1. Not Falling For Body Feints.
This is one of the things players do to put off goalkeepers while taking a penalty kick. A player can slow down his run up, skip steps or delay while taking a penalty and some goalkeepers just fall for such tricks. Stars like Neymar, Pogba, Jorginho and Mait-land Niles use some of these tricks to put goalkeepers off and score their penalty kicks. For Kepa, he anticipates these things and knows how to handle them well.
Players have used all sort of tricks against the Chelsea goalkeeper but time and time again, they don't get to him. Against Eintract Frankfurt in the Europa League in 2018, Villarreal in the Super Cup and Aston Villa yesterday, Kepa has shown that it takes more than body feints or run-up delays to put him off during penalty kicks. Whereas for De Gea, the Manchester United goalkeeper sometimes go too early and don't have the nerves to wait until the last second before making the dive.
2. Playing Mind Games.
One of the things Chelsea's Kepa does before facing a penalty kick in a shootout is trying to get in the head of the opponent. This is a psychological way of making the opponent have double thoughts on if they will actually score against Kepa or miss. For me, I call this the battle of nerves. Take a look at the picture below, Kepa could be seen face to face with an Aston Villa player, talking to him just before he takes the penalty.
The Chelsea goalkeeper did this against Villareal (got a yellow card for it), Raul Albiol to be exact and the Villareal man missed his penalty. We don't know what the Chelsea goalkeeper tells these players but we've seen legendary goalkeepers in the past using this method to put a player off during penalty shootouts. Julio Cesar and Diego Alves are two of the best goalkeepers in the past who have used this tactics during a penalty shootout to gain the mental edge over their opponents.
Photo Credit: Google
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