Cudicini. Cech. Courtois. When it comes to goalkeepers, Chelsea have been spoilt over the years.
Particularly in the Premier League, the Blues have had some terrific custodians – from De Goey to Cudicini, and Cech to Courtois. There have been a few other special stoppers from down the years as well, not least “The Cat” himself, Peter Bonetti, who remains Chelsea’s second-highest appearance maker.
The current number one, Courtois, may even have surpassed himself with one particular save in Chelsea’s win at Sunderland on Wednesday.
Cesc Fabregas’ goal ensured the Blues extended their winning run to ten on the bounce in the Premier League, but it was Courtois’ exploits which played the biggest role in securing the three points.
He made one fine save when one-on-one with Adnan Januzaj, and went one better in stoppage time. When former Blue Patrick van Aanholt took aim, his strike looked destined for the top corner. However, Courtois hung out a giant palm and imperiously parried the ball behind for a corner.
It was a save which secured a ninth clean sheet of the season – an eighth in the past ten matches.
There was praise from Antonio Conte, too.
“For Thibaut it’s more difficult because for the whole game you wait and you could lose concentration but he is a fantastic goalkeeper”, the Italian began.
“He’s one of the best in the world, if not the best. I’m pleased to have him in my team”.
Van Aanholt – a former Chelsea player – did everything right, and his half-volley was destined for the top corner. Showing great agility and upper-body strength, a strong right arm preserved Chelsea’s clean sheet.
Courtois’ intervention was miraculous, and this could be a key moment in the title race! It has opened up a a massive six-point lead heading into the Christmas fixtures. Sit back and watch the maestro at work…
Is this Courtois’ best save for the Blues? Let us know your thoughts below…