Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Chelsea keeper Courtois happy to escape Turf Moor with a hard-fought draw

SoccerNews in English Premier League 12 Feb 2017

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Thibaut Courtois acknowledged that Chelsea will likely look at their 1-1 draw at Burnley on Sunday as being a good point gained in difficult conditions.

Burnley have one of the best home records in the Premier League this season, with their tally of nine wins at their own ground bettered by only Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal.

Chelsea started well amid difficult wintry conditions at Turf Moor, though, and took the lead after just seven minutes when Pedro finished off a fine counter-attack.

But Burnley rallied well and drew level through Robbie Brady’s delightful free-kick just before the half-hour mark and could have even won it if Matt Lowton or Andre Gray had been more composed.

“Burnley away with their home record is a really difficult side to play against,” Courtois told Sky Sports, after Chelsea opened up a 10-point gap at the top of table.

“The pitch was not so good with the cold and snow, so it was not an ideal situation.

“But I think that we conceded a free-kick and Brady showed his quality with the goal.

“We couldn’t find our game again and slipped – we couldn’t find space between the lines and maybe we were a bit sloppy in the end.

“We didn’t really have many more chances. Maybe in the end in that situation we are happy with a point.”

Courtois felt helpless when trying to keep Brady’s free-kick out and accepted that he was beaten by a brilliant strike from the Irishman, who was making his home debut.

“I got a finger on it but not enough,” he said. “You can try to anticipate, but if it is a fantastic free-kick with pace into the top corner then it is so very hard to keep out.”

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