Atletico Madrid put one foot in the Copa del Rey semi-finals following their impressive 2-0 win over Real Betis at the Vicente Calderon Stadium last night.
Goals from prolific striker Radamel Falcao and Filipe Luis put Diego Simeone's side in the driving seat, with a fine performance from on-loan Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois ensuring Los Rojiblancos maintained their clean sheet at the halfway stage of the two-legged tie.
With the hosts two goals up after only 23 minutes, Courtois was on hand to deny Real Betis any hope of getting back into the game, when he pulled off an incredible triple-save, forcing the ball out for a corner after a scramble in the box.
And, the 20-year-old built on his impressive first-half performance when he blocked superbly five minutes after the break, from a dangerous Jorge Molina shot from inside the penalty area.
Courtois's performances during his second season-long loan spell away from Stamford Bridge will reassure those Chelsea fans already looking nevously towards the future, in search of a worthy replacement for long-term custodian Petr Cech.
The Blues' self-imposed policy of handing all players over the age of 30, one-year rolling contracts, already looks to have marked the end of Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole's careers in west London, and 30-year-old Cech is unlikely to be far behind.
Chelsea's number one signed a new four-year contract in May, that will keep him at the club until 2016, but with Roman Abramovich placing an emphasis on nurturing and bringing through exciting young talent, the European champions might not be able to ignore Courtois for much longer.
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