Kepa Arrizabalaga is enjoying Graham Potter’s faith in him after another great performance in Chelsea’s 0-0 draw at Brentford on Wednesday.
Although Chelsea lost points in the Premier League for the first time under Potter after struggling to create chances, they have Kepa to thank for maintaining their unbeaten record under former Brighton & Hove Albion bosses.
Kepa made five saves – three of them to deny Ivan Toni – as Chelsea kept their fifth consecutive clean sheet in all competitions.
The Spaniard, who was reportedly considered odd under Potter’s predecessor Thomas Tuchel, has been given new life in recent weeks and is enjoying his performance with the team.
“I feel very good, I feel confident with and without the ball. I feel like I help the team when they need it, so [I’m] happy,” Kepa told Amazon Prime.
“Of course every player needs that confidence, that push, and I think it’s even more important for a goalkeeper when you have continuity.
“For a goalkeeper, when you’re not playing, training is different. I have to keep going, I have to keep working.
“We are unhappy because I think they had chances, but we had chances and for the last fifteen minutes we have been playing in their box all the time. We feel like we’ve lost two points.”
Brentford 0-0 Chelsea
Chelsea have not conceded a single goal for 533 minutes, but the Bees keep them at the same level. pic.twitter.com/kxbyc7nRml
— Analyst (@OptaAnalyst) October 19, 2022
Kepa have kept five clean sheets in eight matches this season (in all competitions), while Chelsea have recorded eight strikeouts in their last 11 Premier League away London derbies, winning nine (D1 L1).
However, Chelsea only managed to hit the target on five of 14 attempts (36 per cent) against hard-fought hosts Thomas Frank, three of which came in the 85th minute.
Despite the Blues’ lack of creativity, Potter declined to criticize his team’s performance, telling Amazon Prime: “We’re always disappointed when we don’t win, but some things are fair as the game progresses.
“We were expecting a really tough game. We are in a good mood, we gave everything. It’s not easy for us with the schedule, but the guys did their best, I’m proud of them.
“We wanted to play a little better in the first half, but you have to give credit to the opposition.”
It looked like Chelsea were taking another traumatic blow when Conor Gallagher was substituted off 15 minutes later, but Potter revealed that the England midfielder felt unwell and should return quickly.
“I didn’t talk to the doctors, but he just got sick,” Potter said of Gallagher. “He thought he was going to get sick, so hopefully it’s only for 24 hours and he’ll be fine.”