04 Feb Courtois frustrated at Euro hopes slipping away
Thibaut Courtois expressed frustration at more dropped points as Chelsea’s bid for European football faded further in Wednesday night’s goalless draw at Watford.
The Blues are 13th in the Premier League, 16 points behind fourth-placed Arsenal and 11 adrift of Sunday’s opponents Manchester United, who occupy the final European qualifying position in fifth.
It seems increasingly likely that Chelsea, last season’s Premier League champions, will have to win the Champions League to qualify to play Europe’s elite next season. Paris St Germain are their last-16 opponents.
Goalkeeper Courtois has won back to back titles – the Primera Division in Spain while on loan at Atletico Madrid prior to last season’s championship win – and took little consolation from Chelsea extending their unbeaten run to 10 games since the departure of Jose Mourinho as boss.
“Being unbeaten is always important but obviously we would have preferred to win than draw,” Courtois said on chelseafc.com.
“We could have won. It’s a pity we didn’t but now we have an important game against Manchester United.
“We want to win every game and move up the table, it’s another big one.”
Chelsea might have nicked all three points had Heurelho Gomes not been equal to Diego Costa’s late header.
Courtois added: “He’s a very good goalkeeper and he proved that, the last save from Diego was terrific and he saved them the points.
“We’re not happy, we had the biggest chances and Gomes made two big saves.
“We cannot be happy with a point but it was a solid performance.”
Watford were Guus Hiddink’s first opponents in caretaker charge in a 2-2 draw on Boxing Day and the Dutchman is now unbeaten in nine matches, although only two of his seven Premier League games have been won.
Watford now have 33 points with 14 games to play and sit ninth in the table, yet the priority remains 40 points and survival. Next they play at Tottenham on Saturday.