Chelsea

Thomas Tuchel explains Edouard Mendy-Kepa Arrizabalaga substitution in Super Cup victory

Jude Summerfield
Tuchel swapped his goalkeepers before the penalty shootout
Tuchel swapped his goalkeepers before the penalty shootout / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA / Contributor
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Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has revealed his substitution of Edouard Mendy for Kepa Arrizabalaga before the penalty shootout victory against Villarreal was planned.

Mendy started the fixture and played well, making four saves, but he was hooked a minute before extra time finished for Kepa with spot kicks in mind.

The gamble paid off as Kepa saved efforts from Aissa Mandi and Raul Albiol, giving the Blues their second Super Cup triumph. Speaking after the victory, Tuchel explained he and his backroom team had been over the data to see which goalie would be better equipped in penalty shootouts.

He told BT Sport as quoted by BBC Sport: "It was not spontaneous. We talked about it with the goalkeepers after the first cup game against Barnsley. We had some statistics. We were well prepared.

"Kepa has the best percentage at saving penalties, the analysing guys and goalkeeping coaches showed me the data. We spoke to the players that this could happen when we play in knockout games. It's fantastic how Edouard accepted it.

"There is proof that Kepa is better in this discipline. They're team players. Edouard does not show the pride to not step off the field. He was happy to do it for the team and take this for the team."

Kepa added: "It's not a typical situation but we arrived to penalties after Edouard did a fantastic job. Finally we won and we are so happy.

"I was ready because I knew this could happen. I tried to be ready mentally and physically."

Mendy also said: "I'm happy because we won. I knew since last year that if Kepa came on the pitch he would help the team.

"It's a team effort. We play for Chelsea and for success. We did this today together."

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