Super Cup Final: Chelsea vs Villarreal 11/8/21 – Full Match Report

Kepa Arrizabalaga steals the show in Belfast as Chelsea win shoot-out at Windsor Park.


Pre-game:

After a summer jam-packed with football, Wednesday night saw European action return as the Super Cup final took place in Belfast.


The Champions League winners (Chelsea) took on the Europa League winners (Villarreal) at Windsor Park, with both teams desperate to begin the season on a positive note by clinching silverware.


Despite having a disrupted pre-season with players returning to training in drips and drabs, the Blues saw success in their early friendlies – remaining unbeaten in their four games.


There were promising signs from Tuchel’s side, especially with younger fridge players such as Dujon Sterling and Trevoh Chalobah. Both players caught the eye with impressive performances in pre-season, which resulted in Chalobah earning a place in the starting eleven against Villarreal.

Chelsea’s positive start opposes the form of Villarreal, who failed to find a win in any of their six pre-season games. Their opponents included two fellow English clubs in Leicester and Leeds.


For the final, Thomas Tuchel listed the same team that started in last week’s draw against Tottenham. Notably, Hakim Ziyech, Kai Havertz and Timo Werner led the Chelsea attack, with defender Antonio Rüdiger also making his 150th appearance for the club.


First half:

In traditional style, both teams led by their respective captains brought their European titles onto the pitch. The stage was set in Belfast, with both teams looking up for the occasion.


In fact, it was Chelsea that started brightest. There was a chance for Timo Werner in the opening minutes as the German improvised to make contact from what seemed a wasted corner kick. However, a brilliant reflex stop from Sergio Asenjo denied Werner a dream opener.


Just three minutes later, Tuchel’s side came close again with the most unlikeliest of scorers.


N’Golo Kanté did brilliantly to win the ball back for his side, before aiming to then whip the ball into the bottom corner from outside the area. The Frenchman isn’t known for shooting abilities, but on this occasion his effort was close – falling just wide of Asenjo’s post.


It’s fair to say that the London club perhaps deserved a goal for their early efforts, which is exactly what they were granted on the 27th minute.


The Blues pushed forward with Kai Havertz, who then played a dangerous pass across the face of goal which missed the movement of Timo Werner. Following up behind the German was Hakim Ziyech, who continued his pre-season form by converting into an open net.

Despite Chelsea having the lead, goalkeeper Édouard Mendy was called into action just minutes later to deny fellow Senegalese international Boulaye Dia. Blue’s defender Marcos Alonso responded with an effort of his own as Chelsea moved possession to the other end of the pitch, but the Spaniard was denied by another impressive stop by Asenjo.


Tuchel’s side later had another chance which fell for Kurt Zouma. However, the Frenchman was unable to punish Villarreal from close range.


Unfortunately for Chelsea, goalscorer Hakim Ziyech was forced to be substitued after receiving an injury to his shoulder. Christian Pulisic was then brought on as his replacement.


As the first half came to a close, Unai Emery’s side saw their best chance of the first half as former Liverpool defender Alberto Moreno saw his volley smash the crossbar. The powerful effort was always rising, but had Mendy well-beaten.


In all honesty, Chelsea could count themselves fortunate to be going into the break with the lead as the ball was inches away from crossing the line.

Second half:

After regrouping at half-time, the La Liga club started the second half how they ended the first – by rattling the frame of the goal.


This time it was Villarreal’s top scorer from last season, Gerard Moreno. However, replays showed that Mendy was able to get a fingertip on to the shot, which helped to glide the effort onto the post.

As the game rolled on, the Spanish club were able to edge their way into the game – with Mendy becoming more active as the clock ticked on. On the 73rd minute, Villarreal’s attackers were able to link-up well inside the penalty area – which resulted in Moreno converting the game’s equaliser.

With the team teams now locked at 1-1, the closest that any side came to a winner came in the last minute of the game. Defender Marcos Alonso burst forward with an attacking run, but saw his shot hit the wrong side of the netting.


Referee Sergei Karasev then blew his whistle for full-time, with the game needing extra-time to help determine a winner.

Extra-time:

An additional 30 minutes were now required to be played. With both sides coming off the back of pre-season, playing even more football was going to challenge with both sides being pushed to their limits.


