Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand questioned Thibaut Courtois’ decision-making in the build-up to Edinson Cavani’s winner for PSG against Chelsea on Tuesday night, with Michael Ballack backing his fellow pundit in his criticism of the goalkeeper.
Chelsea looked on course to secure a 1-1 draw in their Champions League last 16 first leg tie at the Parc des Princes after John Obi Mikel restored parity following on from Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s strike earlier in the first half.
But, with 12 minutes to go, Angel Di Maria delivered a superb ball into the path of substitute Cavani, who fired past the incoming Courtois to earn PSG a 2-1 lead going into the second leg at Stamford Bridge in three weeks time.
Despite Chelsea’s goalkeeper making several fine stops in Paris, Ferdinand criticised Courtois for deciding to come off his line ahead of Cavani’s goal, saying if the 23-year-old had stayed back the Uruguay star may not have opted to shoot.
“We have to call the keeper’s decision-making into question,” Ferdinand said during his punditry duties for BT Sport. “He makes Cavani’s mind up. The ball is running away from goal. He comes out all that way and tells him ‘Go on, you have got to shoot.'”
Ex-Chelsea midfielder Ballack agreed and said: “He makes good saves but not unbelievable saves, in my opinion. The Champions league is the highest level. These are the little things that decide the game.
“Maybe it is a little bit unfair when you are a goalkeeper, we judge them always on mistakes. His position in the box is mostly brilliant. He has this vision, this feeling for the ball, but in that specific moment, when Cavani scored, we were not sure.”
This post has already been read 1022 times!