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Chelsea win UEFA Super Cup on penalties

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Substitute goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga made two shootout saves as Champions League winners Chelsea beat Spain’s Villarreal 6-5 on penalties to add the UEFA Super Cup to their trophy collection on Wednesday.

Extra time had ended 1-1 at Belfast’s Windsor Park ground, with Chelsea replacing goalkeeper Edouard Mendy with Kepa in the final seconds in what turned out to be a master-stroke as penalties loomed.

The freshest player on a field of tired legs saved first from Aissa Mandi at 1-1 and then made the winning stop at 6-5 when Villarreal captain and 2010 World Cup winner Raul Albiol hit the ball to the bottom left.

Mendy was one of the first to congratulate his team mate, with Chelsea lifting the trophy for a second time.

Hakim Ziyech had put Chelsea ahead in the 27th minute, sweeping in from 12 yards after a perfectly measured cross from Kai Havertz on the left.

The Morocco international, an unused substitute when Chelsea beat Manchester City 1-0 in the Champions League final in Porto on May 29, then went off injured four minutes before the break.

He returned with his arm in a sling to watch the rest of the match from the bench.

Villarreal, the Europa League holders with a noisy contingent of some 1,000 fans among the 13,000-strong crowd on a clear evening in Northern Ireland, hit the woodwork either side of halftime.

Their equaliser came as no surprise, with Gerard Moreno — who scored against Manchester United before the Europa League final in Gdansk went to penalties — came to the rescue in the 73rd with a side-foot finish after a back-heel from Boulaye Dia.

It was Moreno’s eighth goal in his last nine European appearances for Villarreal.

Reuters

Photo – Chelsea FC’s players celebrate their victory against Villarreal CF after the SuperCup match between Chelsea FC and Villarreal CF at Windsor Park stadium in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Britain, 11 August 2021. EPA-EFE/Juan Carlos Cardenas