Nine minutes into extra-time, there was a chance for Christian Pulisic to put his name in lights as he almost looked destine to convert the third goal of the game. The American charged onto a loose ball at full speed, yet wasn’t able to guide his effort on target.

Frustration looked to build, with both sides eager to clinch silverware so early on in the season.


On the 17th minute, Chelsea came close again as Mason Mount saw his shot saved by Asenjo – who continued to impress on the night.


Despite the chances, the most talked about moment of extra-time came with just two minutes to go as Thomas Tuchel swapped his goalkeepers ahead of the shoot-out.


Kepa Arrizabalaga came on in the place of Édouard Mendy, with all the pressure going on the Spaniard to be Chelsea’s hero. Swapping goalkeepers ahead of a shoot-out is something that has proved to be successful before – most notably with the Netherlands in the 2014 World Cup.

Chelsea fans were hoping for something similar in Belfast.


Penalties:

With penalties then set to be played, here’s how the shoot-out resulted:


CHELSEA: Havertz (Saved) 0-0.

VILLARREAL: Moreno (Goal). 0-1.

CHELSEA: Azpilicueta (Goal) 1-1.

VILLARREAL: Mandi (Saved). 1-1.

CHELSEA: Alonso (Goal). 2-1.

VILLARREAL: Estupiñán (Goal). 2-2.

CHELSEA: Mount (Goal). 3-2.

VILLARREAL: Gómez (Goal). 3-3.

CHELSEA: Jorignho (Goal). 4-3.

VILLARREAL: Raba (Goal). 4-4.

CHELSEA: Pulisic (Goal). 5-4.

VILLARREAL: Foyth (Goal). 5-5.

CHELSEA: Rüdiger (Goal). 6-5.

VILLARREAL: Albiol (Saved). 6-5.

After the whistle:

Having played in three Super Cup’s in within the last decade (2012, 2013, 2019), Chelsea had lost all of them – with the previous two being defeats on penalties. This time, the Blues were able to flip the script and put their names on the Super Cup in Belfast.


Since being appointed as Chelsea manager in January, Thomas Tuchel seems to have changed the football club and re-created it’s ‘winning mentality’. Last season, the German did a phenomenal job to win the London club their second-ever Champions League. Now with the extra scoring threat of Romelu Lukaku – Chelsea look a real threat for all competitions next season.


Alongside pre-season, the game against Villarreal was a fantastic way to begin the 2021/22 campaign. Although the Blues still have a list of players returning to full fitness, they can now look ahead to Saturday’s opener against Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge.


As for Unai Emery and Villarreal, they will be looking to put pre-season and the Super Cup behind them. They begin their domestic campaign on August 16th against Granada.


Final score:

Chelsea 1-1 Villarreal (6-5 pens).

- Ziyech (27’).

- Moreno (73’).

BBC Sports player of the match:

Kai Havertz (Chelsea).

Line-ups:

Chelsea (3-4-2-1): Mendy (119’); Chalobah, Zouma (66’), Rüdiger; Hudson-Odoi (62’), Kanté © (65’), Kovačić, Alonso; Ziyech (43’), Havertz; Werner (65’).

- Subs: Pulisic (43’), Azpilicueta (62’). Jorginho (65’), Mount (65’), Christesen (66’), Arrizabalga (119’).


Villarreal (4-4-2): Asenjo; Foyth, Albiol ©, Torres, Pedraza (58’); Pino (90’), Trigueros (71), Capoue (70’), Moreno (85’); Moreno, Dia (86’).

- Subs: Estupiñán (58’), Gaspar (70’), Gómez (71), Morlanes (85’), Raba (86’), Mandi (90’).


Referee:

Sergei Karasev.


Attendance:

10,435.

Possession:

Chelsea (62%) vs Villarreal (38%).


Shots:

Chelsea (20) vs Villarreal (12).

Shots on target:

Chelsea (7) vs Villarreal (5).

Corners:

Chelsea (9) vs Villarreal (5).

Fouls:

Home (10) vs Away (15).

- (credit | BBC Sport).


Match highlights:

- (credit | BT Sport).

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Written by Ryan Bellenie (@BellenieSport).


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