Thibaut Courtois

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Chelsea’s Courtois talking new deal, but “heart is in Madrid”

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Thibaut Courtois isn’t quite saying, “Come and get me, Real,” but it is easy for an interested party to connect the dots.

[ PL PLAYBACK: What’s wrong with Chelsea? ]

The Chelsea goalkeeper, 25, gave an interview to Sport/Foot Magazine in Belgium, and said he’s talking with the Blues on a contract extension.

Good news for the Blues, right? Kinda.

Those quotes came after the star keeper basically talked up Madrid for a while, discussing how much he misses his kids — who live with his ex-girlfriend — how he became an adult there, and how it’s essentially just like Heaven. From Sky Sports:

“If they want me, they have to contact Chelsea. We’ll see. But they have not done that. What is certain is that one day I will return to Madrid. I love Spain, I love the city, I spent three wonderful years there [with Atletico Madrid]. It is there that I became an adult.

“If Real are really interested, my personal situation could influence things. The family aspect is priceless. But I repeat to you that, for the moment, I’m busy talking to Chelsea to extend.”

Manchester United supporters are likely cheering this story along, and sending Madrid postcards to Courtois’ attention at Stamford Bridge; If Real landed Courtois, then the David De Gea talk would maybe, maybe, take a transfer window-long break.

Arsenal 2-2 Chelsea: London rivals thrill

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  • Courtois stars between sticks
  • Wilshere opens scoring
  • Hazard wins, converts PK
  • Alonso puts Chelsea ahead
  • Bellerin levels in stoppage

Hector Bellerin‘s stoppage time goal was the final marker of a 2-2 thriller between Arsenal an Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.

Eden Hazard and Marcos Alonso scored and Thibaut Courtois was strong in goal as Chelsea came back to take a lead on Arsenal 2-1.

Jack Wilshere had put Arsenal deservedly ahead in the 63rd minute, but the match was only level for four minutes.

The draw means Chelsea stays third behind Manchester United, while Arsenal remains sixth. That’s a point behind North London Derby rivals Spurs, who play West Ham to finish the festive fixture season on Thursday.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

There was heightened intensity at the Emirates, leading to some overcooked passes and stylish interventions, but goals looked likely four times in the first 30 minutes.

  • Alvaro Morata ran onto an overcooked cross and had a 1v1 with Petr Cech, but screwed his effort wide of the net.
  • Alexis Sanchez stepped onto a ball inside the 18 and forced Thibaut Courtois to push the ball off not one, but both goal posts.
  • Eden Hazard danced through the Arsenal defense to set up ex-Gunners mid Cesc Fabregas, but the Spaniard blazed over the bar.
  • Alexandre Lacazette turned neatly near the penalty spot off a Sanchez feed, but Courtois again got his paw on the ball from a horizontal perspective.

Granit Xhaka fouled Tiemoue Bakayoko on the edge of the Arsenal 18, opening the door for Marcos Alonso’s dangerous left peg. The Spanish defender’s effort wasn’t his best, though, as it ballooned over the bar to keep the match scoreless

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Another good-looking turn from Lacazette sent Gary Cahill to the moon and cued up an early second half chance for Arsenal, but Courtois made a wonderful leg save.

The breakthrough came in the 63rd minute through longtime Gunners midfielder Wilshere, who belted a deflected and loose ball into the roof of the goal.

Courtois returned to his game-saving ways, deterring a Lacazette shot moments later.

Hazard then drew and converted a penalty and had it level in the 67th minute, as Hector Bellerin kicked Hazard’s boot in a duel for a bouncing ball. 1-1.

Morata then bodied Chambers off a breakaway ball, but his chip failed to find the frame. That wouldn’t be the case for Alonso, who finished his sixth goal of the season off a hard low pass from substitute Davide Zappacosta.

But Bellerin scored in stoppage time before Zappacosta ripped an effort off the cross bar at the other end!

Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea: Spoils split

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  • Salah’s 15th Liverpool goal
  • Reds stay third
  • Willian‘s cross sails in

Mohamed Salah and Willian traded second half goals in a cagey and entertaining 1-1 draw between Liverpool and Chelsea at Anfield on Saturday.

The point keeps Chelsea third with 26 points, three ahead of fifth-place Liverpool.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Jurgen Klopp left Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, and Georginio Wijnaldum on the bench in an eyebrow-raising XI.

