The Spanish goalkeeper couldn’t save any of the penalties of Liverpool at the Carabao Cup Finals, in what may be his final service for his team Chelsea.
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Second only to Mendy
It was a plan before by Chelsea’s boss Thomas Tuchel that Kepa Arrizabalaga will be included to save penalties in the match against Liverpool in the finals of the Carabao Cup.
Although it is hard to blame him because he didn’t start the game in the first place, Tuchel’s first choice of goalkeeper is always Edouard Mendy so he is the one who is placed in the Liverpool match.
However, despite being an expert in saving penalties and helping the team to reach the finals of the Carabao Cup because of his performance in the match against Tottenham Hotspur in January, he is still the second choice.
Kepa has been a good performer in the Carabao Cup, having won two penalty shootouts for the team and also helping them to have clean sheets.
Missed penalty save
In a devastating moment, the goalkeeper missed a penalty on Sunday, although the decision to not let him play in the first round could also mean that his time on the club may be over.
Coach Tuchel could easily tell that Mendy was the best player as he has kept Liverpool at their own place for over 120 minutes. He can also point out that his two goalkeepers were informed beforehand about their respective roles, with Arrizabalaga chosen to save penalties.
The decision of Tuchel to change his goalkeepers at the last minute was judged by many experts but to appear as a result of data analysis being done by the experts at the club.
According to the analysts at Chelsea, they have been watching Kepa’s penalties in every match and in training, and they concluded that Kepa is the pro when it comes to saving penalties among all of the goalkeepers in West London.
The experts were proven right, he has won three of his previous penalty shootouts, which includes the one being done in the start of the season at UEFA Super Cup.
Finally, not even Kepa or Liverpool’s second goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher who started the match before Alisson, could save any of the 21 penalties made at the finals match. However, Kepa blew his penalty shootout after he was omitted to be a part of the first eleven.
According to coach Tuchel, he said “What happened was tough and we felt sorry for him, although we don’t blame him.”
“Just like before, we always sent him for penalties because he had been training with his mates everyday and they knew how excellent he really is. It is just simply that he does this more on the training facilities but Mendy has more experience.”
“Unluckily, he couldn’t make a save today and it was a tricky and tough situation for him although there is no one to blame for this. If there is one to blame, that was me because I’m the coach and I put him in that situation,” Tuchel added.
Many experts believed that despite being the second choice of goalkeeper at Chelsea even though the player is very expensive, they think that the game against Liverpool at the finals of the Carabao Cup could be his last chance to make a good impression before leaving the club.
Chelsea knew that a lot of clubs would have interest in signing the keeper in the summer transfer window. Nevertheless, at least the player restored his skills, he reclaimed the respect of his teammates, and he has done all he can to help the team.
Although his time at Chelsea is over, he will only be remembered for a final match at the Carabao Cup that failed his expectations.