Chelsea wins the Super Cup with pens and Kepa, the hero

Chelsea wins the Super Cup with pens and Kepa, the hero

Chelsea was victorious in the Super Cup against Villarreal. Kepa Arrizabalaga, the penalty hero for Chelsea, came off the bench.

Thomas Tuchel’s team won the title thanks to their substitute goalkeeper, despite being tied at 1-1 at extra time.

Kepa came on only for Edouard Mendy in the final seconds, but Aissa Mendy saved him from Kai Havertz’s mistake and he took home the trophy. He denied Raul Albiol.

After 27 minutes, Chelsea led but Villarreal took control and scored their equaliser via Gerard Moreno.

Image:
Kepa Arrizabalaga saved twice in the shootout after coming on as a substitute in extra-time

Although neither team was able to find a winner in overtime, Chelsea won the Super Cup for the second time and became the first Super Cup champions since 1993.

The Super Cup: How Chelsea won

Villarreal was strong from the start with Chelsea’s wing-backs Callum Hudson Odoi and Marcos Alonso each getting in behind within the first five minutes.

Sergio Asenjo made a good save with Timo Werner’s volley from the corner. N’Golo Kante (captain of Chelsea) then took the ball back and fired wide.

Unai Emery’s team seemed to have settled by half-time, but they were caught by a brilliant Chelsea move by Alonso deep on the left.

He found Havertz, and his pass from wide went to Werner. Ziyech was able to redirect the ball in the net.

Image:
Chelsea’s Hakim Ziyech celebrates after scoring for Chelsea in the UEFA Super Cup

His evening ended quickly for Ziyech. He suffered a shoulder injury and pain from a mid-air collision that he had with Juan Foyth. Christian Pulisic took his place.

This incident appeared to slow down Chelsea’s momentum. Villarreal had already tried Edouard Mendy through Boulaye di and was close to equalising at the end of first-half.

Gerard Moreno turned and twisted in the right direction, finding sufficient space to cross the far post to find Alberto Moreno. His left-footedvolley collided with the crossbar.

News from the team

Thomas Tuchel was with the five starting players who won the Champions League final in Manchester against Manchester City. Callum Hudson Odoi played at wingback, while Kai Havertz continued in attack. Gerard Moreno was Villarreal’s goal scorer in the Europa League final. Geronimo Rulli was the goalkeeper from that match.

Chelsea was reminded that even though they had a strong start, six out of eight previous Super Cups went to extra-time.

Villarreal was determined to equalize the score.

The goalkeeper saved the shot and they came close to finding it. Mendy gave up while kick-kicking, allowing Gerard Moreno to pass through.

As pressure built, Trevor Chalobah, a young player, was busy back. He got snagged in position, but was always determined to keep his advantage.

Image:
Hakim Ziyech left the pitch with an injury during the first half of the match

Tuchel is a regular winner in big matches, but this was not to happen again. The leveller came in the 73rd minutes when Dia got Gerard Moreno up.

This was a fine effort by Spain’s international and a well-deserved equaliser, thanks to Villarreal for his efforts when Villarreal went behind. He became the club’s all-time record goal scorer.

Chelsea turned to Villarreal, but they could not reverse the tide. Villarreal finished the better in normal time and continued to control possession into extra-time.

Pulisic actually had the best chance in the extra time, but his shot was a bit rushed after he placed it inside the box following the good work of Mason Mount, a sub.

Mount had his second chance. Asenjo made an excellent save high to Mount’s left. But there wasn’t any extra-time winner. It was just substitute drama.

Ratings for players

Chelsea: Mendy (7), Zouma (6), Chalobah (6), Rudiger (6), Hudson-Odoi (6), Kante (7), Kovacic (7), Alonso (7), Ziyech (7), Havertz (7), Werner (6).

Subs Pulisic 6(6), Jorginho 6(6), Mount 7(7), Christensen 6(6), Azpilicueta 6(6), Kepa 7(7)

Villarreal: Asenjo (7), Foyth (7), Albiol (7), Pau Torres (6), Pedraza (6), Trigueros (6), Capoue (6), Alberto Moreno (6), Pino (5), Gerard Moreno (7), Dia (7).

