Chelsea supervisor Thomas Tuchel revealed after his aspect’s UEFA Cup win on penalties that he had deliberate way back to introduce Kepa Arrizabalaga.
The Spanish goalkeeper was his aspect’s hero in Belfast on Wednesday, saving the decisive spot-kick. Chelsea subsequently won the contest 6-5 to assert their second European title in three months. However, Kepa didn’t begin the sport. Instead, he got here on late on in further time rather than Edouard Mendy, who himself had impressed.
Chelsea performed Europa League holders Villarreal at Windsor Park, however acquired penalties off to the worst doable begin.
Kai Havertz missed the opening kick, however Aissa Mandi’s miss restored parity at 1-1 after two penalties. Soon after, Kepa stopped Raul Albiol’s penalty to assist his aspect triumph.
Asked in regards to the choice to sub in Kepa, although, Tuchel revealed that he made the transfer normal protocol forward of an FA Cup fifth-round tie with Barnsley in February.
“It was not spontaneous,” the supervisor informed BT Sport. “We talked about it with the goalkeepers once we got here and had the primary cup sport towards Barnsley.
“So we had some statistics, we had been nicely ready, that Kepa has the perfect proportion in saving penalties. The analysing guys, the goalkeeping coaches, confirmed me the information.
“Then we spoke with the gamers, that this will occur once we play in knockout video games and since then, they know.
“It’s unbelievable how Edu [Mendy] accepts it, this discuss. It was the morning earlier than the cup sport in Barnsley and since then they know.
“Of course, we needed to do what’s good for the team. If we needed a sixth change, it was necessary.”
Tuchel added that the transfer additionally exhibits the group spirit inside his camp.
“There is proof that Kepa is better in this discipline and these guys are true team players,” he mentioned.
“I’m happy for Kepa and I’m happy for Edu that they have a goalkeeper like this who shows the pride in stepping off the field. He’s happy to do it for the team.”
Tuchel happy with Chelsea show
Before the penalty kicks, the Super Cup ultimate completed 1-1 after 90 minutes and additional time. Hakim Ziyech scored the opener, however needed to go off with an innocuous, however nasty-looking, shoulder damage.
In the second half, Villarreal heaped stress on the Blues and Gerard Moreno equalised.
“It was tough, 120 minutes out of more or less nothing,” Tuchel mentioned of his aspect’s efficiency. “We had been very sturdy within the first 30, 35 minutes. Then we misplaced simple balls after our aim.
“Second half, we had been too passive. Too many ball losses, they equalised, nicely deserved. Right after we conceded the aim we had been very sturdy proper till the top once more.
“We invested more until the 120th minute and deserved to win.”
Asked about Ziyech’s damage, Tuchel mentioned: “If you take a player out during the first half, it’s serious and unfortunately he was a very decisive player.”