Kepa Arrizabalaga may not be able to fit into Chelsea’s starting line-up at the moment, but that hasn’t stopped some of the club’s support from heaping praise on the Spanish keeper.
Edouard Mendy now holds the Blues’ No.1 shirt and the Senegal international kept a clean sheet on Saturday as Thomas Tuchel’s side beat Southampton 6-0 at St Mary’s.
The result will be a major relief for Mendy, who made a costly mistake in Wednesday’s 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid in the Champions League which allowed Karim Benzema to score his hat-trick at Stamford Bridge.
Mendy faced criticism in the days following the loss, with some Chelsea fans wondering if Kepa deserved an opportunity to play in goal against Southampton.
A fan has taken to social media to highlight an impressive quick-think from the Spaniard during a game earlier this season.
The incident happened in Chelsea’s Carabao Cup semi-final second leg against Tottenham.
Spurs striker Lucas Moura pounced on a loose ball just outside Chelsea’s penalty area and prepared to pass Harry Kane, who was unmarked inside the box.
Kepa, realizing the danger, rushed to the edge of his box as teammate Antonio Rudiger moved back to defend the goal line.
Moura passed the ball to Kane, who scored. But the goal was later ruled out by VAR after replays showed the England international was slightly offside, with Kepa in an unusual position behind the ball.
A fan reposted a clip of the incident to Twitter on Friday, along with the caption: “I still haven’t overcome that 200 IQ offside trap from Kepa.”
He added: “The quick thinking and football IQ displayed here is out of this world. Kepa is truly the best goalkeeper at this club.”
I don’t know if it’s 200 IQ or if he just got lucky. It’s very close to being on the side.
-Ed (@King_Kai_CFC) April 8, 2022
Bru, offside traps don’t make this flop the best goalkeeper against Mendy. If your Kepa was really that good, there would be no need to buy Mendy and make it the number one choice right in front of your golden boy.
– :blue_heart:Ally Banks:blue_heart: (@mralibanks) April 8, 2022
He’s technically so much better than Mendy, it’s just that Mendy is crazy about making saves
– Chelsea fan (@CFCBry) April 8, 2022
Another wrote: “That was awesome tbf.”
But others weren’t so sure it was an intentional effort to play Kepa offside.
“I don’t know if it’s 200 IQ or if he just got lucky. It’s very close to being in the game,” wrote another fan.
Was it an intentional offside trap by Kepa? Let us know your thoughts.