Chelsea Boss Tuchel Finally Reveals Why he Substituted Mendy For Arrizabalaga Before Penalty Shootouts

Chelsea Boss Tuchel Finally Reveals Why he Substituted Mendy For Arrizabalaga Before Penalty Shootouts

  • Kepa Arrizabalaga was the hero for Chelsea in their UEFA Super Cup win over Villarreal at Windsor Park
  • The Spanish keeper saved two penalty spot-kicks as the Blues beat their La Liga counterparts 6-5 during shootouts
  • Kepa was introduced in the dying minutes of the extra time, taking Edouard Mendy's place between the sticks

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has revealed that he removed Eduoard Mendy for Kepa Arrizabalaga just before the shootouts because of the Spaniard's better record in the penalties.

Despite starting the game from the bench, the Spain international was in the right frame of mind to save two penalties and help the Blues claim the prestigious title.

The two teams settled for a 1-1 draw after regulation time and extra time, with Hakim Ziyech scoring Chelsea's goal that was cancelled out by Gerard Moreno with 17 minutes left on the clock.

With 90 seconds remaining, goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga of Chelsea puts on his gloves as he comes on as a substitute replacing Edouard Mendy during the UEFA Super Cup (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)
Kepa was Chelsea's match hero as he inspired the Blues to the club's first UEFA Super Cup title in 23 years. Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt.
Source: UGC

The Blues kicked off the shootout on a negative note as Kai Havertz's opening effort was saved by Sergio Asenjo.

However, Kepa helped the west Londoners prevail as he denied both Aissa Mandi and Raul Albiol up to justify his introduction into the match.

While many were concerned about his introduction, Tuchel explained the decision was made long before the match had kicked off. Tuchel said as quoted by Metro UK.

What Chelsea boss said after the victory

"It was not spontaneous. We talked about it with the goalkeepers when we came and had the first cup game against Barnsley. So we had some statistics, we were well prepared, [knowing] that Kepa is the best percentage at saving penalties.
"There is proof that Kepa is better in this discipline and these guys are true team players. I’m happy for Kepa and happy for Edou."

Chelsea will now be looking to use the win to ensure they get off their Premier League campaign on a flying start.

Tuchel Finally Reveals Why He Replaced Mendy with Kepa During Super Cup Penalty Shootout
Kepa Arrizabalaga stretching to save spot-kicks for Chelsea against Villarreal in their UEFA Super Cup final. Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC
Source: Getty Images

The Stamford Bridge side are scheduled to take on rivals Crystal Palace in their EPL curtain-raiser on Saturday, August 14. earlier reported that Chelsea stars Kurt Zouma and Antonio Rudiger could not contain their joy after winning this year's UEFA Super Cup title as they danced to Tekno's hit song 'Skeletun'.

The Blues defeated Villarreal 6-5 on penalties after settling for a 1-1 draw in the normal regulation period including the extra time.

Kai Havertz powered the Champions League holders ahead in the 27th minute while Gerard Moreno's 73rd-minute equaliser helped the La Liga outfit to stretch the game beyond 90 minutes.

Source: Sports Brief News