3 March 2019

Sarri: Kepa's Reaction Was Very Good  (Sky Sports)

Kepa ArrizabalagaMaurizio Sarri said Kepa Arrizabalaga produced a "very good" reaction after he was recalled to Chelsea's side for their 2-1 win at Fulham on Sunday.

The goalkeeper was dropped for Chelsea's midweek victory over Tottenham, after refusing to be substituted in the Carabao Cup final.

However, he was recalled for the west London derby and produced a solid display to help Chelsea win.

"He played very well, it was a normal decision," said Sarri. "He paid with the club and the team, now the situation is closed. There wasn't another way but I think that Kepa is a man, he understood and reacted really very well.

"I spoke with him during the week, he understood. His training was really very good, the reaction today was very good. I know the man, he is very good. He made a mistake, but now that is enough."

Asked whether he could have left Kepa out for the rest of the season, Sarri added: "Considering the man, no. I know it was a big mistake, but with another man of course I could have done another way. With him I know him very well and I knew it wasn't the right solution."

Gonzalo Higuain and Jorginho scored the goals to secure victory for Chelsea.

Jorginho has been criticised this season but fans chanted his name when he was replaced in the second half.

"I am very happy for him because he scored, but my opinion about Jorginho is the same," said Sarri. "He is a great player, one of the most important in Europe in that position.

"It is not easy in a first season in this team, he was tired at the end. In that position we have had some problem, we try in training with [Mateo] Kovacic and the answer of him was very good."

Sarri also expects January signing Higuain to improve in the coming weeks.

He told Sky Sports: "Higuain is one of the best strikers in Europe. He is not at his top level physically but today he could have scored three times. He is improving and in a couple of weeks he will be able to be at his top."

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