Thursday 24 October 2019

Kepa the hero as Chelsea progress

Chelsea 1-1 Eintracht Frankfurt (2-2 on agg. Chelsea win 4-3 on penalties)

Chelsea's Kepa Arrizabalaga saves a penalty from Eintracht Frankfurt's Martin Hinteregger during the shootout. Photo: REUTERS/David Klein
Chelsea's Kepa Arrizabalaga saves a penalty from Eintracht Frankfurt's Martin Hinteregger during the shootout. Photo: REUTERS/David Klein

Independent.ie Sportdesk

Goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga was the hero as Chelsea set up an all-London Europa League final in Baku after a dramatic penalty shoot-out victory over Eintracht Frankfurt.

Chelsea looked to be heading out of the competition after Cesar Azpilicueta missed first in the penalty shoot-out.

Frankfurt's Kevin Trapp jumps to make a save. Photo: Tim Goode/PA Wire
Frankfurt's Kevin Trapp jumps to make a save. Photo: Tim Goode/PA Wire

However, it was Kepa - who caused so much controversy in the League Cup decider - who held his nerve by standing still and blocking Martin Hinteregger's fourth kick of the shoot-out.

After David Luiz netted Chelsea's fourth penalty, Kepa saved from Goncalo Paciencia, allowing Eden Hazard to wrap up the victory and send them through to a final against Arsenal.

Earlier Maurizio Sarri watched as his side once again proved to be fatally brittle after half-time, conceding the goal that brought the tie level to the prolific Eintracht striker Luka Jovic, after they had taken a first-half lead.

That was given to them by Ruben Loftus-Cheek, whose substitution in the last 10 minutes of the regulation 90 was accompanied by the booing of a home support.

Chelsea's Cesar Azpilicueta and Eintracht Frankfurt's Filip Kostic battle for control of the ball. Photo: Tim Goode/PA Wire
Chelsea's Cesar Azpilicueta and Eintracht Frankfurt's Filip Kostic battle for control of the ball. Photo: Tim Goode/PA Wire

However, it was all smiles at the end of the night.

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