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Ralph Hasenhuttl Praises Kepa's Chelsea Goalkeeping Display vs Southampton

Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl has hailed Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga for being decisive after making several big saves to help the Blues progress into the Carabao Cup quarter-finals.

Kepa, 26, was the winning keeper on Tuesday night at Stamford Bridge as Thomas Tuchel's side won 4-3 on penalties to book their spot in the last eight

The Spaniard was recalled to the starting XI to replace Edouard Mendy with Tuchel making six changes to the side that thrashed Norwich 7-0 at the weekend. 

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Kepa, by some, was blamed for his part in Southampton's equaliser when he spilled a shot from the right-hand side before Che Adams tapped in from close range to level the tie at 1-1 after Kai Havertz's header had put Chelsea ahead in the 44th minute. 

But Kepa came to the rescue on several occasions when called upon as the visitors piled the pressure late on in the tie to try to avoid penalties. 

He then was the penalty hero, saving Theo Walcott's penalty to ensure Tuchel's men put them name in to the hat for the next round.

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Hasenhuttl was proud of his side's effort against the European champions and league leaders, but singled out Kepa for his performance against the Saints. 

"We played against a fantastic goalkeeper. Kepa had two good saves and then he made the decisive saves in the penalty shootout."

He added"We have done everything what we could today," he reflected. "It was a fantastic game to watch. For everybody inside the stadium it was a thriller.

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"Typical cup fight. We wanted to give them a tough evening and we did, I think. It's a pity that in the end we couldn't take the win. But I'm very proud. This is what I can say today about my team. Everyone did a fantastic job.

"We wanted to have a game where we are active, where we show our supporters that we are brave. Very often you get the reward for it, today we didn't."


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