Chelsea and Villarreal were the latest sides to step up to the plate in the annual UEFA Super Cup which, as we know, pits the winners of the Champions League against the winners of the Europa League. The Blues were considered the favourites but were made to work for it by a determined Villarreal side who, ultimately, pushed it all the way to penalties before Thomas Tuchel’s men secured the win.
Chelsea push through
Chelsea had some real moments of struggle in this game and at points it seemed as if they were going to lose their heads – but in the end, they persevered and showed the kind of “champion heart” that some suggested they’d been missing in recent times. They’ve been at the pinnacle of the beautiful game and some would argue that’s where they’re still at, but beyond all the noise and chaos, fans must just be happy to see some stability within their ranks.
Villarreal show heart
They hit the post twice, they equalised, and they came within inches of actually winning the trophy. Given the fact that Villarreal were underdogs in the Europa League final, we’d say this serves as pretty solid progression for them. They’ll head into the new La Liga season with a whole lot of confidence after a display like this, and they’ll fancy their chances with regards to making some noise in the group stage of the Champions League. They may not go deep into the knockouts, but they should give a few teams a bloody nose along the way.
Kepa Arizzabalaga was trusted with the task of being the man who tried to save the day in the penalty shootout and that’s precisely what he did. Mendy knew that Kepa coming on for the penalties was going to be a possibility, and he handled it with the kind of class you’d expect from one of the best goalkeepers in the world. It was an effective night at the office for Kepa who certainly put himself out there and reminded the world why he’s valued so highly.
Chelsea: Arrizabalaga (5), Rudiger (7.5), Christensen (6.5), Chalobah (7.5), Alonso (8), Kovacic (8), Jorginho (6.5), Azpilicueta (7), Mount (7), Pulisic (6.5), Havertz (6.5), Werner (6.5), Ziyech (7.5), Kante (7), Hudson-Odoi (6), Zouma (6.5), Mendy (7)
Villarreal: Asenjo (8), Gaspar (6.5), Mandi (6), Albiol (6), Torres (6.5), Estupinan (7), Morlanes (6), Foyth (8), Gomez (6.5), Moreno (7.5), Raba (6.5), Dia (7), Moreno (6.5), Trigueros (6.5), Capoue (6.5), Pino (6.5), Pedraza (6)
Referee: Sergey Karasev
Goals: Ziyech :: Moreno
Yellow Cards: Arrizabalaga, Rudiger, Raba, Pino
Red Cards: N/A
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