Kepa Arrizabalaga: Chelsea FC manager Thomas Tuchel explains ‘statistics’ behind Super Cup shootout substitute decision
Thomas Tuchel says his decision to bring on Kepa Arrizabalaga for the shootout in the Super Cup was pre-planned and based on “statistics” of his penalty save percentage.
Kepa was the Chelsea hero as he replaced Edouard Mendy in the last minute of extra time before saving two penalties to help the Blues beat Villarreal.
The Spanish goalkeeper denied Aissa Mandi and then saved Raul Albiol’s decisive kick to clinch a 6-5 shootout victory in Belfast.
Explaining the decision to bring on Kepa, Tuchel told BT Sport: “It was not spontaneous.
“We talked about it with the goalkeepers when we came and had the first cup game against Barnsley.
“So we had some statistics, we were well prepared, that Kepa is the best in percentage in saving penalties.
“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.