Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois hits back at ex-Man Utd boss Louis van Gaal

Posted Tuesday, March 27, 2018 by

Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois hits back at ex-Man Utd boss Louis van Gaal

Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has hit back at Louis van Gaal after the former Manchester United manager criticised his performance against Barcelona in the Champions League.

Courtois, 25, endured a difficult night at the Camp Nou a fortnight ago, conceding twice to Lionel Messi as the Argentinian ace struck both shots through his legs, helping Barcelona to a 3-0 win.

After the match, Van Gaal gave a brutal assessment of the Belgian shot-stopper's performance, saying the blame for Chelsea's Champions League lay at Courtois' feet.

Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois hits back at ex-Man Utd boss Louis van Gaal

Speaking to Dutch broadcaster Ziggo Sports, Van Gaal said: "The game was turned upside down due to the blunder of Courtois [for Messi's first goal] which I think is a big blunder.

"If he'd have had [Dutch former Manchester United goalkeeping coach] Frans Hoek as goalkeeper coach, he would have closed his legs. That just should not be allowed to happen."

Courtois has since retaliated at the 66-year-old's comments while away with the Belgian national team, insisting that the Dutchman should refrain from passing judgement on goalkeepers.

"When I hear so-called experts talking, I think they know nothing about goalkeeping — for example, Van Gaal should not talk about goalkeepers," he told Sporza.

Despite hitting back at Van Gaal, Courtois did confess to being at fault for Messi's brace and admitted 'La Pulga' has got the better of him on more than one occasion.

He continued: "I have often played against Messi and it was not the first time he scored with a shot between my legs.

"For a goalkeeper of my height it is probably my weakest point. That is very annoying, but I have to face it. I have to acknowledge my mistake as a man."

This season Courtois has kept the third-most clean sheets in the Premier league (13) – level with Spurs' Hugo Lloris – while he has also conceded just 27 goals in 29 matches for the Stamford Bridge club.

Belgium face Saudi Arabia on Tuesday night, while Chelsea host Tottenham on Sunday in a potentially season-defining match, as the two London rivals battle out for the fourth and final Champions League position in the Premier League.

Courtois missed the Blues' 2-1 FA Cup quarter-final win over Leicester City last week through a hamstring injury and is a doubt for both of the aforementioned matches.

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