I’m not one to advocate book burning, but when all known editions of The Encyclopedia Alethinophidia were ceremonially converted to pollution, we were left without any reference material to showcase essential contributions from a key position that usually only gets noticed when something goes awry. Case in point, Kepa Arrizabalaga’s recent ascension to Prime Scapegoat of the Known Chelsea Universe. He never makes big saves, don’tchakno.
In any case, tonight’s last-minute stop on Douglas Luiz may not have been the most spectacular of Kepa’s Keepers (working title) — and it certainly wasn’t to the level of Tom Heaton’s miracles at the other end — but it was nonetheless essential, preserving Chelsea’s narrow (in scoreline if not balance of play) 2-1 win over Aston Villa, and making us not lament the fact that a 5’9” Douglas Luiz easily out-jumped the normally high-leaping 6’3” Kurt Zouma. That’s a 15cm difference! (In Zouma’s defense, he seemed to slip slightly as he tried to react and he had he also appeared to pick up a knock when he tumbled into the advertising hoardings in the first half).
Thanks, Kepa! This one’s a keeper!