Asmir Begovic endured a personal nightmare on his Chelsea debut against New York Red Bulls on Wednesday night, conceding four goals in 26 second-half minutes after coming on for Thibaut Courtois.
The £8 million Bosnia & Herzegovina international, who completed his move from Stoke City earlier this month, never recovered after conceding the first goal - the result of a calamitous back-pass from fellow substitute John Terry.
That was in the 51st minute. Begovic then conceded three goals in seven minutes, between minutes 70 and 77, to compound his misery as the Red Bulls’ second-string side recorded a surprise 4-2 victory over the Premier League champions.
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Jose Mourinho defended his new signing after the full-time whistle, claiming the 28-year-old was tired. The Chelsea boss has now doubt the goalkeeper will improve.
“First of all I think he was tired, the same as Thibaut Courtois and when goalkeeper are very tired, co-ordination is low, agility doesn't exist, speed reaction doesn't exist,” Mourinho was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.
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“Courtois made a mistake in the first half on his feet; Begovic in the second half was not sharp in his reactions. So, for me it is a consequence of that. But he is fantastic goalkeeper, no problem.
“I’m so happy to have him. Next game against Paris St Germain he will start and play the first-half so no problem. It’s just a process.”
Video: Begovic's nightmare debut
NY Red Bulls first goal...
And the other three...
Chelsea fans less kind on Twitter
Begovic will be relieved to hear such reassuring words from his new manager after such an unconvincing display - although it’s safe to say he won’t receive the same reaction if he produces a similar performance against PSG.
Chelsea fans on Twitter - not all, but a fair few - were less kind to their new back-up goalkeeper.
Begovic has taken a big risk
Begovic has taken a risk joining Chelsea. Although he may feel that he’s good enough to put serious pressure on Courtois, the former Stoke man is not in the same class as the young Belgian.
At 23, Courtois is already one of the world’s elite goalkeepers, alongside the likes of Manuel Neuer and David de Gea.
Begovic knows he will only play for Chelsea when Courtois is either injured, suspended or in need of a rest - and his debut display means Courtois can afford to sleep easily for the time being.
He must now show the strength of character to bounce back with a solid performance against PSG.
Chelsea fans: are you concerned about Asmir Begovic after this performance? Have your say by leaving a comment in the box below!
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