Chelsea defeat UEFA Europa league champions Villarreal in the 2021 UEFA Super cup.
Kepa came off the bench and saved two penalties in the shoot-out to push Chelsea past Villarreal after Gerard Moreno had cancelled out Hakim Ziyech’s goal in regulation time of the 2021 UEFA Super Cup.
Having dispatched Atlético and Real Madrid on their way to UEFA Champions League glory last season, Chelsea were understandably confident and commanding in the early stages against another Spanish opponent.
Villarreal had been unruffled by setbacks when staying composed to see off English outfits Arsenal and Manchester United in their final two UEFA Europa League assignments last term, and those characteristics served them well after the resumption in Belfast.
A match that the west London club won in the penalty shootouts. Tuchel’s gamble paid off eventually when Antonio Rüdiger made it 6-5 and Kepa parried Raúl Albiol’s effort to give the Blues their second UEFA Super Cup.
Villarreal striker Gerard Moreno insists they gave everything after defeat in the Super Cup final to Chelsea.
“It wasn’t meant to be for us, but today is a day to be proud. Proud of the team, of the fans, of what the club is, of what the people are. [We’re] now competing with the best. Chelsea were the favourites.
“For me, they’re the best team in the world.”
Villarreal head coach Unai Emery also said: “It’s an honour to represent this club, Villarreal and La Liga on a day like today. You cannot fault the players for anything because they’ve put in a fantastic effort.”