Thibaut Courtois won Chelsea semi-final tie, says Liverpool boss
Brendan Rodgers highlights Thibaut Courtois as the difference between the two sides
Brendan Rodgers has highlighted Thibaut Courtouis as the difference between Chelsea and Liverpool over two legs after the Blues booked their place in the League Cup final.
The Reds were unable to score a vital goal at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night after a 1-1 draw at Anfield in the first leg of their Capital One Cup last-four clash.
I think the goalkeeper for them has won them the tie really
Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic scored the winner in the fourth minute of extra time as Courtois made four saves to deny the visitors a crucial away goal.
The Belgium international made a staggering nine stops across the two legs, and Liverpool manager Rodgers was keen to stress Courtois’ role in sealing Chelsea’s passage to the final.
“I think we were the better side over the two games, but ultimately you’ve got to get the place in the final,” Rodgers told Liverpool’s website following the defeat.
“I think the goalkeeper for them has won them the tie really. Performance-wise, we were outstanding. Again tonight, some of our play was very good and we created chances.
“There weren’t going to be many chances in the game for both sides, but certainly in the first half we created enough to maybe get a couple of goals.
“But their ‘keeper made some very good saves and ultimately, I think, has won them the tie.
“I sit here with pride. There’s disappointment we haven’t got through, but Chelsea arrived at the top of their game when they came to Anfield last week and we were outstanding and should have won that game.
“Tonight we were very, very good again. The learning for us is to make the next step – you saw a lot of young players out there working, and now we’ve got to make the next step and try to go on and win a trophy.”
Chelsea will face Sheffield United or Tottenham Hotspur in the Capital One Cup showpiece at Wembley.
Jose Mourinho’s side welcome title rivals Manchester City to Stamford Bridge in Saturday’s late kick-off.