Goalie Thibaut Courtois the penalty hero for Chelsea

Posted by

Chelsea 1 Paris St Germain 1 (Chelsea win 6-5 on penalites)

Chelsea recovered from their surprise defeat to New York Red Bulls to claim their first victory of their pre-season US tour with a penalty shoot-out triumph over Paris St Germain in Charlotte.

Jose Mourinho’s men, who were beaten 4-2 by the Red Bulls on Thursday, rode their luck to hold PSG to a 1-1 draw during regulation time before defeating the French champions 6-5 on penalties with goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois the Blues’ hero.

He saved from Jean-Christophe Bahebeck immediately after Juan Cuadrado had missed for Chelsea and then, after the shoot-out had gone to sudden death, Courtois parried Thiago Silva’s spot-kick before the Belgium international stepped up to smash home the next penalty himself and seal victory.

Earlier, Zlatan Ibrahimovic gave PSG a deserved half-time lead before Victor Moses levelled things up after the break as Chelsea – for whom Radamel Falcao made his debut as a second-half substitute – enjoyed a better period.

The match could have been over as a contest by that stage though, but for the goalkeeping of Asmir Begovic in the first half at Bank of America Stadium,.

The summer arrival from Stoke was powerless to stop Ibrahimovic from opening the scoring in the 24th minute when PSG’s talisman fired a left-footed shot into the roof of the net after Jean-Kevin Augustin’s low effort had come back off the post.

However, Begovic did superbly to keep out Lucas Moura’s deflected shot just after the half-hour before then denying teenager Augustin when one-on-one and, on the stroke of half-time, producing a finger-tip save to frustrate Lucas again.

Marco Verratti also spurned a good chance with only Begovic to beat, while in response the closest Chelsea came before the interval was a 27th-minute effort from Diego Costa that struck the top of the near post after taking a slight deflection off PSG goalkeeper Kevin Trapp.

PSG, who knocked Chelsea out of last season’s Champions League at the last-16 stage, continued to push forward after the resumption but it was the Blues who should have notched next when they were left with a three-on-one break after stealing possession in the 61st minute.

Cesc Fabregas could not make the most of the opportunity, though, as his shot was blocked by Adrien Rabiot, and from the follow-up Moses dragged his shot wide.

Chelsea then survived a scare at the other when Lucas fired a good opening wide, and within a minute of that miss the Blues were level.

Fabregas picked out Moses perfectly with a dinked cross to the far post and the Nigeria international volleyed home from six yards.

Mourinho’s side put on a better showing after the break but PSG’s threat did not disappear and Courtois – on in place of Begovic – had to be alert to save from Lucas Digne in stoppage time.

That stop ensured the match would go to penalties – no extra-time being played – where Courtois helped the Premier League champions claim victory.

More Stories Sport