By 90Min
March 02, 2019

Maurizio Sarri has insisted that the drama that unfolded during Chelsea's Carabao Cup final defeat to Manchester City last weekend has only made him and his side stronger.

The Blues were beaten on penalties at Wembley, but it was the actions of goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga which had the more damaging implications for Sarri and the club. The Spaniard's refusal to be substituted during the game was seen to undermine Sarri's authority over his side.

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Chelsea's number one has seen been omitted from the side that claimed a 2-0 win over Tottenham in midweek. However, as quoted by the club's official website, Sarri said: "When there is a difficult situation, I think it's very difficult for everybody, but it's a big opportunity.

"We have to take the opportunity. Of course it was a very bad experience, but I think we can come out of the situation better than before.

"When there is a very difficult experience you can come out of it always different than before, better or worse. I think from this situation we came out better.

"For the players it was a useful experience for staying more united. And also for me, with my staff and my players. We feel closer together."

Aside from the Kepa Arrizabalaga situation, the goalkeeper's compatriot Marcos Alonso has also come in for criticism over his performances of late, but the left back returned to the side with a strong display during the victory over Tottenham on Wednesday.

"You have to accept a player cannot stay at the top of the physical condition or mental condition for 11 months," Sarri said of the Spaniard.

"We were lucky because in that period we had a very good moment for Emerson [Palmieri]. Now I think Marcos started to return to his best."

Chelsea will look to regain their place in the top four of the Premier League when they travel to face Fulham in a west London derby at Craven Cottage on Sunday.

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