Chelsea beat Villarreal 6-5 on penalties to win the UEFA Super Cup, after a thrilling 1-1 draw between the sides earlier on in Belfast.
Goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga was the hero, coming on in extra time to replace Edouard Mendy, who himself had a fantastic outing. After both sides missed one of their first two penalties, it was Raul Albiol who was the ultimate victim, Kepa diving to save his effort in sudden death.
Earlier on at Windsor Park, Chelsea dominated the first half and scored the opener, before Villarreal hit the woodwork late on.
In the second period, the Spanish side earned their reward for their spell of dominance but the game had to go to extra-time.
Chelsea had the stronger first half, with N’Golo Kante and Marcos Alonso heavily involved.
Both sides had chances from corners throughout the half. Kante set up Timo Werner‘s snapshot was tipped over, while at the other end, Raul Albiol also missed. Then, young Chelsea defender Trevoh Chalobah’s failed with a poked effort at the back post.
Kante, meanwhile, won the ball back on several occasions and had a shot just wide from range.
But the Blues’ dominance soon paid off. Alonso found Kai Havertz down the left and the German’s cross found Ziyech, whose effort chipped over Villarreal goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo.
Still, Ziyech then had to go off with an innocuous shoulder injury, in a big blow following his goal.
What’s more, Europa League holders Villarreal had further chances to equalise. Boulaye Dia easily got past Chalobah and Edouard Mendy spread himself to save.
Elsewhere, Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger saw yellow for a crunching tackle on Yeremi Pino.
A caution also followed for Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel for his protests.
Villarreal send Chelsea warning
Havertz’ low, drilled shot hitting the side netting started the second half strongly.
But Villarreal came closer, Gerard Moreno hitting the post after breaking away following Mendy’s poor goal-kick.
Upon Chelsea trying to get up the other end, Rudiger fouled an opponent in the box from a free-kick.
Indeed, Villarreal kept coming and after Mendy saved a shot well, Moreno got the equaliser.
Rudiger’s poor pass went to the Spaniard and he performed a slick one-two with Dia before finishing coolly past Mendy.
Chelsea pushed for a winner, but Mason Mount and Alonso had efforts saved by Asenjo.
Chelsea win dramatic penalty shootout
The Blues had the best chance of the first period of extra time. Christian Pulisic met Havertz’s neat flick-on inside the box but his effort was just wide.
Both sides tired, with one eye on their respective Premier League and La Liga campaigns. Mount almost made it 2-1 in the second half, though, his standing shot forcing an Asenjo save. However, penalties loomed and Kepa Arrizabalaga replaced Mendy in net.
Kai Havertz could have set a sour tone after missing Chelsea’s first, but parity was restored when Aissa Mandi missed Villarreal’s second effort.
Nine perfect spot-kicks followed, including Jorginho’s trademark hop which – unlike against England in the Euro 2020 final – was successful.
However, Albiol was not successful with his effort, which Kepa saved.
The result avenged Manchester United, who were beaten by Villarreal in the Europa League final back in May.
As for Champions League holders Chelsea, they can now complete a European treble with World Club Cup glory.
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