Kepa’s penalty heroic hands Chelsea first UEFA Super Cup title in 23 years
Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea added one more European trophy to their Champions League badge as they beat Unai Emery’s Villarreal 6-5 on a penalty to clinch the Uefa Super Cup for the first time, since 1998, after a fascinating 120 minutes in Belfast.
Substitute goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, was the hero of the night as he saved captain Raul Albiol’s spot-kick to solidify Chelsea’s place at the table of European Champions.
Off to a perfect start, Tuchel’s men took the lead in the first half, thanks to Hakim Ziyech opener, unfortunately, the Ziyech had to be taken off after he picked a shoulder injury before halftime.
The Yellow Submarines tried to get back into the game and after a couple of missed chances in both halves, Gerard Moreno finally equalised in the 73rd minute.
With Chelsea, unable to retake their lead and Villarreal failing to take the lead as well, the game got dragged into extra time, and eventually, spot-kicks.
In what would go down as one of Thomas Tuchel’s master class moves, Kepa was brought off the bench to replace Edouard Mendy just a few minutes before the end of extra time.
And the Spaniard made sure to repay his manager’s faith in him, first denying Aissa Mandi, before going on to make the decisive save that threw his teammates and Chelsea supporters into wild celebrations, understandable so and leaving Villarreal players and their supporters heartbroken.
With the new season just a few hours from kicking off, this will definitely serve as a great morale booster for the London side heading into the season.