Sarri praises Kepa's 'reaction' after return to Chelsea side against Fulham

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich makes dramatic Kepa Arrizabalaga transfer decision

Having tried to take the game to Manchester City just days before, leaving his team exposed in defense, Sarri emphasized defensive strength.

Sarri said: "We were trying to involve Tottenham in the fight and I think that now they are involved". Both lost two points.

Kepa however was restored to his place for the clash with the Cottagers and Sarri has now spoken of seeing the matter as finished for him personally.

Fulham's players rushed to celebrate with new interim coach Scott Parker.

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.

The Chelsea hierarchy have been impressed with the 37-year-old and the way he responded following Kepa's refusal to be substituted during last Sunday's EFL Cup final.

Willy Caballero kept a clean sheet in that match but Kepa returned to the starting XI at Craven Cottage and made two fine saves either side of half-time. He paid with the club, with the team. Now the situation is closed.

This season may still turn out to be a successful one, but it hasn't been without it's difficulty.

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He said: "After what happened in that final with Maurizio Sarri and Kepa, immediately everybody was convinced that the manager was going to be sacked".

He added: "With another man?" But, with another man, yes of course. While it is certainly unfortunate the Blues left Wembley without a trophy, this game saw Chelsea play its best overall match in recent memory.

Chelsea, and Higuain, in particular, had opportunities to put the game out of Fulham's reach, but a third goal did not come.

"Sarri is a very good manager and he performed very well with Napoli, but it's hard to see him at the club next season. Physically, but also mentally".

Chelsea play Dynamo Kiev in the Europa League last-16 first-leg on Thursday when the Ukrainian Premier League side travel to Stamford Bridge. There wasn't another way but I think that Kepa is a man.

Fulham are now 10 points adrift of safety with nine games to go.

Mitrovic nearly equalised for Fulham in the 88th-minute but forced Kepa into a decent save before Ryan Sessegnon thought he had snatched a point in added time, only to see his effort ruled out for a marginal offside. It's minimal, but it's the right call. Dropping points against a team who are likely to be relegated would have piled the pressure back onto Sarri, so emerging triumphant was about far more than just local bragging rights.

"I made a decision that I thought would go better".

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