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


The win at Fulham sees Chelsea close the gap on fifth-placed Arsenal to just one point with a game in hand on the Gunners.

Babel's corner evaded everyone and Chambers, left in acres of space at the back post, rifled the ball into the back of the net before the players ran to celebrate with their new boss.

Kepa redeemed himself with an acrobatic save to keep out Aleksandar Mitrovic's volley from Ryan Sessegnon's cross.

"There were a lot of factors that made us think, "Wow!"

"With Spurs managing only one point in the last nine, they certainly can not be confident of that third spot anymore".

This was an important victory for Chelsea, whose Champions League fate is still in their own hands - Sarri's side are now two points behind fourth-placed Manchester United but have played one game fewer due to their participation in the League Cup final.

And he acknowledges Fulham's likely relegation will provoke questions.

"I think we played very well for 60 minutes", Sarri said.

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Jorginho has the mentality to deal with scrutiny – Sarri

As a punishment for his Wembley defiance, Sarri had dropped Arrizabalaga for the midweek defeat of Tottenham Hotspur and the Spaniard, who apologised to the club and his team mates for his actions, was also fined a week's wages. Now the situation is closed.

A couple of goals under his belt could be the ideal springboard for Higuain to kick on from now until the rest of the season. But Kepa is a man and understood, and reacted very well. "(But) I know him very well and I know that it wasn't the right solution". His reaction today was really very good.

'I remained calm because I know what fans are like... they have the right to complain.

'He has a good mentality. He made a mistake on a misunderstanding, but now it's enough.

"We can play both [styles]".

After a rocky start to the most crucial month of the season, Chelsea got it together during the back half of February.

It means that the incident was a misunderstanding of a different kind to that which had previously been assumed - one which was more a result of a lack of communication than a complete misunderstanding of the situation.

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