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Morecambe’s Bench Shout ‘Shoot’ Whenever Ball Is Near Chelsea’s Kepa Arrizabalaga

Alex Reid

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Morecambe’s Bench Shout ‘Shoot’ Whenever Ball Is Near Chelsea’s Kepa Arrizabalaga

Chelsea's FA Cup opponents Morecambe encouraged their players to shoot whenever they got within 40 yard of goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga on Sunday.

The League Two side visited Stamford Bridge for the third-round cup tie and were understandably on the back foot from kick-off. However whenever they did venture into Chelsea's half, cries of "shoot!" came from the bench.

Brutal. It's almost as if the Morecambe coaching staff believed that 26-year-old Kepa, who signed for Chelsea for a world-record keeper fee of £71.6 million in 2018, may be a bit low on confidence.

The Spain international has struggled for form the longer his time in England has gone on. This season, he's been replaced as Chelsea's first-choice goalkeeper by Edouard Mendy.

But Kepa came back into Frank Lampard's side to make his first appearance of 2021 - and his 100th for the club overall - only to be greeted by Morecambe's pitch-side team encouraging their players to test his skills from any distance.

"Lots of cries of 'shoot' from the Morecambe bench on the rare occasions they have got within 40 yards of Chelsea's goal," explained Daily Telegraph reporter Matt Law.

"It's like they think the world's most expensive goalkeeper might be a bit unreliable."

One of the quirks of football being played in front of no supporters due to Covid rules means that shouts from managers, coaches and substitutes can be heard very clearly. And it seems the simple, one-word instruction from the Shrimps' bench carried far and wide.

Oh dear. At least Kepa had the last laugh in terms of how the game played out: a 4-0 win for the Blues.

Mason Mount gave Chelsea an early lead, before Timo Werner netted his first goal in 13 games to put the hosts 2-0 up before the break. Callum Hudson-Odoi made it 3-0 in the second half then Kai Havertz added a fourth late on.

Kepa ended up keeping a clean sheet, despite the cunning plan that Morecambe's brain trust cooked up to undo him.

All imagery: PA Images

Topics: Football News, Kepa Arrizabalaga, Chelsea, Football, FA Cup

Alex Reid
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