Jamie Redknapp disagrees with Thomas Tuchel over Kepa Arrizabalaga decision in Carabao Cup final

Former Tottenham and Liverpool player Jamie Redknapp believes Chelsea’s loss on penalties to the Reds should “put to bed” the discussion surrounding a change of goalkeepers before a shootout.

It comes as the Blues suffered an 11-10 loss in the penalty shootout at the hands of Jurgen Klopp’s men, after 120 minutes were unable to separate the two sides.

Towards the end of extra-time, Thomas Tuchel made the brave call to bring on Kepa Arrizabalaga, despite the performance of Edouard Mendy throughout the game.

It was a rehearsed decision from the German coach, who has made the same substitution before in the Super Cup final last summer.

Discussing the reason for that change last year, he said: “It [the substitution] was not spontaneous. We talked about it with the goalkeepers when we came and had the first cup game against Barnsley.

“So we had some statistics, we were well prepared, that Kepa is the best in percentage in saving penalties.

“The analysis guys and the goalkeeping coaches showed me, introduced me to the data, then we spoke with the players, that this can happen when we play in a knockout game, and since then they know.”

The move proved costly this time though, as Kepa failed to save 11 straight penalties before blazing his own spot kick over the bar.

Kepa Arrizabalaga missed the decisive penalty kick for Chelsea in their shootout defeat to Liverpool
Kepa Arrizabalaga missed the decisive penalty kick for Chelsea in their shootout defeat to Liverpool

It was a decision that, after the game, Jamie Redknapp was against.

The pundit said on Sky Sports: “I hope it puts to bed the substitutions now of putting goalkeepers on. Edouard Mendy is one of the best goalkeepers in the world and you bring on Kepa instead of him, ridiculous.

“I didn’t like his behaviour when the penalties were being taken and then he took one of the worst penalties you’ve ever seen.

“I don’t like it, I don’t understand why you do it. You have one of the best goalkeepers in the world, he should’ve stayed in there in the first place.”

It may cause Tuchel to readdress his choice in the future for such crucial matches, especially after the showing of Mendy for the majority of the match.

What this means for the Blues now is yet to be seen, though there’s little time to do too much reflection, with an FA Cup tie against Luton on the horizon.

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