Chelsea’s first ever game against Villarreal and first competitive fixture at Belfast’s Windsor Park ended in a victory and silverware for the Blues with the UEFA Super Cup thanks to goalkeeper Kepa last penalty kick save in a 6-5 shoot out win.
This season-opening match-up between the winners of the Champions League and the side that lifted the Europa League trophy began with tonight’s Chelsea captain, N’Golo Kante, and his equivalent from Villarreal bringing on the trophies won back in May to sit alongside the smaller one up for grabs in this game.
The European champions had been mostly the superior side during that first 45 minutes, with Timo Werner having gone closest to joining Ziyech on the scoresheet, but Villarreal proved they were no easy pushovers, did force one good save from Edouard Mendy and struck woodwork in the last action before the interval, and they then did the same early in the second half.
After the 90 minutes ended 1-1 and extra time added no further goals, a penalty shoot-out stretched to sudden death. Kai Havertz had missed Chelsea’s first kick but Kepa, brought on especially for the pens, saved two of them (and was booked!) to spark great scenes with his team-mates and end what had been a bit of penalty shoot-out hoodoo for the Blues in this competition.
Chelsea completed the double lifting this season’s Champions League and the Super Cup.
The Blues have now lifted the UEFA Super Cup twice with this year’s victory added to the one when we beat another Spanish side in Real Madrid in 1998 – Gustavo Poyet the lone goalscorer on that occasion.
Chelsea were the only club ever to have lost a UEFA Super Cup on penalties previously – and had done so twice, missing out to Bayern Munich that way in 2013 and Liverpool two years ago – but it is an unwanted record we no longer have.
mysilveronline | with files from Chelseafc.com