Chelsea edge Villarreal on penalties to win Super Cup

Chelsea edge Villarreal on penalties to win Super Cup

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The Blues brought on Kepa and he saved two pens in the shoot-out (6-5 after a 1-1 draw)

Kepa Arrizabalaga came off the bench to be the hero as Chelsea beat Villarreal on penalties to win the UEFA Super Cup on Wednesday in Belfast.

Hakim Ziyech had put the Blues ahead but their superiority faded after the break and Gerard Moreno scored after a sublime team move to level.

In extra-time Chelsea regained their poise and Christian Pulisic came close to firing them ahead.

Coach Thomas Tuchel swapped Edouard Mendy, who had made several fine saves, for Kepa Arrizabalaga just before the shoot-out and it paid dividends, as the Champions League winners beat the Europa League holders.

Manchester United should have done the same back in that final but failed to and Villarreal won on penalties. At Windsor Park it was a different story.

Arrizabalaga stopped two penalties, including captain Raul Albiol’s in sudden death to win it for the Blues after Antonio Rudiger showed nerves of steel to net for Chelsea. 

 "It was not spontaneous. We talked about it with the goalkeepers after the first cup game against Barnsley. We had some statistics. We were well prepared,” said Tuchel.

"Kepa has the best percentage at saving penalties, the analysing guys and goalkeeping coaches showed me the data. We spoke to the players that this could happen when we play in knockout games. It's fantastic how Edouard accepted it.

"There is proof that Kepa is better in this discipline. They're team players. Edouard does not show the pride to not step off the field. He was happy to do it for the team and take this for the team."

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