Chelsea

Twitter reacts as Chelsea win UEFA Super Cup on penalties

Matt O'Connor-Simpson
It was tense but Chelsea did it
It was tense but Chelsea did it / PAUL ELLIS/Getty Images
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After a couple of failed attempts, Chelsea have finally won the UEFA Super Cup in the 21st century.

What a way to seal it too, with Kepa Arrizabalaga coming off the bench in extra time to be the hero in the penalty shootout.

Before all that excitement, the announcement of Chelsea's starting XI was an early talking point on social media. People were surprised to see Kurt Zouma and Trevor Chalobah handed starts, but with several players' pre-season being disrupted by international tournaments, the move made sense.

Chalobah was not the only Chelsea player celebrating a personal moment either. In the absence of Cesar Azpilicueta, N'Golo Kante was handed the captain's armband.

He therefore had the honours of placing the Champions League trophy on a massive plinth. Kante was clearly enjoying himself early on, even going close with a long-ranged effort.

Chelsea started the game strongly and just before the half hour mark they took a deserved lead.

The move started with Marcos Alonso, who picked out Kai Havertz with a probing through ball. Havertz then put one on a plate for Hakim Ziyech to sweep home.

Ecstasy then turned to agony for Ziyech as he was forced off with a shoulder injury. It was a bitter blow for the forward, who has been electric in pre-season.

Just before the break Villarreal gave Chelsea a real scare when Alberto Moreno hammered an effort against the bar.

This would set the tone for the second half with the Blues' complacency and a string of sloppy errors gifting VIllarreal several good chances.

Eventually, Chelsea's luck run out with Gerard Moreno scoring a deserved equaliser.

One Marcos Alonso effort aside, Villarreal looked the most likely to score a winner, but in the end neither side broke the deadlock.

This meant the game went to extra time, something that was not universally popular with social media.

Unsurprisingly, extra time was completely pointless - simply delaying the inevitable of a penalty shootout.

The only highlight of the additional period was when Thomas Tuchel decided to bring Kepa Arrizabalaga on for the spot kicks.

Well, it makes a change from him refusing to come off for penalties.

The shootout was full of twists of turns. After ten spot kicks - and a Kepa yellow card - the scores were level at 4-4. Christian Pulisic and Juan Foyth then converted in the first round of sudden death.

Antonio Rudiger scored in the next round, which meant Raul Albiol had to net to keep his side in the tie. The veteran did not manage it with Kepa saving down to his left, justifying Tuchel's decision to stick him in goal.

The Spaniard looked delighted, which is understandable considering the tough year he's had. He was the hero in Belfast, though, confirming Chelsea's status as being slightly better than the team that won the Europa League last season. What. A. Final.


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