Courtois explains why Chelsea didn't break through against Sunderland

Thibaut Courtois feels Chelsea encountered a familiar problem in the draw at Sunderland.

Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has commented on what he saw as the problem in the 0-0 draw against Sunderland.

The Premier League leaders dominated the match but weren’t able to get their noses over the winning line, as they were left frustrated by Gus Poyet’s side.

Courtois’ assessment of the problem suggests Chelsea struggled where they found games difficult last season; when teams played with ten men behind the ball and made it difficult for them to find the space to express themselves.

“If we find space we are really dangerous so it’s normal for teams to defend against us and I think it will continue,” he told the Chelsea website.

“It’s difficult to find gaps, if you score early then you know they have to come at you and there will be more space but we couldn’t do that and it was a difficult match.”

“It’s an important week with two difficult games; first a derby against Tottenham in front of our own fans and then we go away to Newcastle, which will be tough.”

There were several examples last season of where teams turned out against Chelsea and played with two banks of four players, with the attacking midfielder and striker often dropping off to make a midfield six.

It was a tactic which left Mourinho fuming on more than one occasion, as he ripped into West Ham after the Hammers held Chelsea in front of their own fans playing in that exact way.

Jose Mourinho responded by going out and buying players last summer who can make the difference in those situations.

Cesc Fabregas is perfect in situations where there is only limited space to find one killer pass while striker Diego Costa has proven to be effective in terms of taking the most remote of half chances.

Chelsea have the team and the tactics needed to win games like the one against Sunderland, but the luck isn’t always going to go their way.

Register for CHELSEA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch