Villarreal boss Unai Emery proud to almost beat Chelsea in Super League final

Villarreal boss Unai Emery proud to almost beat Chelsea in Super League final

Unai Emery revealed his pride after coming a whisker away from defeating Chelsea in the UEFA Super Cup final.

The Spaniard's plucky Villarreal side could only be bettered via a penalty shootout in Belfast on Wednesday night, following a Thomas Tuchel masterstroke with his substitutes.

Chelsea's German boss opted to bring Kepa Arrizabalaga from the bench to replace Edouard Mendy as the game spilled over into spot kicks, and was soon rewarded after the former Bilbao man saved the decisive kick.

At the final whistle however, Emery immediately took the chance to talk up the satisfaction he felt at having taken his underdogs to the showpiece fixture.

He told broadcasters on the pitch: 'It's a pride to represent this club, Villarreal and La Liga on a day like today

'You cannot blame the players for anything because they’ve made a fantastic effort.'

Later, when asked about his decision to switch keepers for the shootout, Chelsea boss Tuchel insisted it was all planned.

He said: ‘This was not spontaneous.

‘We talked about it with the goalkeepers before my first cup game against Barnsley.

‘We had some statistics that we prepared and they showed that Willy Caballero is the best in penalty defending and they analysed like a thousand penalties from Willy.

‘Second best was Kepa and third best was Edou.

‘The analysis and goalkeepers coaches introduced me to the data, we spoke to all three goalkeepers very open and told them this can happen in knockout games.

‘If we have a change left that we take this change not for personal reasons but to help the team, to improve the chances as we have this proof off statistic.
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