How Azpilicueta protected Havertz ahead of winning penalty vs Palmeiras


A noteworthy story stemming from Chelsea’s Club World Cup triumph on Saturday has come to the fore online, centering on key pair Cesar Azpilicueta and Kai Havertz.

Thomas Tuchel’s troops of course marked their return to action 24 hours ago.

After getting the better of Saudi outfit Al-Hilal in midweek, the Blues turned their attentions towards a showdown with Brazilian heavyweights Palmeiras, for the title of world football’s standout club.

And, when all was said and done, Chelsea, just, managed to get the job done.

After Romelu Lukaku’s opener early in the 2nd-half was swiftly cancelled out by Palmeiras’ Raphael Veiga, proceedings at The Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium were sent to extra time.

Then, just when it appeared as though the two sides were set to remain deadlocked through 120 minutes, Chelsea struck, on this occasion decisively.

Kai Havertz, who too netted the winner in last season’s Champions League final, proved the man on target, stepping up to the spot to slot calmly beyond Weverton in the Palmeiras goal, clinching Club World Cup glory for his side in the process:

Azpi’s leadership highlighted

As alluded to above, though, had it not been for the efforts of Blues teammate Cesar Azpilicueta, then perhaps Havertz would not been quite so supremely confident in dispatching from twelve yards on Saturday evening.

This comes on the back of footage coming to the fore, showcasing a piece of leadership brilliance on the part of Chelsea’s captain.

As showcased below, after Thomas Tuchel’s man were awarded their late spot-kick in Abu Dhabi last night, Azpilicueta grabbed hold of the ball, hinting that it was he who was in line to take responsibility of the Pensioners’ opportunity to take the lead late on.

Such a ploy, however, in fact came with Azpi having never intended to step up from twelve yards, but with the Spanish stopper instead simply keen for Palmeiras’ inevitable efforts to disrupt the situation to be directed at him, rather than Havertz.

From here, Azpilicueta simply handed the ball back to Havertz, who slotted home with minimal fuss to cap a special night in Chelsea’s history:


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