Kepa was the hero of the hour
Image credit: Getty Images
What Tuchel also did was stick two defensive midfielders in front of three centre-backs and pick wing-backs who were defensive specialists. That made them hard to break down, and with the players Chelsea have, they’re always liable to find a goal. But though that method can work well in cups, it’s not a way to win a title, because over 38 games, greater attacking variety is necessary.
The arrival of Romelu Lukaku might have addressed that problem, but he won’t be able to create all his own goals, and Chelsea still lack an elite-level creator. Mason Mount is a fine players, but his numbers are relatively low, and though Kai Havertz is talented and good, he’s not there yet. If almost everything goes their way, Chelsea are good enough to win the league, but though they have the winning habit, they don’t look quite good enough going forward to finish top after 38 games.
'Physically, it is was the worst thing that could happen to us' - Tuchel on extra-time win
MAN OF THE MATCH
Moreno celebrates his equaliser
Image credit: Getty Images
Villarreal: Asenjo 7, Foyth 5, Albiol 6, Pau Torres 7, Pedraza 6, Trigueros 5, Capoue 6, Moreno 6, Pino 6, Gerard Moreno 8, Dia 6. Subs: Estupinan 6, Perez 6, Bardonado 6, Morlanes 6, Mandi 6.
7’ - The corner comes in and various defenders miss it, Werner then poking a toe around Albiol ... and Aensjo has to palm away!
27’ - GOAL! Chelsea 1-0 Villarreal (Ziyech) Alonso swerves a lovely pass down the line, in behind Foyth and Albiol for Havertz running onto it. His cut-back is a good one, and arriving on the burst, Ziyech fiddles a finish against the ground and into the far corner. I've no idea why Villarreal were so high, nor why they had no defenders in the middle.
36’ - Chelsea win a free-kick near the left corner of the box and Ziyech swings a delicious ball out towards the far post ... and there's Zouma! But instead of going with his head he opts to extend a leg,unable to control a shot that flies over the top from a few yards, with the keeper nowhere. That was a good chance.
44+4’ - Gerard Moreno pulls right and sticks a tremendous ball to the back post where Alberto Moreno arrives, unmarked ... and what a connection he makes, absolutely lamping a volley against the bar ... and the ball drops in front of the line! What an escape for Chelsea!
52’ - Mendy sends the back three downfield to kick clear, only to slip, allowing Gerard to intercept. He strides into the space no longer occupied by Chelsea's back three ... opens his body ... and plants a shot onto the post!
73’ - GOAL! Chelsea 1-1 Villarreal (Gerard Moreno) This is a banging finish! A poor clearance from Rudiger picks out Moreno, who takes a touch and slides a fine reverse-pass for Dia, who backheels a return into his stride. But though he's in front of goal, Mendy is out sharply, so Morena sweeps a rising rasper into the far top corner!
99’ - HERE'S THE CHANCE! Azpilcueta chips a lovely ball over the top and down the line for Mount, who hooks a tremendous cross into the box. Havertz can't quite bring it down, Berbatov-style, but the onrushing Pulisic collects only to run the ball wide!
108’ - Pulisic drives and though his through-ball is straight at Torres, he runs into it and Mount picks up the loose ball, hammering a snap-shot that Asenjo turns behind! Naturally, the corner comes to nowt.