Courtois admits his mistake was costly

Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois admitted his early mistake proved decisive in the Champions League defeat against Barcelona.

The Blues, beaten 3-0 at the Nou Camp and 4-1 on aggregate, made the worst possible start to the second leg.

They went behind after only three minutes when Courtois allowed Lionel Messi’s shot from a tight angle to squirm between his legs and into the net.

Courtois afterwards explained that he did not expect Messi to shoot and was unable to react quickly enough.

“Individual mistakes cost us in both legs,” the Belgian admitted.

“I didn’t expect Messi to shoot from there and I was too late to close my legs so that was a mistake on my part. It’s not nice to start an evening like that.

“For a goalkeeper like me from two metres, it’s my weakest point between my legs. Even if I’m standing in a normal position there’s a lot of space in between.

“I have to come out and be a man and show you made a mistake and move on.”

Marcos Alonso insisted Chelsea were unlucky to exit the tournament.

Barca, who ended up comfortably going through to the quarter-finals, profited from Chelsea’s mistakes but the visitors did create chances, with Alonso and Antonio Rudiger both hitting the woodwork.

“We knew they have top players and we cannot give them one metre because then they can create and score,” Alonso said.

“I think we were a little bit unlucky. We had so many chances in both games and they were the better team but we were unlucky. I think we competed well and we have to keep training and get better.

“They were not comfortable in the first half and we just missed the chances. It could have been 2-2 at least at half-time but it was 2-0 and in a stadium like this, against this team, it isn’t easy to come back.”

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte also felt his team were unfortunate.

However, the Italian also acknowledged that Messi’s brilliance was the main difference between the two sides.

“I think tonight and across the two legs, I think Messi made the difference,” Conte said.

“As you know very well we are talking about the best player in the world.

“I think over the two legs we were a bit unlucky because we hit the post four times and in our best moment they scored, they were very, very clinical tonight. I think we created many chances but we didn’t take them.

“We are talking about a player that every season, finishes every season with 60 goals. We are not talking about a top player, but a super top player.

“He made the difference but at the same time we have no regrets. I’m very proud of my players because they gave everything tonight and maybe we didn’t deserve to lose 3-0.”