Willy Caballero

Willy Caballero insists Chelsea are “more together than ever” after Kepa Arrizabalaga’s substitution row.

Caballero was in goal for the 2-0 victory over Tottenham on Wednesday, with Kepa dropped following his refusal to be substituted during Sunday’s EFL Cup final defeat to Manchester City.

Sarri said before kick-off he was sending a “message” to his players with his selection that Chelsea are a team and not a collection of individuals.

Far from splitting the squad, as had been reported, Caballero has revealed that the mood around the club is positive and the incident could even prove to be a significant turning point in the Blues’ season.

“I had to live with it, we had to live with it,” he told reporters. “But everybody that was involved in what happened learned something.

“This brings something good in the atmosphere of the team, that’s the good news.

“We passed the last few days in good harmony, trying to talk about things and how to beat Spurs, and we did it. We improved a lot and we are more together than ever.

“We [himself and Kepa] spoke about it after the incident and it was good to have a chat with him. I think he learned lot from what happened, we learned a lot as a team and as a club.

“Sometimes these things put players apart but in this case, we are more together than ever.”

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