Goalkeeper Capa Arizabalaga came off the bench to save two shootouts as Champions League winners Chelsea beat Spain’s Villarreal 6-5 on penalties to add to the UEFA Super Cup.
Extra time at Belfast’s Windsor Park Stadium ended 1-1, with Chelsea fighting for a capa for Edward Mandy in the final second, which proved to be the game’s tactical master stroke.
The latest player in the field of tired legs has already saved Aisa Mandi 1-1, after Kai Hawartz missed for Chelsea, and paved the way for a 6-5 victory when Valerie captain and 2010 World Cup winners Raul Al Bayul hit the ball down to the left.
Mandy was one of the first to congratulate his team-mate Chelsea on winning the trophy for the second time.
Chelsea manager Thomas Tachel said of the goalkeeper switch: “It was definitely not uncommon.
“We had some statistics, we were well prepared. Capa is the best percentage in saving penalties. The analyst boys, the goalkeeper coaches showed me the data and then we talked to the players that it could happen.
The German added, “And since then they know and it’s amazing how Edo accepts it.” “Capa is good at this discipline and these people are the true players of the team.”
Mandy said she has no strong feelings. “Of course I’m happy because we won,” Senegal International told BT Sport Television.
Hakeem Zia put Chelsea ahead in the 27th minute, sweeping to the left from a 12-yard cross after a perfectly measured cross from Kai Hawartz.
Morocco International, an unused substitute when Chelsea beat Manchester City 1-0 in the Champions League final in Porto on May 29, then injured four minutes before the break after a clash with Juan Fueth.
Zach returned to the bench with his right arm to watch the rest of the match, while Christian Plisk replaced him.
Vallarl, Europa League holders hit woodwork on both sides at halftime on a clear evening in Northern Ireland with a noisy contingent of about 1,000 to 1,000 spectators amid 13,000 strong crowds.
Many scoring opportunities were lost between the two teams and both keepers made significant savings.
Gerard Moreno – who scored against Manchester United before the Europa League final in Gdansk – saved Uni Emery’s side at number 73 after going on a penalty, preventing him from losing a side foot after a back heel.
This was Moreno’s eighth goal in the last nine European matches for Valerie.
“It was hard, 120 minutes,” said Tachel. “We were very strong in the first 30-35 minutes and then we lost a few easy balls after our goal.
“We were very strong until the end, right after we recognized the target.”
Police had a good chance in the 99th, the ball was just wide, while Mason Mount pushed a shot for a corner in the 108th.
Chelsea have now turned their attention to the start of the Premier League season, signed by Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku, with an opening match at home to Crystal Palace on Saturday.