Chelsea Boss Thomas Tuchel Reacts To UEFA Super Cup Win Over Villarreal.

Chelsea defeats Villarreal to claim the 2021 UEFA Super Cup title on Wednesday night.

Chelsea had beat Manchester City in the Champions League final, while Villarreal saw off Manchester United in the Europa League to claim their first ever European title as the pair met at the Windsor Park in Belfast for the Super Cup title.

The Blues emerge winners over the yellow submarines following a 6-5 win via penalties after the game had ended in a 1-1 draw after full-time and extra-time.

Cheered on by well over 1,000 travelling fans who were in great voice and good spirit, Hakim Ziyech got the first goal for the Blues in the 27th minute, before Gerrard Moreno equalized for Villarreal in the 73rd minute.

The Moroccan Ziyech has been in scintillating form since the end of the season, putting in another noteworthy reminder to Tuchel that he is still a big part of the Blues squad this season before he was forced off with injury, a huge blow after his form had been building into a strong start to the league season this Saturday.

Chelsea last won the Super Cup in 1998, However, they have lost their three subsequent appearances in 2012, 2013 and 2019.

Villarreal were competing in the Super Cup for the first time. The last Spanish team to have won it, were Atletico Madrid in 2018.

In a tale of the goalkeepers, Tuchel took the bold decision to save a substitute and bring on Kepa, with the hope that the Spaniard can use his more than handy penalty record to bring the Super Cup back to Stamford Bridge. Villarreal, who won the Europa League after an epic penalty shootout against Manchester United had ended the game on the back foot as Chelsea looked to force a winner.

Champions League star Havertz was the first to miss, seeing his spot kick saved by Asenjo, but just two ball kicks later Kepa restored parity by saving Mandi’s effort. It was King Kepa in Belfast though as Raul Albiol’s weak penalty was easily saved by the Spanish stopper who also played in the shootout in the 2019 final to Liverpool on penalties under Frank Lampard.


Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel reacting to the Super Cup win said;

"Physically this was the worst thing that could happen to us, playing extra time. Mentally, it was the best thing to happen.

"We didn't want to break our heads and share minutes. We had all these discussions and thoughts. Do we share minutes? Do we continue the preparation phase? Do we use this match to be ready for Saturday? We decided no, we will play this match to win it and nothing else.

"We went with the team that played against Arsenal and Tottenham to be in the best shape possible. Are we 100% of our capacity? No, absolutely not. But we are ready to play football matches at a certain level. We had to suffer because you could see that after 35 minutes that things got hard for us.

"We had some easy ball losses, it was hard with closed spaces and unfortunately in the second half, we continued like this after a strong 35 minutes in the beginning. They deserved their equaliser because we allowed lot of chances.

"I was very impressed with our reaction after 75 minutes because we had total control of the game again. We played a very good match until the 120th minute.

"So there were a lot of good things. Physically, we overused players who were not ready to play 120 minutes. We only have two days now until the next match against Crystal Palace so that does not help us.

"But this is the schedule. We came with many players who didn't even play a friendly match so far. This the situation and it helps nobody if we say we're not ready. We have to adapt, to be as ready as we can be in our mindset, and give our best on Saturday."

On his decision to put Kepa on at that stage of the game (119th mins), Tuchel said obviously it was planned.

"Of course, I mentioned since I arrived that we have an unbelievable amount of quality in our support structure at the club. This is one of our examples.

"When we arrived in my first cup game against Barnsley, we had this talk with the goalkeeping coaches and the analysis department who came up with these statistics that Willy Caballero is the best in penalty saving from thousands of them, second best was Kepa and third best in Edou in this statistic. 

"We spoke to the goalkeepers openly that it can be like this in a situation like today that we take this change, not for personal reasons, but to help the team's chances because we have this statistic.

"Willy is not here anymore in the three. It showed all the fantastic spirit that they accept it and have no problem. When you see Mendy put his ego aside when we take this decision, and he is aware, this is key, why we do it. This is not a feeling and just a sudden idea of the manager.

"This was planned and openly discussed with the goalkeepers and I am very happy that they showed this team spirit that Edou was fine to take this for the team. You still need luck but everyone knows how it is. Thanks to the support and luck, Kepa could show and prove his quality."

CloudNine Sports understands that Thomas Tuchel since his appointment to take over a struggling Chelsea in January 2021, has gone on to reach the FA Cup final, won the Champions League and UEFA Super Cup titles in just 31 games in charge.

He becomes the first Chelsea manager in history to win both the Champions League and Super Cup.

The German manager also ended Chelsea losing streak in the Super Cup since they last won it against Real Madrid in 1998, and went on to loose on three occasions, ( against Atletico Madrid in 2012, Bayern Munich in 2013, and Liverpool in 2019).

The Blues will now return home to face Crystal Palace in the Premier League opening matchday fixture on Saturday.

They still expect to complete the signing of Belgian and Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku who landed in London earlier in the evening.

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