Thomas Tuchel explains why he chose Kepa Arrizabalaga for penalty shootouts

August 12th, 2021 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has revealed that Kepa Arrizabalaga has always been his go-to for penalty shootouts since he first arrived at the club.

The most notable moment of extra-time was Chelsea replacing their first choice goalkeeper Edouard Mendy with Kepa in the final minute, primarily for spotkicks.

The German coach has been speaking as his players celebrate on the Windsor Park pitch.

“It was not spontaneous. We talked about it with the goalkeepers when we came and had our first cup game against Barnsley. We had some statistics that Kepa has the best percentage when it comes to saving penalties.

“The analysing guys and goalkeeper coaches introduced me to the data, and then we spoke to the players and told them that this could happen when we play in knockout games.

“It’s fantastic how Edou[ard Mendy] accepts it. We needed to do what was good for the team. There is proof that Kepa is better at this discipline. These guys are true team players. I am happy for Kepa and happy for Edou.”

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