Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has said that the incident involving goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga in the Carabao Cup final on Sunday was a “misunderstanding”.
The club record £71m signing appeared to defy the Italian’s attempt to substitute him in extra time before Manchester City won on penalties.
Sarri appeared furious and walked down the tunnel before quickly returning.
“I misunderstood the problem and only realised the situation when the doctor arrived at the bench,” said Sarri.
“He understood I asked for a change for his physical problem. He said, ‘I haven’t a physical problem’ and he was right.”
Many Chelsea fans reacted to the incident by calling for the 24-year-old Spaniard to be dropped from the squad for what appeared to be insolent behaviour and disregard for authority.