Kepa Arrizabalaga has opened up on his relationship with Edouard Mendy after impressing in Chelsea’s win over Tottenham.
After Mendy’s injury last week, the Spanish keeper was back between the sticks for Sunday’s Premier League clash.
Kepa took advantage of his chance to impress Thomas Tuchel. He saved from Son Heungmin and Harry Kane, and raced off his line numerous times to stop Tottenham’s attack.
The 26-year-old lost his place as Chelsea’s No1 to Mendy last season – but says the two have “a very good relationship”.
Mendy was responsible for Kepa’s Super Cup victory last month. He was brought in to replace Senegal’s keeper, just before the penalty shootout.
“Edou and I have a very good relationship,” Kepa told Chelsea’s official website. “We are training together every day and support each other whoever is playing.
“The Super Cup clearly showed the closeness of our relationship. After the penalty shootout, he was among the first to congratulate my and we shared a celebratory dinner together.
“Hopefully he can return to training soon from his injury.”
Chelsea beat their London rivals 3-0 to go top of the table, thanks to strikes from Thiago Silva, N’Golo Kante and Antonio Rudiger.
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Kante came on for Mason Mount at half-time, and Tuchel’s tactical tweak reaped rewards with an energised Chelsea having too much for Nuno Espirito Santo’s side.
Kepa said: “We did a much better job in the second half than in the first, but we did what we needed to win the game and we are all happy with the three points.
“The manager made changes at half-time and I think that shows how good our squad is. It is possible to make some changes, add new players and still have it work for us.
“This is very important, for all players to be ready. We have a lot of games to play during the season, across many competitions so it is very important for our players to be ready for the team.”
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Chelsea boss Tuchel couldn’t confirm Mendy’s availability to play in Wednesday night’s Carabao Cup game at Aston Villa.
“We tried everything throughout the week and yesterday [Saturday] in training but it was so-so,” Tuchel told the club’s website.
“It comes from the last-minute kick against Zenit in the Champions League so it’s very painful and he felt it.
“He was not 100 per cent comfortable to go for a full stretch or to land on it so we decided to go for 100 per cent, which was Kepa, and have Edou with us to be supportive and to have good energy.
“I’m so happy that Kepa played a crucial role to have a clean sheet because it’s what he deserved.”