One made several crucial stops during two hours of match action that couldn’t separate Chelsea and Villarreal. The other was the penalty shoot-out hero with a pair of decisive spot-kick saves. The 2021 Super Cup was certainly a successful one for Chelsea goalkeepers!
Kepa Arrizabalaga replaced Edouard Mendy shortly before the shoot-out, the regular no.1 having done his job during a busier night than many he experienced in European competition last season. Then Kepa stood tall and guessed right – literally – twice, securing the Blues’ second-ever Super Cup triumph.
‘It’s not a typical situation,’ said Kepa of the sub.
‘I was ready because I knew this could happen, and I tried to be ready mentally and physically when we arrived at penalties.
‘Edou did a fantastic job before, it was a tough, tough game against a very difficult team. We won and we are so happy. All the team did a fantastic job and we have the medal.’
Thomas Tuchel praise Mendy’s attitude in his post-match media duties, and revealed the plan to bring Kepa on for penalty shoot-outs was hatched before the FA Cup tie at Barnsley in February, Tuchel’s first taste of knockout football in this country.
The Senegalese keeper, himself not even at Chelsea for a year yet now a winner of two European trophies, was thrilled with how the evening panned out.
‘We work for this success,’ said Mendy.
‘I knew since last season that if Kepa came on the pitch he would help the team like he did. I am really happy for Kepa.
‘This is teamwork, it’s a team effort. When you play for Chelsea you play for success, you play for titles. We did it together and we are happy.’