PSG 1 Chelsea 1: Jose Mourinho hails his 'phenomenal' goalkeepers after Paris draw

Thibaut Courtois was outstanding on his return to the side in place of Petr Cech who played in the club's previous match

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The Independent Football

Jose Mourinho described his goalkeepers Thibaut Courtois and Petr Cech as “phenomenal” after a performance from the former came to the rescue of Chelsea in Paris, where they secured a promising 1-1 Champions League round of 16 draw with Paris Saint Germain.

Courtois made a number of good saves to give Chelsea a healthy draw to take into the second leg in three weeks’ time. He was back in the side after Cech had taken over duties in Chelsea’s goal in the previous game, the 1-0 Premier League win over Everton six days’ earlier.

Mourinho joked he would like to be able to pick both his goalkeepers: “If football was nine outfield players plus two goalkeepers, we would give no chance to anyone. We would be absolutely phenomenal because they're both phenomenal. Phenomenal.”

David Luiz, the former Chelsea defender said that PSG would have won had it not been for Courtois’ efforts. "Without their goalkeeper, we would have won this game. He was great. We did well. They got one goal from one opportunity, but I think we can go through over there."

On Courtois, Zlatan Ibrahimovic said: "The goalkeeper did a very good job, don't take that away from him. He's a world-class goalkeeper and he showed it. Let's see how we do in the second game to get the ball past him."


Mourinho admitted that his team lost ground in the second half after Branislav Ivanovic had given them a first half lead. “I think the first half was our half. Paris gave us the ball, played defensively with a very low block. They never put pressure on us and we were very, very comfortable moving the ball, having the ball, circulating the ball, letting the clock tick and never having problems to control the game.

“The second half was different. They were losing, they were aggressive. They put pressure on us, were trying to be aggressive and recovering the ball quick and playing very direct. It was their half, the second half. So 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.”

Mourinho also made clear the extent of his team’s problems with illness and injury. He said that Eden Hazard, Willian, Oscar, Cesc Fabregas, and Ivanovic had not trained since the win over Everton.

Mourinho said: “They did some individual training to try and keep running and moving, but they didn't train. [On Monday] they trained because they were there and wanted to show they were. They tried to give their best. Fabregas three days in bed with a high temperature, injured guys without training... they gave everything. So it's important.”