Thibaut Courtois major Factor in Draw Match
Thibaut Courtois was a major factor in Chelsea getting a 1-1 draw against Paris St Germain in the first leg of the Champions League last 16 round.
The blues suffered a 3-1 defeat in similar situations last season. There could have been a repeat of the same score had it not been for the brilliance ofCourtois. The Belgian international was dropped – after a string of poor performances – during the weekend against Everton. His replacement Petr Cech made a huge claim for reclaiming his number one spot by performing very well. However,Courtois was back in goal against PSG and he did not disappoint manager Jose Mourinho’s faith.
Courtois made two outstanding saves in the first half from midfielder Blaise Matuidi and striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The crucial save, though, came in injury time when Courtois pushed away a firm header from Ibrahimovic. If PSG had scored this goal, they would have gained a sizeable advantage even after allowing the away goal.
Branislav Ivanovic had given Chelsea the lead in the first half, but Edinson Cavani equalised by taking advantage of Gary Cahill’s mistimed jump. Mourinho said after the 1-0 win over Everton during the weekend that he had purposely left Courtois out of the team in order to give him freshness.
“If football was about having nine outfield players plus two goalkeepers, we would give no chance to anyone.We would be absolutely phenomenal because they’re both phenomenal,” said Mourinho about Courtois and Cech. “What amazes me is that Courtois, despite his height, is still very quick. I watched the two headers he saved from Ibrahimovic and he moves so quickly on his feet to react to both of them. He’s one of the top goalkeepers in the world. Chelsea know they have one of the greatest keepers out there,” said Laurent Blanc.