Welcome to Volume II of the still fledgling Encyclopaedia Thibautica. One can only hope we have many more volumes to add after these first two.
Thibaut Courtois faced three penalties in his first season at Chelsea. Andros Townsend (Spurs), Dusan Tadic (Southampton), and Saido Berahino (West Brom) all scored and Chelsea failed to win any of those games. That all changed today, with a most crucial save from James Morrison of West Bromwich Albion. (Though let's not forget about the double save and the winning kick in the shootout against PSG in preseason!)
At the time, just a little over 10 minutes into the game, Chelsea were on the ropes. The hosts started well and we were all over the shop in defense, and slow in attack. And when Nemanja Matic took out the pesky Callum McManaman in the penalty box, the knockout blow looked to be coming. It was still early of course — and even earlier in terms of the whole season — but going behind at that point seemed like it would be the worst thing in the world.
Courtois's trailing leg changed all that. Penalty saved! (Season saved?) Morrison went for power, pretty much straight down the middle. We've seen this work many times when Frank Lampard used to do it, but luckily for us, it didn't work this time. Courtois's save visibly galvanized the side. Within seven minutes we'd be ahead and even John Terry's red card couldn't spoil the party.