How Kepa made Rio Ferdinand eat his words in ten minutes

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Kepa Arrizabalaga was the hero for Chelsea in the Super Cup, saving two penalties as the Blues emerged victorious against Villarreal.

Kepa kept out Aissa Mandi and Raul Albiol as the Blues emerged victorious by six penalties to five after the game ended 1-1 after 120 minutes.

Speaking prior to the shootout, Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand told BT Sport that he didn’t understand the substitution. Ferdinand indeed admitted that he saw Chelsea losing the kicks with Kepa in goal.

The ex-Manchester United defender said: “Normally, you’d be thinking, ‘why am I coming off, I need to be on, I’m the number one goalkeeper’.

“But he [Mendy] seemed very accepting in this situation, maybe it was spoken about beforehand.

“I don’t remember thinking Kepa is a dominant goalkeeper when it comes to penalties, correct me if I’m wrong, but they must’ve planned this, gives him a bit of confidence, but I don’t know – it’s crazy.

“With Mendy in goal, I fancied Chelsea, but now, I’m not too sure. I don’t mean to sound disrespectful to Kepa, but Mendy is such a composed, confident goalkeeper, he fills you with confidence, the size he is, he fills the goal.

“Now, I think it’s much more even.”

However, Ferdinand was proven wrong by Kepa, as the United legend ate his words after the shootout.

He said: “He’s been under immense pressure, immense scrutiny, since he’s come to the club for various reasons and I think you can see today, after this save, what his presence is like, what he means to the squad.

“They were all over him straight away, to a man, what it meant to them, and they were bang on him. Obviously, Thomas Tuchel knew something we didn’t.

“Before every penalty was taken, he was right up in the faces of the Villarreal players, he’s got something about him, he’s got character, and you get your rewards sometimes for hard work.

“Behind the scenes, he’s obviously putting in the hard work and he got his rewards today.”

About the Author

VICTOR N
Chelsea is more than just a football club to me; it's a passion I share, and my affinity with the Chelsea badge is one that will last forever. As far as watching my favourite team is concerned, I'd rather miss a meal than miss a Chelsea game.