Saint AND sinner! Chelsea’s £72m back-up Kepa Arrizabalaga frustrates fans and pundits with ANOTHER howler to give Luton Town an FA Cup lifeline… then makes a stunning one-handed save to stop the Hatters equalising
- Kepa Arrizabalaga was guilty of another error in Chelsea’s clash against Luton
- The £72million goalkeeper allowed Jordan Clark’s drive to squirm through him
- Pundits questioned Frank Lampard’s intentions behind playing him at half-time
- Kepa redeemed himself in style after half-time with a stunning one-handed stop
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The 26-year-old, who joined the club from Athletic Bilbao for an eye-watering £72million fee in 2018, was placed back in the firing line at Stamford Bridge and failed his test.
The mistake even led to pundits questioning whether Frank Lampard handed the stopper a start in an attempt to find him another club – although Kepa soon went some way to repairing his reputation with a stunning second half save.
Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga made another mistake in the FA Cup clash with Luton
Championship outfit Luton worked the ball out to the left flank superbly and quickly picked out Jordan Clark from a tight angle on the half hour mark.
His strike was fired directly at Kepa, but the Spain international’s poor positioning and weak wrist saw the ball horribly skew through him and into the net.
An outstretched right hand met the shot – but it was the power of the effort that saw Kepa beaten in questionable fashion once again.
The under-fire stopper was guilty of letting Jordan Clark’s powerful strike squirm through him
Pundit Danny Murphy insisted Kepa should have dealt better with Clark’s attempt – and questioned boss Lampard’s intentions behind selecting him.
‘He should have saved it, no doubt about that,’ he said. ‘Great for Luton getting back in the game but the keeper should do better.
‘It’s too often with him. We were talking during the game, I don’t think Frank wants to play him. It is not hit with any velocity.
‘Obviously he’s not going to be playing in the forthcoming games. Is he playing him to put him in the shop window? If he is and he’s making mistakes…’
Pundits questioned whether Frank Lampard handed Kepa a start to put him in the shop window
Former Chelsea forward Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink also took aim at Kepa and outlined the difference between him and his top-flight peers.
He said: ‘He needs to save this. He sees enough of the ball and of the player going to hit the ball.
‘It definitely doesn’t help. Every time he goes in goal for Chelsea he’s under pressure because of how it’s going and what happened last year.
‘If you look at other goalkeepers in the league, at the top end, they would save this. That’s where he’s at, that’s the problem.’
Kepa managed to redeem himself in stunning fashion after parrying out Harry Cornick’s effort
The £72million man was also found in fine form when keeping out Tom Lockyer’s poke forwards
Kepa went some way to redeeming himself, however, after delivering an impressive display after the interval.
With Chelsea leading narrowly after a Tammy Abraham brace, Luton pushed down the other end in search of a leveller.
Harry Cornick was released through on the left-hand side of the penalty area and cracked a powerful drive towards goal.
The strike was parried out brilliantly by Kepa to preserve the hosts’ advantage.