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Featured Image Credit: Image: Channel 4
Havertz scored the goal that secured a second Champions League triumph for Chelsea in Porto and came up clutch again on the big stage when he kept his cool from the spot in the 117th minute vs Palmeiras in Abu Dhabi.
He sent the goalkeeper the wrong way and rolled the penalty in to clinch the one major trophy Chelsea had not won previously.
But Azpilicueta's mind games beforehand were absolutely crucial.
The Spaniard grabbed the ball and it genuinely looked like he was going to take the pressure penalty himself.
That wasn't the case. However, what the former Marseille man was doing, was absorbing all of the mind games from the opposition.
They expended all their energy trying to get in his head, not knowing that he wasn't even the taker.
He passed the ball to Havertz and the forward, relieved from all of the pressure, then did the business from 12 yards.
Shout-out to Cesar Azpilicueta's mind games for the penalty. Was the first to appeal, took the pressure of stepping up with the ball and absorbed the Palmeiras' mind games before handing over to Kai Havertz. Captain fantastic. 👏🔵— Absolute Chelsea (@AbsoluteChelsea) February 12, 2022
Azpilicueta with the mind games pretending to take the penalty.— BlueTweetsFC™ (@BlueTweetsFC) February 12, 2022
Man was playing chess.
Azpilicueta giving the ball to Havertz to convert the penalty after absorbing all the pressure of pretending to be the taker was everything for me ❤️. They don’t teach you that in school mate ✌🏽— esprit de corps (@Hankvalj) February 12, 2022
Who else noticed Azpilicueta holding the ball as if he was the one who wanted to take the Penalty was to help fend off the pressure away for Havertz who actually was gonna take the penalty?! 😱— DestinyCrystal (Epiphany) (@sharafa_basit) February 12, 2022
What a legendary leader. 👏👏 pic.twitter.com/zhiG1eWyaO
It was just world-class work from Azpilicueta, who has now won absolutely everything there is to win with Chelsea.
After the game, he confirmed he knew exactly what he was doing with his antics.
Can confirm, you were right. I asked Azpi about it & he laughed & said yeah it was a cheeky tactic because he ‘knew what they were like’ & he wanted to take some of the pressure off Havertz. Legend. #CFC https://t.co/g36pepXbdw— Olivia Buzaglo (@OliviaBuzaglo) February 12, 2022
Havertz, meanwhile, explained just how he was feeling before the penalty that crowned Chelsea as champions of the world.
“I was [nervous], I was to be honest. I mean it’s a big penalty – just crazy. I think it was good I kept the nerves and very happy,” the German said post-match, as per football.london.
“I was the third penalty taker. Jorgi and Rom they both were out so I was the only one on the pitch and the other players gave me trust. Hakim, Azpi, everybody they said you do it and I did it.
“I don’t know what to say, I mean I’ve dreamed always of this amazing feeling for me. I’m thankful for everybody, my family, my girlfriend, everyone and yeah just a big thanks to them.”
Azpilicueta is set to leave Chelsea on a free in the summer but will undoubtedly having claimed a clean sweep of trophies, will go down as a Blues legend.