With Sunday’s Capital One Cup final at Wembley Stadium looming large, 22-year-old Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has admitted that never in his short professional career has he ever been in a competitive penalty shootout.
Courtois started both legs of Chelsea’s semifinal victory over Liverpool after Petr Cech started the team’s previous three Capital One Cup games, so one might think Jose Mourinho will name Courtois his No. 1 ‘keeper on Sunday.
Courtois, from London 24:
“No, I don’t think I have been in a penalty shootout before. There was just one time, which was in a friendly tournament with Atletico. That was the only time I’ve been in a penalty shootout.
“We all work with the goalkeeper coach, we do our thing in practice. We will be prepared it is goes to penalties.”
“With all the videos and images you can watch nowadays, you try and analyze what they’re like more and more. But football is football and every game is different — every time they come in front of you it can be different.
If Sunday’s final goes all the way to a penalty shootout, Courtois’s inexperience in such an event may just prove to be the kind of slim advantage Spurs need to lift the Cup. Then again, Harry Kane took an abysmal penalty against West Ham United on the weekend, so maybe he’ll hit one right at Courtois who makes the easy save.