While sports — football, in particular; Chelsea, specifically — are no longer happening, we can now take some time to remember things that have happened. Particularly the happenings that were very funny.
Because the normal pace of match/result/analysis/interview/injury update/next match is so furious, we don’t typically have the necessary time to adequately dissect just how funny these moments were. So in this series I will make up for this error, because I have the time, and my god do we all need to laugh.
Sometimes you wake up and can’t do anything right. You bump into a dresser that you’ve successfully walked past and avoided for years. You struggle to get a shirt off the hanger because the collar inexplicably tucked itself into a strap slot. You stub your toe. You grow frustrated after several unsuccessful attempts at punching your arm through a jacket sleeve before giving up and taking it off to vigorously flap the sleeves straight, because apparently that’s a prerequisite on this day. You drop it, then your keys.
These days suck. There’s no reason or explanation for them, but we all have them. The universe simply decides that it wants to insert a hurdle into every task, because it can, and the next thing you know your morning beverage of choice is now in your lap. The best thing to do on these days is to carefully walk back to your bed, get in and await the next sunrise. One of the very worst things you can do is play in the Champions League for the biggest club in London.
For as strong-willed as Kepa Arrizabalaga has been known to be, going back to the safety of his own bed wasn’t an option. So this happened.
The replays. My god the replays.
It’s important to also note everything that built up to this penultimate moment of Kepa Arrizabalaga’s No Good Very Bad Day. Two minutes into the match Tammy Abraham scored a peach of an own goal from an Ajax free kick. (This would be a theme.)
Two minutes after that Christian Pulisic was fouled in the box and Jorginho leveled the match 1-1 from the spot. Good, right? Control regained, right? With the goofy error cancelled out, it’s time to get back to the professional aspect of professional football, right?
“Yes”, answered an eager Hakim Ziyech, probably. The soon-to-be Chelsea man whipped in a gorgeous cross from far outside of the box that took a bounce off the grass and up to meet a perfectly timed run from Quincy Promes. Fifteen minutes later, Chelsea’s scouts decided to see just how dangerous Ziyech’s crosses could be from a similarly wide area, but much deeper area. Now they know that he can hit the far post and, with a bit of fortune through a goalkeeper already having a bad day, can enlist the keeper’s face for help scoring a goal.
Perhaps most importantly of all, it also produced this photo, which must never be forgotten.
They say a picture’s worth a thousand words. This one might be worth thousands of thousands.
I’m unsure whether this is before or after facial impact, I just know that it is hilarious. I also know that you could very easily Photoshop a cartoon-sized ACME bomb over the ball and it would not only fit, but be just as hilarious. I know this because I did it and haven’t stopped laughing since.
Remember how Thanos already had the power stone at the beginning of Infinity War? Yeah.
What if Kepa has really bad cat allergies? I’m glad you asked.
Dammit Kepa, no wonder he’s been injured all season.
Adding injury to insult (something I devilishly enjoy), Kepa stayed down until the stinging in his face subsided enough for him to stand up and receive the full brunt of his humiliation.
Ajax eventually ended up hanging on for a 4-4 draw after double red cards gifted Chelsea another penalty and put the visitors down to 9-men for twenty minutes. César Azpilicueta’s would-be winner was VAR’d and disallowed, if for no other reason than to ensure Kepa Arrizabalaga’s Worst Day Ever wouldn’t be buried by victory. And honestly, with the hindsight of a pandemic that’s trapped us all in our homes without football and needing a laugh, fair.