Community Shield: Thibaut Courtois' nightmare penalty for Chelsea vs Arsenal in 2017

  • Kobe Tong
Courtois' penalty vs Arsenal.

Thibaut Courtois loves a penalty.

After all, the Real Madrid shot-stopper made headlines around the world earlier this year when he denied Lionel Messi from the spot in what proved to be a crucial moment on the way to Champions League glory.

However, what if we were to tell you that Courtois doesn’t just like facing and saving penalties, but that he also likes taking them for good measure?

Goalkeepers taking penalties

Now, the world of goalkeepers taking penalties is often reserved for mavericks of the sport such as Rogerio Ceni, Hans-Jörg Butt and José Luis Chilavert, but there are exceptions to the rule.

And that’s especially the case when it comes to penalty shootouts where you don’t necessarily need to be team’s best taker from 12 yards to stand up and take the responsibility.

Over the years, we’ve seen the likes of Jordan Pickford and Joe Hart successfully try their hand at taking spot-kicks in shootouts that haven’t necessarily gone 11 rounds, but simply when they backed themselves.

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Courtois’ perfect penalty

And you can include Courtois in that list because he also stepped up to the plate for Chelsea during a shootout against Paris Saint-Germain at the 2015 International Champions Cup.

The result? Emphatic, with Courtois delivering what could easily be described as a perfect penalty by way of thundering the ball so far into the top left-hand corner that it even got tangled in the net for a second.

So, when the opportunity arose for Courtois to take a penalty for Chelsea in a shootout that – depending on your definitions – could be considered to be ‘friendly’ once again, he grabbed it with both hands.

Courtois’ Community Shield penalty

With the 2017 Community Shield having reached 90 minutes with the scores locked at 1-1, Chelsea and Arsenal went all the way to penalties in what looked like a perfect opportunity for Courtois to prove that lightning can indeed strike twice.

As such, the Belgian shot-stopper stepped up to take the Blues’ second penalty as part of a trial for the since-scrapped ABBA system, looking to replicate his heroics from the PSG friendly.

However, to say that Courtois bottled his attempts to reproduce his ‘perfect penalty’ would be to understate things massively with both his trusted technique and general accuracy going out the window.

So as fans around the world prepare to watch Liverpool and Manchester City do battle in this year’s Community Shield, be sure to relive Courtois producing one of the competition’s most embarrassing moments down below.

Oh dear, Thibaut, you’ve had a shocker there.

You really have to wonder why the former Atletico Madrid ‘keeper would deviate from the approach that saw him score one of the best penalties ever and instead aim for – what? – the right-centre of the goal.

Did Cech psych him out?

Well, we might actually have an explanation for that because it’s worth noting that Arsenal’s shot-stopper on the day was none other than Petr Cech, who had served as Courtois’ number two at Stamford Bridge for the 2014/15 season.

And Cech himself even thought that Courtois might have abandoned the technique that worked so perfectly for him against PSG because he was facing a goalkeeper who would know his tactics.

According to the Metro, Cech explained: “Obviously we played together and we made a lot of challenges during the training session in the penalty shoot-outs so this is not usually where he shoots.

Courtois and Cech at Wembley.
Soccer Football – Chelsea vs Arsenal – FA Community Shield – London, Britain – August 6, 2017 Arsenal’s Petr Cech and Chelsea’s Thibaut Courtois before the penalty shootout Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Couldridge

“So this is probably why he missed as normally he buries it in the top corner on the other side on the way I went so obviously maybe the fact we know each other and I know the players, maybe it made it more difficult for them.

“I hoped he was going to put it where I was going but obviously, you know…”

Ouch, it looks like Courtois might have been psyched out then…

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Either way, though, we’d love to see the Real hero give a penalty another try because if the two options are a top corner screamer or 30 yards above the bar, then you’re guaranteed entertainment every time!

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