According to the (Telegraph), Manchester United put in an incredible performance against Chelsea in yesterday’s Super Sunday clash. In a statement game, the Red Devils dominated in nearly every aspect of the game, and started without two of their best signings, Ibrahimovic and Mhkitarayan. Mourinho used a 3-5-2 formation, with Lingard and Rashford playing up front and Ander Herrera man-marking Eden Hazard, which worked to devastating effect as United won 2-0 without allowing Chelsea to make a single shot on target.
This victory blew open the title race, allowing Tottenham to get within 4 points of the League leaders with 6 games left to be played. But the question still remains, while Chelsea’s attacking threat was nullified by United, if Courtois was fit, could they have kept it to a 0-0 draw? And why exactly was Courtois not playing in Chelsea’s last major match in the Premier League apart from an away game at Everton?
Courtois is currently leading the race for the Golden Glove with 13 clean sheets. Amidst interest from Real Madrid, he is considered the best keeper in the Premier League apart from David De Gea. His defiance in front of net very well could have stopped Rashford’s break away goal in the first half. Whether he could have stopped Herrera’s deflected shot in the second is up for debate. The point is, Chelsea would have been much stronger defensively had he been there.
The reason for Courtois’ absence is bizarre: he was injured playing basketball. To be more accurate, it was for a promotional advertisement with the NBA, but still. Courtois landed awkwardly after jumping for the ball during the shoot and injured his ankle, which also may rule him out for the FA Cup semi final against Tottenham this week. It is a strange turn of events for Chelsea, who have been dominant first place holders for most of the season.