Chelsea Football Club recorded a 1-1 draw against Manchester United last evening at Old Trafford. A result, none of the Chelsea supporter, expected, considering the current stint in EPL.
However, after the draw Chelsea are 4 points above Southampton, who are placed second, and 6 above Manchester City after their substandard loss this weekend. The Blues look in control and are definitely the best team in the Premier League right now. So, a 1-1 away draw against the Red Devils can be looked at as a fair result after all.
Coming back to the game, Thibaut Courtois looked focused and attentive to every attacking move of Manchester United. A nearly flawless game for him, if not for the tap-in goal by the Red Devils’ captain off of a free kick in the dying minutes of the game. The concession, too, cannot be accounted for a mistake on the Belgian keeper’s part. As were it not for Thibaut Courtois, United may have run away with all three points. Here is analyzing Courtois’ brightest moments in the game, and why he deserved to claim the man of the match title.
COURTOIS: THE SET-PIECE STOPPER
Thibaut Courtois stands two meters tall; and if his immense ability to catch hold of the ball with ease does not completely kill off nearly all set pieces set up by the opposition, then his gigantic height (and hands) surely enables him to punch the ball away to safety. His ball catching skills were special last night, and he had been the man to rescue The Blues from sharp-looking Angel Di Maria free kicks and corners. With his gigantic height, it looks quite easy the way he handles the ball and throw it accurately at the feet of midfielders to launch a counter attack.
He has been exhibiting these skills ever since he joined Chelsea after a successful on loan spell at Atletico Madrid. His ability of jumping and either getting hold of the ball or punching it away to a Chelsea player last evening had been appreciated on numerous occasions. The Belgian stopper was in incredible form, again justifying his place as the number one goalkeeper at Stamford Bridge – and perhaps only second to Manuel Neuer in the world.
COURTOIS: THE ONE WITH THE REFLEXIVE LOWER-BODY
He made brilliant saves last evening, whenever Van Persie and Di Maria tried to put the ball behind the Belgian, not just with his hands, but his lower body too. Courtois made it look very easy by stepping forward at the right time and circumstances, and diverting the ball away from the goal with his strong reflexes. His decision making was on point, handling superb, and he denied the shots coming his way on number of occasions. He was unfortunate to concede the goal. He made an excellent save from Marouane Fellaini before Van Persie smashed the ball home from close range.
COURTOIS: MAN OF THE MATCH AGAINST MANCHESTER UNITED
Thibaut Courtois had undoubtedly been the strongest Chelsea player on the Old Trafford pitch last evening, and truly deserved to win the Barclays Man of the Match award as we witnessed him denying Van Persie with impressive saves either side of the break and he also thwarted Angel di Maria. Furthermore, his amazing sense of positioning in the penalty box and outstanding reflexes is rarely seen in any other 23-year old goalkeeper. Could he be the Petr Cech that once was? Definitely!
Edited By: Harshal Ahire