Thomas Tuchel says the process had been in place since his first cup game with the club in February against Barnsleyv as Kepa Arrizabalaga came on as a substitute late in extra-time before saving two spot-kicks.
The Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel says the decision to bring on Kepa Arrizabalaga before penalty shootouts was made months ago as the Spaniard’s heroics helped Chelsea win the Super Cup.

The club No 2 Kepa replaced Chelsea No 1 Edouard Mendy with just a minute to go in extra-time against Villarreal in Belfast, with the score at 1-1, which he later saved two penalties to help the Blues to a 6-5 penalty shootout victory.
Tuchel said after the game that the decision had first been made before Chelsea’s FA Cup tie with Barnsley in February, the German’s first cup game in charge of the club and Mendy’s body language when being replaced suggested the move was planned as the coach said.

Tuchel was full of praise for both goalkeepers, as the European champions made a winning start to competitive action.
“It was not spontaneous, we talked about it with the goalkeepers when we came and had the first cup game against Barnsley. So we had some statistics, we were well prepared, that Kepa is the best in percentage in saving penalties” said Tuchel.
“The analysis guys and the goalkeeping coaches showed me, introduced me to the data, then we spoke with the players, that this can happen when we play in a knockout game, and since then they know.
“It’s fantastic how Eddy accepts it. It’s fantastic how this talk went before the cup game in Barnsley. Since then they know.
“Of course we needed to do what’s good for the team. It was necessary. I’m happy that it worked.
“There is proof that Kepa is better at this discipline. These guys are true team players. I am happy for Kepa and happy for Eddy, to have a goalkeeper like this, to not show the pride to not step off the field, and is happy to do it for the team, to take one for the team. It’s top.”

The hero for the night Kepa spoke after the game: “It’s not a typical situation. Finally we won, and we are so happy. I think all the team did a fantastic job, and we got the medal.
“It’s not a normal situation. But I was ready because I knew that this can happen. I try to be ready mentally, and physically.”

Mendy also commend the effort of the team: “Of course I am happy, because we won. We work for that, for the success, and I knew since last year, if Kepa comes on the pitch, he will help the team, he did today, and I am really happy with Kepa.
“It’s teamwork, it’s a team effort. When you play for Chelsea, you play for success, for titles. We did that together, and we are happy.”

Chelsea took a deserved lead after 27 minutes thanks to Hakim Ziyech but their opponent Villarreal improved from there and earned their equaliser through Gerard Moreno after 73 minutes.
“It was tough, 120 minutes, out of more or less nothing,” he said. “We were very strong in the first 30, 35 minutes, then we lost a bit of easy balls after our goal.
“Second half we were too passive, too many ball losses they equalised, well deserved, right after we conceded the goal we were very strong again. We invested I think more over the 120 minutes, and we deserved to win.” said the manager Tuchel

Chelsea kick off their Premier League season at home to Crystal Palace at 3pm on Saturday, and Tuchel said 120 minutes was not good way to preparation.
“Mentally [tonight was] a good one, physically the worst thing that can happen to play Saturday afternoon. Victory helps us regenerate and we have to be careful now,” he added.
One negative for Chelsea was a worrying shoulder injury for goalscorer Ziyech, who was taken off in the first half and appeared on the sidelines in the second half with his arm in a sling.
“If you take a player out during the first half, it is serious. Unfortunately, because he was a very decisive player for us in the last games.”



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