Everyone knows how good Kepa Arrizabalaga is in this situation so there's no blame, asserts Thomas Tuchel
Tuchel extends support to Kepa|
Thomas Tuchel has admitted that his decision to introduce goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga into the match didn’t work out as he had hoped since the goalkeeper was unable to save a spotkick and blazed his effort high to concede the game. Liverpool beat Chelsea through penalties to claim the EFL Cup .
Liverpool and Chelsea met at the Wembley Stadium as both teams made their intentions of achieving their first silverware of the season come to fruition on Sunday. The match was made memorable by the fact that both teams missed chances with Edouard Mendy being called into action first to deny Naby Keita and Sadio Mane in quick succession in the first half.
Mason Mount then missed two glaring opportunities to give the London side the advantage although Mohamed Salah was unable to make him pay as his chipped effort was cleared off the line by Thiago Silva.
Kai Havertz and Romelu Lukaku had the ball in the back of the net in extra time of the game although both efforts were ruled out for offside. Chelsea boss Tuchel introduced Kepa in the 119th minute ahead of the shootout but Liverpool scored all 11 of their penalties while the Spaniard blasted over his shot to hand the trophy to Liverpool. Tuchel was quick to point out that a similar strategy worked earlier against Villarreal in the UEFA Super Cup but opted not to blame Kepa.
"We did it before with Kepa, he is slightly better in penalty saving and that is why I made the decision. We took the decision like we did last time in a penalty shootout because Kepa is training with the players [for penalties] on a daily basis and they know how good he is,” Tuchel said after the game to Sky Sports.
“Unfortunately, he couldn't make a save – their penalties were brilliantly taken – and it was a bit harsh on him that he was the guy to miss the one and only penalty, but there is no blame," he added.