After a seven-save effort at the weekend, Kepa Arrizabalaga produced a five-save effort last night to notch yet another clean sheet: his fifth in just as many games. And as it turns out, this was the 50th clean sheet of his Chelsea career (132 appearances), moving him back ahead of Édouard Mendy (49 in 99 appearances) and making him the 11th goalkeeper in club history to reach that milestone. The next one will move Kepa into a tie for 10th with Dmitri Kharine (51 in 146).
Unfortunately, there wasn’t too much cause to celebrate this milestone of already quite arbitrary significance, with Chelsea unable to get a goal against Brentford despite plenty of chances and late pressure. As Kepa revealed in his post-match interview, the mood in the dressing room wasn’t exactly great.
“We didn’t win, we dropped two points because at the end of the game we had clear chances. [We] are not happy because [even though] they had chances, but we [also] had chances. The last 15-20 minutes we had clear opportunities, we dropped two points.
“We want to be fighting with the top clubs and stay as high as we can.”
Still, on a personal level, Kepa’s continuing to perform almost flawlessly, and even some of his more bold decisions in coming way off his line to punch clear or close down an angle are paying off at the moment. That’s confidence, folks!
“Feeling very well, feeling confident with and without the ball. I’m feeling like I am helping the team. Happy.
“Every player needs this confidence (from the manager), this push and for a goalkeeper it is even more important to have continuity. When you are not playing, there are a lot of things you have to be aware of as training is not the same. I am playing well with confidence. I have to keep going and working.”
Another stern top-four test awaits on Sunday as we welcome Manchester United to Stamford Bridge.