Football

Thibaut Courtois responsible for keeping Chelsea in Champions League tie says Maxwell

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Chelsea are only in with a chance of getting past Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League because of the efforts of Thibaut Courtois, according to defender Maxwell.

The Paris Saint-Germain ace made the claim ahead of the second leg of their last 16 showdown at Stamford Bridge this week having drawn 1-1 at the Parc des Prince.

Lead

Chelsea took the lead in that game through Branislav Ivanovic but Edinson Cavani levelled things up - and the home side could have walked away with a decisive lead were it not for a handful of fine saves pulled off by Courtois.

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'We played very well in the first leg and showed that we are capable of beating Chelsea,' the Brazilian defender said. 'They saved the result because of their goalkeeper.

Confidence

'The first leg has brought us a lot of confidence and we head into the return leg looking to qualify.'

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Jose Mourinho admitted afterwards the game that his side could have gone into the second game behind, however Chelsea were in control in the first half and could have certainly added to their tally. 

The Special One said at the time: 'I think 1-1 reflects one half for Chelsea, one half for Paris. But if you go to chances created and the goalkeepers' performances, we have to be honest and say they had more than us. If somebody was closer to winning the game, it was Paris and not Chelsea.'

Favourites

As it stands Chelsea remain slight favourites given that they have home advantage, while they emerged from a showdown against Laurent Blanc's side at the quarter final stage last season.

The Blues are looking to go one step further after being knocked out at the semi-final stage against Atletico Madrid last time round, but they'll be confident of doing just that after winning the first trophy of Mourinho's second spell in west London last weekend.

They overcame Tottenham 2-0 at Wembley eight days ago to claim the Capital One Cup, and currently sit four points cleat of Manchester City at the top of the table. Petr Cech started the cup final against Spurs while Courtois came back in for the win against West Ham - and the Belgian is likely to keep the gloves for the game this week.

Opinion 

There seems to be a strange feeling in football that if a goalkeeper plays well then his team is somehow fortunate - as if he somehow doesn't count as a full part of the starting XI.

It's a theme that Louis van Gaal picked up on regarding David de Gea's performances recently - he rejected claims that the Red Devils were lucky to beat Newcastle because the Spaniard make some key saves.

That's exactly what goalkeepers are in the team to do and to single them out and not do the same for say, a full-back or midfielder is just hypocritical.

Do you think Chelsea deserve to go through after their first leg performance?

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Topics:
Football
UEFA Champions League
Thibaut Courtois
Chelsea

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