Hakim Ziyech was on target as Chelsea needed penalties to defeat Villarreal in the final of the Uefa Super Cup on Wednesday evening.
It was a bitter-sweet night for the winger who had to be substituted in the first half after dislocating his shoulder soon after giving the Blues the lead against their Spanish opponents. Christian Pulisic eventually replaced the Morocco international in the 43rd minute of the encounter.
Ziyech opened the scoring in the 27th minute of the game after some nice work by Kai Havertz down the left wing. The former Ajax Amsterdam star made a surging run into the box before slotting the ball past Villarreal goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo.
Villarreal striker Gerrard Moreno came close to levelling matters in the second half, but he hit the far post. Moreno was not to be denied as he eventually scored the equaliser in the 73rd minute to give the Yellow Submarine a fighting chance in the last 17 minutes of the game.
It was all square after 90 minutes and Kepa Arrizabalaga was the hero of the day after saving two penalties, from Aissa Mandi and Raul Albiol to ensure that the London side clinched the Super Cup.
After the game, manager Thomas Tuchel explained the decision to bring on Kepa for the all-important shoot-out.
“It was not spontaneous.
“We talked about it with the goalkeepers after the first cup game against Barnsley.
“Kepa has the best percentage at saving penalties. The analysing guys and goalkeeping coaches showed me the data. We spoke to the players and told them this could happen when we play in knockout games.”
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By FARPost Reporter