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Kepa Arrizabalaga's girlfriend has posted an emotional statement after he missed the crucial spot-kick in the penalty shoot-out defeat to Liverpool in Sunday's Carabao Cup final.
In scenes that mirrored the UEFA Super Cup that Chelsea won in August, Kepa replaced Edouard Mendy in the closing stages of extra time before the game went to penalties.
The move was pre-arranged by Thomas Tuchel and Mendy did not display any anger or frustration at the call.
But unlike against Villarreal, Kepa did not save any of the ten penalties that came his way and ended up skying his effort from 12 yards after opposite number Caoimhin Kelleher had converted impressively.
His shocking miss gave Liverpool their ninth League Cup.
Andrea Martinez, a former Miss Universe Spain winner, was in attendance at Wembley with a Chelsea shirt with her other half's name and number on the back after the pair went public with their relationship last month.
Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga has publicly announced his relationship with former Miss Universe Spain winner Andrea Martinez. I’m so pleased that he is happy & it has reflected on the pitch to. One of the nicest guys you can ever meet. pic.twitter.com/nKPkbqcIr2— Frank Khalid (@FrankKhalidUK) January 31, 2022
And she took to Instagram to praise her partner, calling the events a "very unfair situation" and saying "real supporters must show the love".
"One of the things I've learnt when I was a basketball player was that a team is always a team," the 27-year-old said.
"There are no heroes, there are no villains.
"In my personal opinion this is a very unfair situation and I'm not just talking about today.
"Real supporters must show the love today, not just when we win.
@kepaarrizabalaga we are so proud of you, as a goalkeeper and even more as a person.
"Humble, brilliant, kind, generous, intelligent, hard worker, talented and the most beautiful soul I've ever met.
"This is just the small line of a huge book. Let's go my boy, let's go guys. Love you."
Kepa's penalty, almost taken like a goal kick, was launched into the stands behind the goal where Liverpool fans were.
Incredibly, one fan took to Twitter to tell everyone that their dad caught the ball, which contained the date of the game, the teams involved and the stadium.
A Liverpool fan caught Kepa’s penalty and took the ball home 😭😭 pic.twitter.com/1RzlJ9M0xf— The72 - We Love the #EFL (@_The72) February 27, 2022
Kepa attempted to psyche out Liverpool players but his antics did not work, with Virgil van Dijk in particular making him look a little silly with an ice-cold penalty.
And Jamie Redknapp was critical of the Spaniard's actions.
"I didn’t like his behaviour when the penalties were being taken and then he took one of the worst penalties you’ve ever seen," he said on Sky Sports.
“I don’t like it, I don’t understand why you do it. You have one of the best goalkeepers in the world, he should’ve stayed in there in the first place."
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