions of Teranga's No. 1.

"We feel bad for him [Kepa], of course. It was a bit harsh that he was the guy to miss the one and only penalty, but there is no blame," the German tactician said, per Sky Sports.

"I take the decisions when I take the decisions and I can't re-judge them when I know the outcome.

"We don't know what would've happened if we left Mendy on the pitch. No blame on Kepa. Blame on me as I'm the guy who takes the decisions.

"Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn't. This is life as a football coach."

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