Thibaut Courtois reiterated his commitment to winning trophies at Chelsea after making two crucial saves to preserve the Blues’ Premier League win streak against Sunderland on Wednesday.
Antonio Conte’s men took the lead through Cesc Fabregas shortly before half-time at the Stadium of Light, but failed to score a second goal and Courtois was required to deny both Adnan Januzaj and Patrick van Aanholt as Sunderland searched for an equaliser after the interval.
Chelsea supporters responded by chanting Courtois’ name from the stands in the final minutes — a scenario that seemed unlikely after quotes attributed to the Belgian while on international duty hinted on several occasions that he would be open to a move back to Spain.
“I think sometimes my comments didn’t come out the way I meant,” Courtois told the Evening Standard after the match. “I can understand they [the Chelsea fans] were frustrated, but I never meant it that way.
“They can clearly see that I am fully committed to this club, I want to win games and to win trophies for this club. I will do my very best for Chelsea.”
Asked about his saves, Courtois added: “It was good that I went to warm up again at half-time just to have that feeling of the ball again, to keep warm. The Januzaj save was only two or three minutes into the second half and I was ready for it. The last save [from Van Aanholt] was a huge one because I had to take it a bit behind my body.”
Courtois’ heroics extended Chelsea’s winning run in the Premier League to 10 matches as well as moving them six points clear at the top of the table, and the Belgian believes the Blues’ relentless form is doing psychological damage to the chasing pack.
“It’s good that our title rivals would have come back into the dressing room having won, Liverpool for example, and will have been thinking, ‘Damn, Chelsea won as well.’ That’s a good thing for us,” he said.
“On Saturday we are the first team to play [at Crystal Palace], so we have to show that we can get three points and then the others are under pressure to win as well.”