The manager’s decision to change the goalkeepers for kicks kicked off as the Blues won a trophy in the early season
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel said Edouard Mendy was happy to come out in favor of Kepa Arrizabalaga, who came off the bench to help Chelsea win the UEFA Super Cup in a penalty shootout over Villarreal.
With Wednesday’s game tied 1-1 in the 119th minute, Kepa was forced to play into the goal.
Tuchel’s decision was a wise decision, as the Spanish goalkeeper saved two penalties – including the decisive stop by Raul Albiol – to help Chelsea bring home silverware in the early season.
What was said?
“It was not spontaneous,” Tuchel said. BT Sport after the match of his decision to use Kepa. ‘We talked about it with the goalkeepers after the first cup game against Barnsley [in the FA Cup last season]. We had some stats. We were well prepared.
“Kepa has the best percentage to save penalties, the analyzing guys and the goalkeeping coaches showed me the data. We talked to the players that it can happen if we play in knockout matches. It’s fantastic how Edouard accepted it.
“There is proof that Kepa is better in this discipline. They are team players. Edouard does not show the pride of not stepping off the field. He was happy to do it for the team and take it for the team. . “
Both goalkeepers also talked about the move, and Mendy said winning trophies is a team effort that sometimes requires even two goalkeepers.
“I’m glad we won,” Mendy said. “I have known since last year that if Kepa came on the field, he would help the team. It’s a team effort. We play for Chelsea and for success. We did it together today.”
Kepa added: “This is not a typical situation, but we got penalties after Edouard did a fantastic job. Finally we won and we are so happy. I was ready because I knew it could happen. I tried to be mentally and physically ready. “
What’s next for Chelsea?
The Blues will be back in action on Saturday as they take on Crystal Palace in their first league opening game.
Tuchel conceded that it is only physically not ideal to do extra time and penalties before starting his league campaign.
“Mentally it’s good. Physically it’s the worst thing that can happen,” the driver said. “Victory and a trophy help us recover.”