Liverpool and Chelsea, the two heavyweights contested first leg of Capital One Cup semi-finals at Anfield as it ended all-square after Raheem Sterling equalized Eden Hazard’ goal from the spot with a brilliant solo goal.
According to the match stats, the Blues just escaped the tie without a defeat which was looking probable. And much of that credit goes to the Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois who made a string of superb saves. He made his first appearance in last four matches courtesy of thumb injury and was able to keep the ball out of the net despite three outstanding efforts from Gerrard, Lallana and Coutinho.
Let us have a look into his saves:
1. In the 16th minute, moments after Sterling failed to connect with a cross into the area, Gerrard lined up a trademark effort from 35 yards. The strike was dipping and difficult for the Belgian, who pushes it over the top.
2. In the 68th minute, Again the Reds came forward as Coutinho tried his luck for goal with a low effort but Courtois got down to make the save and spilled it only to see Luis to clear it away.
3. In the 75th minute, Henderson took a quick free kick only to be saved by the Belgian and Sterling collected the return ball on the edge of the box for the rebound shot from a tight angle and this time he held the ball well and truly.
4. In the 79th minute, the hosts almost took the lead in superb style after Sterling did brilliantly to knock the ball down for Lallana from a lob pass and he tried his luck with a magnificent volley from 20 yards. However, Courtois was equal to the shot with an excellent save.
Addition to these, the Belgian collected many balls from his defense to clear them away and some amazing runs off the line to grab the ball so as to avoid the chances of scoring for the hosts.
Game has just begun’s Man of the Match
Even though football is team game and everyone shares the equal credit for the consequences either way. But there is always a last man standing strong and firm who gets the edge over others.
And to no surprise for yesterday’s game, the award goes to Thibaut Courtois, who has been able to keep Cech on the bench for majority of the season. He was standing strong at the goal as a wall when almost everyone from the team looked tired. No one can ask for more from a keeper than rescuing the team and he just did that.
Hence Game Has Just Begun’s Man of the Match.
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Edited By: Ankur Bhatt