“They managed to do that”

Former Liverpool centre-back Jamie Carragher has defended Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel’s decision to call up Edouard Mendy for Kepa Arrizabalaga in the Carabao Cup final.

It was a decision that ultimately backfired as the Spaniard couldn’t save a single Liverpool penalty in the shootout and then launched his own attempt from the stands to hand them the title.

Tuchel had already found success with this tactic in last year’s UEFA Super Cup as the Blues beat Villarreal 6-5 on penalties.

Back then, the former Athletic Bilbao keeper saved two spot-kicks to become their unlikely hero, but luck was not in his favor on Sunday.

Mendy, however, was in inspired form that night, making six saves, including an incredible double save, to keep the Blues in the game.

Things got HOT between Jamie Carragher and Jamie Redknapp during the debate over the decision to bring in Kepa for the penalty shootout! 😡 https://t.co/jA1yT7Nsd4

Jamie Redknapp, another former Liverpool player, criticized the decision to hang the Senegalese in his post-match comments on Sky.

But in response, Carragher pointed to the success of the move in the past, saying:

“We mustn’t forget that was the decision he made in the Super Cup final.

“Kepa came in and they won that game. I think Chelsea won two shootouts on their way to that final – and that’s Kepa’s competition. There’s a method behind it and you also have the psychological side of things, where you bring a keeper to the bench and how that affects the opposition.

“It wasn’t and the penalties were fantastic from all the players.”

Redknapp fired back, saying Arrizabalaga was unreliable in these situations, to which Carragher again said:

“It’s impossible for a manager to make a decision that would give him less of a chance of winning. They managed to do that. Who knows what would have happened.

“What I’m saying is that Tuchel has already made that decision and they have won the Super Cup.”

Chelsea keeper’s bad luck in Carabao Cup final continues

The Spanish keeper made headlines for the wrong reasons after Chelsea lost last night, but it was just deja vu for him.

Returning in the 2019 final against Manchester City, he drew the ire of then-manager Maurizio Sarri by refusing to step down.

The game also turned into a penalty shootout, and although Arrizabalaga saved Leroy Sane’s kick, it wasn’t enough as City won 4-3 to lift the trophy.

Chelsea players comfort Kepa after his failure 💙 https://t.co/xpfwQX51NA

However, last night might as well be Kepa’s last act with Chelsea, despite having three years left on his contract.

With Mendy firmly cementing his place in goal, Arrizabalaga’s chances have been severely limited, and last night’s performance could be the final straw for him.

Edited by Arjun Panchadar

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