THIBAUT COURTOIS knew he was going to get it in his neck from Chelsea fans and he certainly wasn’t disappointed.
The Real Madrid goalkeeper has been hated at Stamford Bridge since fighting his way out of the club for a move to the Bernabeu four years ago.
And vitriol gushed from the Matthew Harding Stand the second he took his place in goal to kick-off.
“Thibaut, Thibaut, you’re a…” they roared before asking “Where’s your European Cup?” from the man who claimed he would move to Madrid to win the Champions League and last season actually lost to Chelsea.
But that semi-final had been played behind closed doors because of the pandemic and this time the volume had been turned down to 11.
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel asked Blues fans to make life as uncomfortable as possible for Carlo Ancelotti’s team and said: “We absolutely need the audience to get better.”
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And while the manic German had plenty of reasons to be disappointed with his players’ efforts, he couldn’t complain about the noise levels that threatened to take the roof off.
Just a few weeks ago, Chelsea were given the green light to even sell tickets for this game after Roman Abramovich was sanctioned by the government.
That meant potential new owner Todd Boehly could get an up-close look at the team he’s trying to buy as he sauntered onto the bridge virtually unnoticed.
The American billionaire is currently down on talks with the Chelsea board… and has now watched as many home games as Abramovich this season.
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And even if the result hadn’t turned out as he had imagined, he would still have been overwhelmed by the spirit and passion of the fans.
“European champions, we know what we are,” they sang, even if they might not be able to say it much longer.
Because on a dirty night in west London, it was the madridistas who sang in the rain as their team made a big move to avenge last season’s defeat.
And no one was happier about that impressive win than Courtois, who probably should have done better with Kai Havertz’s goal but more than made up for it with a fabulous save from Cesar Azpilicueta.
It means Real go into the second leg next week with a two-goal advantage after Blues keeper Edouard Mendy’s horrendous mistake handed Karim Benzema another Champions League hat-trick.
And it will take a lot more than songs to save Chelsea’s bacon at the Bernabeu. Maybe it’s time to pray.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/football/premier-league/5068410/thibaut-courtois-real-madrid-chelea-fans-1-3-booed/ Thibaut Courtois knew he would be booed by Chelsea fans and no one will be enjoying this Real Madrid win more than he is