Soccer

Tuchel explains the “statistics” behind Kepa replacement in Super Cup

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel says the decision to bring in Kepa Arrizabalga and take out Edouard Mendy in the last minute of the Super Cup was pre-planned.

Kepa was Chelsea’s hero at the Super Cup Wednesday night as he saved two penalties in the last minute of extra time, resulting in the Blues win over Villarreal. Kepa blocked Aissa Mandi and then saved Raul Albiol’s defensive kick, ending in a 6-5 shootout win.

How did Tuchel decide to make the Kepa substitution?

Tuchel explained that the substitution was “not spontaneous” and that they’d spoken about it with the goalkeepers beforehand. He said that the decision was based on statistics. "The analysis guys and the goalkeeping coaches showed me, introduced me to the data, then we spoke with the players, that this can happen when we play in a knockout game, and since then they know.”

He said that Eduoard Mendy showed good sportsmanship and was happy to step off the field to allow Kepa to step in. He said that he does what’s best for the team. "I am happy for Kepa and happy for Eddy, to have a goalkeeper like this, to not show the pride to not step off the field, and is happy to do it for the team, to take one for the team. It's top."