What Kepa Arrizabalaga and Edouard Mendy said about Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea substitution call

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What Kepa Arrizabalaga and Edouard Mendy said about Thomas Tuchel's Chelsea substitution call

The two goalkeepers were at the centre of the headlines on Wednesday evening as the Blues overcame Villarreal on penalties, with Kepa replacing Edouard Mendy before the shootout.

Chelsea goalkeepers Kepa Arrizabalaga and Edouard Mendy have expressed their delight at having lifted the UEFA Super Cup.

The two goalkeepers were at the centre of things at Windsor Park, the Senegalese international playing the full 90 and the vast majority of extra-time, before getting replaced by the former Athletic Club stopper with the Blues anticipating a penalty shoot-out.

That situation transpired and Kepa proved to be the hero of the hour as he denied Aissa Mandi and Raul Albiol from the spot to help claim the Super Cup for Chelsea.

It was certainly an inspired choice from Blues boss Tuchel and Kepa revealed following the game that he was always prepared to be introduced, an aspect that certainly paid off with the win.

Speaking to BT Sport following the game, the Spaniard said: “With the penalties, we did a fantastic job. It was a tough game against a very difficult team and we finally won, we are so proud. The other team did a fantastic job.

“It’s not a normal situation, but I was ready because I knew this could happen, so I tried to be ready physically and mentally.”

Meanwhile, the man who was replaced, Mendy, also expressed his satisfaction at claiming more silverware with the Blues and reserved special praise for his goalkeeping colleague.

The 29-year-old said: “Of course I’m happy because we won. I knew since last year if Kepa came on the pitch we would help the team, he did today and I’m really happy.

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“It’s a team effort, and when you play for Chelsea, you play for success and titles. We are happy.”

Following the game, Blues boss Thomas Tuchel revealed that the substitution was pre-planned should the match head towards a shootout.

“This was planned and openly discussed with the goalkeepers and I am very happy that they showed this team spirit that Edou [Mendy] was fine to take this for the team. You still need luck but everyone knows how it is. Thanks to the support and luck, Kepa could show and prove his quality,” the German said in his press conference.

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