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Kepa breaks Chelsea penalty shoot-out record

With his vital save in last night’s penalty shoot-out victory over Aston Villa, Kepa Arrizabalaga etched his name into the Chelsea history books.

The Spaniard now has seven such saves, and with it the record for the most penalty stops by a Chelsea goalkeeper in shoot-outs. Kepa’s strong right hand to palm Marvelous Nakamba’s spot-kick away moved him clear of Petr Cech in the all-time rankings.

Here we detail all his saves and the other Blues stoppers to have made their mark in a shoot-out over the years…

Kepa – seven shoot-out saves

Kepa was involved in three important shoot-outs in his very first season at Stamford Bridge. He made the difference in the semi-final success over Tottenham, in the Carabao Cup, and Eintracht Frankfurt, in the Europa League. Against Spurs he denied Lucas Moura, while the European tie was going the Germans’ way after Cesar Azpilicueta’s effort was saved, but Kepa kept out back-to-back spot-kicks to allow Eden Hazard to score the winner.

In the 2019 Carabao Cup final he denied Leroy Sane, and then this season he made two stops in the Super Cup before last night’s heroics against Villa. You can see all his shoot-out saves in the video below.

Petr Cech – six saves

Half of Cech’s six shoot-out saves came in Champions League finals, with his stops to deny Ivica Olic and Bastian Schweinsteiger in Munich the most important of the 30 shoot-outs we have contested.

He also kept out Ronaldo in Moscow, in defeat, and Leighton Baines in an FA Cup reply which we also lost. His other two shoot-out saves came in the 2009 Community Shield, thwarting Patrice Evra and Ryan Giggs as we ran out comfortable winners.

Kevin Hitchcock – four saves

Kevin Hitchcock is third in the list having made four saves across three shoot-outs spanning six years.

His first two came in a Full Members Cup success over Ipswich in 1991, before his most famous stop from Newcastle’s Steve Watson in an FA Cup replay win at St James’ Park in 1996. The following year Hitchcock was back at it, this time in the League Cup, as we beat Blackburn at the Bridge. Future Blue Chris Sutton was the man to miss.

Ed De Goey – two saves

Both Ed De Goey’s saves came in the same game and proved crucial in our 1997/98 League Cup success. A cracking League Cup quarter-final at Ipswich ended 2-2 so to penalties it went, where De Goey stood tall and saved from James Scrowcroft and then Mauricio Taricco. The Blues progressed 4-1 on pens and a couple of months later lifted the trophy at Wembley.

Eddie Niedzwiecki – two saves

Chelsea’s very first penalty shoot-out was in a League Cup tie against Leicester City in October 1983. We had won the first leg 2-0 at Filbert Street but then contrived to lose the second leg back at the Bridge by the same scoreline.

The majority of the 15,000 in attendance got the outcome they wanted, however, in no small part thanks to Eddie Niedzwiecki’s two saves as the Blues won 4-3.

Willy Caballero – one save

One penalty shoot-out save from Willy Caballero was all it needed to decide our FA Cup third round replay against Norwich in January 2018.

Caballero denied Nelson Oliveira from 12 yards with an excellent stop and with Chelsea flawless with our five kicks, the Blues advanced to the fourth round. We would go on to win the FA Cup that year.

Hilario – one save

Hilario made one save in the solitary shoot-out he contested for us, guessing right to keep out Nikola Kalinic of Blackburn after an engrossing League Cup quarter-final tie in 2009 ended 3-3.

However, Michael Ballack and Gael Kakuta could not score for us so Hilario’s save proved in vain as Rovers advance to the semi-finals.

Ross Turnbull – one save

Having come on following Petr Cech’s sending off in a Carabao Cup tie at home to Fulham in 2011, Ross Turnbull immediately saved a penalty from Pajtim Kasimi, allowing the 10 men of Chelsea to hold on for a goalless draw.

In the shoot-out, Turnbull was the hero, keeping out Mousa Dembele’s effort as the Blues won 4-3 to advance. That was one of 16 appearances Turnbull made for the club between 2009 and 2013.

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