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Opinion: How Tuchel's Decision To Substitute Mendy For Kepa Proved To Be A Tactical Masterclass

Kepa Arizzabalaga was the unlikely hero as Chelsea beat Villareal 6-5 on penalties to win the UEFA Super Cup in Belfast yesterday.

Chelsea made the ideal start in Belfast and controlled most parts of the game during the first half. Their eventually paid off after Hakeem Ziyech scored the opener of the day. The Morrocan was in the right place to fire home the opener from a Kai Havertz pullback.

However, upon the resumption of the second period, Thomas Tuchel's side were pegged back by Villareal as they went in search of an equaliser. Gerrard Moreno eventually finished off a well worked move with a touch of expertise in the Chelsea box bringing the game to a 1-1 draw at full time.

Extra time came and went and the outcome of the game was decided in a penalty shoot out, as the Blues came out on top 6-5 to lift the Super Cup.

However, it is worthy to note that Chelsea's victory today was as a result of Thomas Tuchel's decision to substitute Mendy for Kepa.

Tuchel's decision to replace Mendy with Kepa was not expected by anybody giving the fact that Mendy has been the club's number one option in the past few months.

Eventually, it turned out that Thomas Tuchel's decision to replace Mendy with Kepa was actually a tactical Masterclass. 

The goalkeeper was only introduced into the game in the final moments of extra-time, but produced two big saves in the shootout.

Content created and supplied by: Prechdaklins (via Opera News )

Belfast Chelsea Gerrard Moreno Hakeem Ziyech Kepa Arizzabalaga

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