English Premier League side Chelsea has beaten Spain’s Villarreal 6-5 on penalties to claim the UEFA Super Cup after playing out a 1-1 draw in Belfast.
Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga was the hero, making two penalty saves after coming on in the final seconds, expressly for the shoot out.
Arrizabalaga, who famously refused to come off the pitch under similar circumstances in the 2019 League Cup final, a match Chelsea lost to Manchester City in a shoot out, completed his redemption at Windsor Park.
Manager Thomas Tuchel told BT Sport after the game, “from the data guys, we were statistically prepared that Kepa was the best at saving penalties.”
His decision appeared vindicated, despite starting keeper Edouard Mendy making some key saves throughout the entertaining contest.
The 26-year-old Spanish keeper first saved Aïssa Mandi’s spot kick, which cancelled out Kai Havertz’s first-up miss.
He then denied Raúl Albiol in sudden death to give Chelsea their first silverware of the season.
Moroccan midfielder Hakim Ziyech had earlier gave the Champions League winners a 27th-minute lead.
However, Europa League winners Villarreal came back in the second half to equalise through Gerard Moreno in the 73rd minute.
The Super Cup is a pre-season match between the winner of last season’s Champions League and Europa League, which was played at Windsor Park in Northern Ireland.
Chelsea, who beat Manchester City in last year’s Champions League final, will open their English Premier League season against Crystal Palace at home on Sunday.
Villarreal will open their La Liga account on Monday against Granada.