Eden Hazard was far-and-away the star of the opening 20 minutes, and forced the only dangerous moment for either keeper with a 21st minute drive that led to a corner kick.

Danny Drinkwater was the next to ask Simon Mignolet to stop him, poking over the keeper but wide of the frame.

The dangerous Mohamed Salah provided a rare moment of threat from Liverpool, moving between N'Golo Kante and Gary Cahill to curl a shot around a flying Thibaut Courtois… and the goal.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Hazard and James Milner were tangled on the edge of the 18, but Michael Oliver saw the incident as accidental and didn’t award a penalty kick.

At the other end, Courtois almost fumbled a bouncing Daniel Sturridge shot into the goal.

The Blues kept knocking, firing crosses in from the right to force Liverpool into tricky interventions and blocks.

Salah provided the break through, and refused to celebrate against his former club. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain set the chance up, and the Egyptian winger calmly and clinically made it 1-0.

Chelsea found an answer through Willian’s lofted cross, which was mishit and put Mignolet in a bad place. The ball sailed over the keeper’s head for 1-1.

Courtois stopped a late Salah strike, and the points were split at the Bridge.

Courtois shakes off rumors of player unrest at Chelsea

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With defending champions Chelsea struggling to piece together consistent positive results, rumors of player unrest have cropped up as Antonio Conte comes under fire.

According to one first-team player, that couldn’t be less true.

[ MORE: Tuesday’s EFL Cup wrap as Swansea, Palace fall ]

“When a top team has a few bad results the first thing they try to say is that the players are not happy and we’re not behind the coach,” Courtois told reporters ahead of Chelsea’s Carabao Cup match against Everton. “But against Watford you saw we fought for every moment and we fought when we were down, so everybody can see we’re behind the coach. Those rumors are easy to spread but I don’t think they are true. If somebody is unhappy, instead of going to the press I think they would say it internally, so it’s not true.”

Courtois doubled down, adding that Conte isn’t to blame, and the players need to be the ones to pick up the slack with the results not going their way.

“First of all, it’s the players that have to do it on the pitch so it was important to win, to fight. At the moment it’s more running, fighting and battling for every ball than maybe the best football.”

Courtois has played every minute of Chelsea’s Premier League season so far, but could get some time off on Wednesday. Last Carabao Cup match, Conte chose to rest Courtois in favor of backup Willy Caballero. In fact, Conte left Courtois completely out of the squad, with third-stringer Eduardo named to the bench behind Caballero.

Chelsea 3-3 Roma – Thrills at the Bridge

AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth
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  • Luiz, Hazard put Chelsea up 2-0
  • Kolarov, Dzeko brace flip lead
  • Hazard nabs equalizer
  • U.S. U-20 mid Scott on bench for Chelsea

Eden Hazard scored twice as Chelsea overcame the sacrifice of a 2-0 lead and the Blues drew AS Roma 3-3 at Stamford Bridge in UEFA Champions League action on Wednesday.

David Luiz also scored for Chelsea. Ex-Man City men Edin Dzeko and Aleksandar Kolarov starred for Roma, with Dzeko scoring twice and Kolarov adding a goal and an assist.

Chelsea has seven points to lead Group C, two more than Roma and five ahead of third-placed Atletico Madrid. The sides will meet again in Rome on Halloween.

[ MORE: Landon Donovan, USSF prez? ]

Luiz started the scoring with a delightful strike. Call it a second bite at the proverbial apple if you must, but then admit he sunk his teeth into it.

Eden Hazard made a darting run to double Chelsea’s lead, but Kolarov pulled Roma within one with a deflected strike past Thibaut Courtois.

Diego Perotti curled a shot that hardly troubled Courtois in the 63rd minute, the Chelsea keeper just leaving his feet collect it.

Dzeko and Chelsea’s Andreas Christensen (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

Then the former Man City striker struck again, seeing a long diagonal ball over his shoulder and whizzing a perfect left-footed volley through the flailing arms of Courtois.

Dzeko then made a late move before a Kolarov free kick to lose his mark and nod home a go-ahead goal.

It wasn’t over, as Hazard found his way to space and a cross from Pedro.

The Belgian headed his chance beyond a diving Alisson, and it was 3-3 with 15 minutes to play.

American-English midfielder Kyle Scott did not make his Chelsea bow. The 19-year-old has represented England at the U-16 level and the U.S. at the U-18 and U-20 levels.