Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel claims his goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga has looked “relaxed” in training this week so soon after heartache in the Carabao Cup final.
Kepa, 27, was the unfortunate villain at the weekend during Chelsea’s defeat to Liverpool at Wembley Stadium.
The Spanish goalkeeper was used as a late substitute during extra time of the final, with the plan for him to use his skill in saving penalties in the shoot-out.
However, Liverpool scored all 11 of the penalties they took. Also, Kepa was the Chelsea individual to miss his own penalty to hand the trophy to their opponents.
The 27-year-old had a great record saving spot-kicks going into Sunday’s final, but it wasn’t meant to be for him on the big stage.
Tuchel claims the shot-stopper hasn’t been phased in training, though.
“I found him very focused today in training, relaxed in a way. After a day off, I found him well prepared in training,” Tuchel said.
Kepa needs Chelsea minutes tonight
Hopefully, Kepa is named in tonight’s starting line-up for the FA Cup fifth round tie away to Championship team Luton Town.
It must have been a big blow to him being left out of the starting XI against Liverpool, plus he’s had to deal with the aftermath of the penalty shoot-out.
He’s the clear number two goalkeeper behind “outstanding” teammate Edouard Mendy, but he’d played every minute of the Carabao Cup competition en route to the final.
Chelsea are going to need Mendy in the Premier League and Champions League in the final few months of the season to try be successful.
Tuchel should make the FA Cup Kepa’s competition to play in, though. His dramatic penalty miss shouldn’t take away from the fact his form has looked much improved when given the chance this season.
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