Stats: Mourinho gets big call right as Courtois shines on home debut

Chelsea's Belgian star impressed again as he made his first appearance at Stamford Bridge in a 2-0 win over Leicester City.

Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois again impressed for the Blues, keeping a clean sheet in a tight 2-0 win over Leicester with the aid of a couple of superb saves.

It was always going to be a huge call for Jose Mourinho as to who started their first game against Burnley, and inevitably then, these early Premier League matches.

With so little between the two goalkeepers, the Chelsea manager had to decide on whether it was better upsetting the best young goalkeeper in the world, or arguably the Premier League's best goalkeeper of the last decade. At 32-years-old, Cech should be in the prime of his career, which may wind down over the next 5 years or so, in comparison, Courtois has 10 years on his teammate, and is already at a world class level.

And though Mourinho ended up going with the young pretender over a player he knew very well from his previous spell in charge of the Blues, it looks very much like the Portuguese tactician got it right.

His save against David Nugent when the one time England man was played through on goal was as good a one-on-one stop as you're likely to see all season, the Belgian quickly off his line and spreading his 6'6" frame wide to stop the effort with his outstretched left hand.

Courtois had already impressed in the season opener at Turf Moor, with a fine fingertip save from Scott Arfield to keep Burnley down to the one goal.

And against Leicester this Saturday, he seemed an impenetrable wall with the Foxes threatening on more than one occasion. Aside from his save Nugent, the Belgian also did well to deny Riyad Mahrez in the first half.

Courtois 2014/15 stats

  TeamSaves / appsSave Percentage (Accurate Goal Kicks / Goal Kicks) * 100Keeper Pick Up / appsSaved Ibox / appsAppsMins
Thibaut Courtois Chelsea 2.50 83.33 46.15 4.50 0.50 2 180

Cech 2013/14 stats

  TeamSaves / appsSave Percentage(Accurate Goal Kicks / Goal Kicks) * 100Keeper Pick Up / appsSaved Ibox / appsAppsMins
Petr Cech Chelsea 2.38 78.69 53.33 5.79 1.35 34 3,060

As the stats above show, though there is little between the two players at this early stage in Courtois's career, he is already registering a higher save percentage than the Chelsea legend. Quite what figures the Belgian posts by the end of the season will really tell if Mourinho got the call right or not.

With goalkeepers at the top clubs the emphasis is as much about concentration as anything else, the ability to do little for long periods of the game only to be called upon to save the team at a moments notice. It is often such focus that comes later in player's careers, with keepers notoriously peaking later on, but Courtois seems to have this area of the game covered

It will be interesting to see whether Cech will still be at the club come September 1st, and if he is, what kind of role he plays in Chelsea's first team this season, because unless Courtois suffers an injury, it looks like he'll be very difficult to usurp.

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