Chelsea’s Champions League campaign came to an ultimately disappointing end at the Camp Nou on Wednesday night, the Blues succumbing 3-0 to a clinical Barcelona side that will undoubtedly walk the Spanish league and probably compete for ultimate European glory as well. Chelsea’s aspirations for a massive shock were quickly doused by a Messi (messy) goal inside of three minutes, then a second inside of twenty, with Messi then adding a (yet another messy) third for good measure. As good as Barcelona were however, their best chances and all their goals were gifted by Chelsea errors, a fact that did not escape Thibaut Courtois in the post-match interview ... especially as at least one of those errors, the first one, the most crucial one, was his.
“I don’t think we deserve to be out, but individual mistakes cost us in both legs. The first goal, I did not expect Lionel Messi to shoot from that angle and I was too late in closing my legs. It was a mistake on my part.
”There were missed passes from us and they scored from our mistakes. We defended and played well, hit the crossbar which was unlucky on our side but the individual mistakes cost us. We have to be honest about that.”
Courtois, who had faced Messi for three seasons while on loan at Atlético Madrid, did the right thing in accepting responsibility for his mistake, though obviously that does not change the outcome nor does it lessen the sense of disappointment.
Still, the only thing we can do now is move on.
“I’ve played against Messi a lot of times and I’ve already conceded goals through my legs with him. With a goalkeeper like me, two metres [tall], the weakest point maybe is between your legs because even if I’m standing in position there is a lot of space in between. It’s annoying but I don’t think I need to hide inside. I have to come out, be a man and show you made a mistake and move on.
”I also made some good saves as well, but it’s unlucky to go out to four goals where we made four mistakes. We have to move on, work hard and continue.”
-Thibaut Courtois; source: BT Sport via Evening Standard
As deflating as this result may be, Chelsea showed good fight — well, most of the players anyway — and that should bode well in the two main targets left for the season: to finish top four and qualify for next year’s Champions League, and maybe make a good fist of things in the FA Cup.