Subs Estupinan (7), Gaspar (6), Gomez (6), Raba (6), Morlanes (6), Mandi (5).

With seconds left, Tuchel switched to Kepa as Mendy’s replacement in Chelsea’s goal. This was ironic considering that Mendy refused to be substituted in the 2019 Carabao Cup final.

Asenjo saved the first Asenjo kick. Kepa was under pressure already.

Cesar Azpilicueta and Alonso converted penalties, before Jorginho beat Asenjo. This was despite Asenjo’s mistake in the Euro 2020 final just weeks prior.

The seventh kick was the decisive one, with Antonio Rudiger calmly kicking the ball home. Albiol tried to match his pace but Albiol couldn’t keep up. Kepa saved smartly to his right.

This vindicated Tuchel’s decision. The Chelsea coach also added another trophy to the Champions League he won in May.

He can do no wrong.

Tuchel’s comments on the Kepa replacement

The Chelsea manager stated to BT Sport, “It wasn’t spontaneous.”

We discussed it with Barnsley’s goalkeepers before we arrived for the cup match against Barnsley. We had statistics and were prepared. Kepa has the highest percentage of saving penalties.

“The goalkeeping coaches and analysis guys showed me the data. Then we talked with players and they told us that it can occur when we play in knockout games.

It’s amazing how Eddy takes it. This is amazing. They have been informed. We had to do the right thing for our team. This was essential. It worked and I am happy.

There is evidence that Kepa excels in this discipline. These men are great team players. Eddy and Kepa are both very happy. They have the goalkeeper that isn’t afraid to step on the field and who loves to help the team. It is the best.”

Analyse: Tuchel does it again

Although it was difficult for Chelsea, Villarreal could have won this match. The Champions League champions found it hard after a solid start. However, Tuchel continues his remarkable start at Stamford Bridge. The big call was right for him.

Kepa’s arrival caused some laughter. The accepted wisdom was that Mendy is superior and would therefore be better at saving penalties. Tuchel is not a believer in accepted wisdom. He prefers logic and analysis.

According to data, Kepa was more likely than Mendy to save spot-kicks. It was clear that there was a way to do it. His experience in England taught him that Tuchel’s methods are effective.

Opta Stats

  • After their 1998 1-0 win over Real Madrid, Chelsea has won the UEFA Super Cup twice (in the fifth final).
  • Champions League champions have won the UEFA Super Cup eight times in the last nine seasons. They had only won four of the nine previous years.
  • Only three out of 47 Super Cup Finals went to penalties. Chelsea was involved in each one, winning against Bayern Munich and Liverpool tonight.
  • The UEFA Super Cup was won for the third consecutive year by a German manager, Hansi Flick 2020, and Thomas Tuchel 2021.
  • Chelsea was the first English side to win the UEFA Super Cup after playing a non English opponent in the final, since Liverpool 2005.
  • Villarreal was the seventh Spanish team that participated in Super Cup. They were also the first Spanish team to lose in their debut match in the competition since Real Madrid 1998, which they played against Chelsea.
  • In his nine last appearances in European competition, Gerard Moreno scored eight goals. Since the beginning of the last season, six other players scored for top-five European league sides in every competition.
  • Thomas Tuchel, Chelsea’s manager, has won four of nine games against Spanish opponents and drawn five.

Chelsea: What’s next?

Chelsea celebrated the victory loudly, but Crystal Palace fans may also be happy with the European champions’ energy. On Saturday, Palace will be visiting Stamford Bridge.

Tuchel was aware of his concerns even though he was enjoying Belfast at the time. To then play Saturday afternoon is the worst thing for me mentally. We need to remember that winning and receiving a trophy can help us recover.

A welcome, friendly piece of silverware? Although the Community Shield is relegated to penalties at 90 minutes, this contest lasted for two hours. We may find out how much it has cost some Chelsea players on Saturday.

Publiated at Wed 11 August 2021 22.34:18 +0000

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