The UEFA Super Cup 2021 saw another success for The Blues after the Champions League trophy last May. Thomas Tuchel managed to help his team win another continental title in the midweek after thumping the Europa League winner, Villareal, 6-5 on penalties after sharing spoils for 120 minutes. It was a tight clash and both sides were knocking on the doors. Chelsea took an early lead through Hakim Ziyech’s close range tap into the back of the net. The former Ajax man took the advantage of Marcus Alonso’s crossing. After the concession, Unai Emery’s side intensified their attack and Gerrard Moreno had three attempts, two of which only rattling the bar and hitting the post, whereas one of them ended as an equaliser. The Blues did have several chances for another goal by the Spaniard wing back’s strike but saved by Sergio Asenjo, Christian Pulisic’s close range drive and Kai Havertz’s shot going wide plus side netting while Timo Werner’s shot in the six yard box denied by Asenjo. The drama began just before the shoot out as Kepa Arizzabalaga came off the bench to replace Eduard Mendy who had been playing well, for the penalties. Apparently, the former Bilbao man proved to be a noteworthy figure for the penalties. He managed to save two penalties from Aissa Mandi and the skipper Raul Albiol. Such victory leads to The Blues’ second title of the tournament after 1998 edition.
UEFA Super Cup is the annual single match between Champions League and Europa League winner at a neutral venue. Such format has been staged since 2013 with the constant change of hosts around the continent every year. This year’s match is contested in Windsor Park, Belfast.
Chelsea vs Villareal 1-1 (6-5)*(penalties)
Goals: Hakim Zieych (27); Gerrard Moreno (73)
Chelsea: E Mendy – Nathaneal Chalobah, Antonio Rudiger, Kurt Zouma (Andres Christensen 66) – Marcos Alonso, Mateo Kovacic, (Callum Hudson-Odoi (C Azpilicueta 82), NGolo Kante (Jorginho 65) – Kai Havertz, Hakim Ziyech (Christian Pulisic 43), Timo Werner (Mason Mount 65)
Villareal: S Asenjo – Pau Torres, Raul Albiol, A Pedraza (Pervis Estupinan 58), Etienne Capoue (Mario Gaspar 70) – Juan Foyth, Alberto Moreno (Manuel Morlanes 85), Moi Gomez (Manu Trigueros 71), Yeremi Pino (Aissa Mandi 91) – Boulaye Dia (Dani Raba 86), Gerrard Moreno
Meanwhile, at the third qualifying round of Champions League 2021/22, three favourites, Glasgow Rangers, Olympiakos and the 1991 champions Red Star Belgrade were eliminated and have to go down to Europa League. Steven Gerrard’s side was beaten 1-2 again while playing host to the 1979 runner up, Malmoe. They suffered 2-4 loss on aggregate. The Greek champions Olympiakos were stunned by Ludogorets Razgard 1-4 on penalties after mustering a 2-2 draw. The most shocking result was Dejan Stankovic’s men’s defeat from the Moldovan Sherif Tiraspol by 1-2 on aggregate. The failure of these three teams would mean the absence of Scottish’s, Greek’s and Serbian’s representative at the group stage. Now there are only twelve clubs left fighting for five spots left for the group stage. They will be locking horns at the first leg on 17th and 18th of August plus the second leg in the following week. The UCL final draw will be held on 26th August or just one day after the play-off games. These are the twelve qualified teams and their fixtures below.
Red Bull Salzburg vs Brondby
Young Boys vs Ferencvaros
Malmoe FF vs Ludogorets Razgard
Sheriff Tiraspol vs Dinamo Zagreb
Monaco vs Shakhtar Donetsk
PSV Eindhoven vs Benfica