Kepa Arrizabalaga emerged as the hero while young Trevoh Chalobah impressed as Chelsea beat Villarreal via a penalty shootout to lift the UEFA Super Cup.
Chelsea were all over Villarreal in the first period, dominating the contest from the off. And it paid off just before the half-hour mark when Hakim Ziyech found the back of the net following a clever cutback from Kai Havertz. The La Liga outfit upped the ante after going down though and came close to equalising on the stroke of half-time when Alberto Moreno’s fine effort thundered off the crossbar.
Unai Emery’s men went close again after the break, with Gerard Moreno’s effort being tipped onto the post before finally the Spanish international breached the Chelsea goal after some neat interplay with new signing Boulaye Dia in the 73rd minute. Neither team was unable to find the net a second time, leading the match going to extra-time.
During the added half-hour period, both Chelsea and Villarreal did not create much of note as players grew visibly tired. Eventually, the contest went into the dreaded penalty shootout. Things did not start well for the Blues as Kai Havertz had his spot-kick saved.
But Kepa Arrizabalaga, who had been brought on by Thomas Tuchel late in extra time for the shootout, denied Aissa Mandi to level things up before stopping Raul Albiol’s effort in sudden death to emerge as Chelsea’s hero and lead them to the UEFA Super Cup triumph.
It marks the second trophy of what is proving to be an exciting era under new boss Tuchel and here are our player ratings for the Chelsea stars from the win at Windsor Park.
Edouard Mendy: 7/10
Fine stop to deny Dia in the first half soon after Chelsea had scored. Had a hairy moment in the second half when he hit a poor clearance but redeemed himself by tipping Moreno’s effort onto the post.
Trevoh Chalobah's Super Cup by numbers vs. Villarreal:
95% pass accuracy
5 duels won
2 tackles made
0 fouls conceded
0 x dribbled past
Cobham does it again. 🙌 pic.twitter.com/hJXzdpuZR3
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) August 11, 2021
Trevoh Chalobah: 8/10
Thrown into the deep end by Tuchel after a series of impressive displays in pre-season, the youngster did not disappoint on his competitive debut for Chelsea. Solid at the back, he made a number of crucial interventions, especially in the second half when Villarreal looked the more dominant side. Used the ball well more often than not. Did seem to tire, but held it together for 120 minutes. Very encouraging signs.
Kurt Zouma: 7.5/10
Preferred ahead of Thiago Silva, Andreas Christensen, the Frenchman was rock solid at the heart of the Chelsea defence. Strong in the air and on the ground, he held firm at the back. Should have taken his chance in the first half after being found by Ziyech but fired well over. Made way in the second period.
Antonio Rudiger: 7/10
Typically strong and forceful in the first half, with one of his challenges on Yeremi Pino sparking a war of words on the touchline. Passing was solid all along, although one of his stray ones played a hand in the equalising goal. Dispatched the decisive penalty well.
Callum Hudson-Odoi: 6.5/10
Sharp from the off, Hudson-Odoi, starting as the wing-back caused problems to Alfonso Pedraza on the right flank, although the end product wasn’t always up to the mark. Stood up well to the pressure from Villarreal after the break. Nonetheless, one can see that it is not his best position.
N’Golo Kante: 8/10
✅ FA Cup
✅ Super Cup
Club World Cup 🔜 ?
Club football almost complete for Kante ⏳ pic.twitter.com/0FSR0Su94k
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) August 11, 2021
Carried on from where he had left off in the UEFA Champions League final a few months ago, hustling and bustling in the middle of the park to constantly nick the ball off from the opponents and cut off attacks. Made a few driving runs forward as well before being taken off.
Mateo Kovacic: 7.5/10
Played three key passes and showcased good moments on the ball, while working hard off it to stop Villarreal from progressing their attacks. Industrious and effective, although there were occasions when his passes didn’t find the mark and, at times was caught out when the La Liga side upped the ante.
Marcos Alonso: 8/10
With all the talks about his future at Stamford Bridge, Alonso looked like a man on a mission on Wednesday night. Solid in his defensive duties, purposeful when attacking as he caused all sorts of problems each time he pushed forward on the left side. Played a brilliant through ball to Havertz in the lead-up to the opener. Finished with four key passes. Scored from the spot.
Hakim Ziyech: 7/10
Continued his good form from pre-season, as he put Chelsea in front in the first half and looked to create openings. Should have had an assist with a brilliant centre for Zouma, but the Frenchman missed. Taken off with a shoulder injury in the 43rd minute.
27' Ziyech gives Chelsea the lead
43' Ziyech substituted with a shoulder injury
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) August 11, 2021
Timo Werner: 5/10
Drew an early save from Sergio Asenjo but that was as close as Werner got to scoring on Wednesday night. Worked the channels, but to little avail. A pretty anonymous display.
Kai Havertz: 6.5/10
Good run and cutback to set Ziyech up for the opening goal. Sharp in his movement, which caused a lot of grief to the Villarreal defence. Also struck the side-netting in the second period. Missed his spot-kick.
Christian Pulisic: 5/10
Replaced the injured Ziyech in the first half but was largely anonymous. Had a good chance in extra time but could not make it count. Converted from the spot.
On for Kante in the 65th minute. Fine penalty. Did well to keep Villarreal in check before that.
Mason Mount: 6/10
Came on to replace Werner in the 65th minute. Had an effort saved. Converted from the penalty spot.
Andreas Christensen: 6/10
Sent on in place of Zouma in the 66th minute. Looked steady.
Cesar Azpilicueta: 6/10
On for Hudson-Odoi in the 82nd minute. Added steel and energy to the backline in crucial moments. Took his penalty well.
Kepa Arrizabalaga: 9/10
"Of course I'm happy, because we won!"
"I'm really happy with Kepa!"
Both of Chelsea's goalkeepers were overjoyed after chipping in to help their team win the #SuperCup 🧤
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) August 11, 2021
The hero for Chelsea. Replacing Mendy late in extra time for the shootouts, Kepa kept Chelsea in the game by saving Aissa Mandi’s penalty after Havertz had missed. Then won it for his team by stopping Raul Albiol in sudden death.