With Kepa Arrizabalaga producing one of his finest Chelsea performances on Sunday as he kept his fourth consecutive clean sheet in our 2-0 win at Aston Villa, we take a look at some other outstanding displays by Blues goalkeepers in recent years.
Carlo Cudicini v Liverpool, 2001/02
‘It’s incredible that a team should win 4-0 and the goalkeeper is made man of the match,’ said Liverpool caretaker manager Phil Thompson after watching Carlo Cudicini defy his side at Stamford Bridge in December 2001.
The Italian’s excellent form saw his usurp Ed de Goey as our starting goalkeeper in 2001/02 and he produced arguably his best performance for the Blues when we hosted the league-leading Reds just before Christmas.
Cudicini produced excellent saves to deny Sami Hyypia and Steven Gerrard in the first half when we led through an early Graeme Le Saux goal and he continued his heroics after the interval, stopping a Gary McAllister penalty and producing more fine saves to deny the Scot and John Arne Riise as goals by Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Sam Dalla Bona and Eidur Gudjohnsen sealed an emphatic victory.
Petr Cech v Bayern Munich, 2011/12
Petr Cech was voted Man of the Match in the fan poll on UEFA’s website after his three penalty saves helped the Blues to lift the Champions League trophy for the first time in 2012.
Bayern Munich outshot the Blues 35-9 at the Allianz Arena on that glorious May evening but our legendary Czech keeper stopped whatever found its way past his defenders including a penalty by former Blue Arjen Robben in extra-time.
He then plunged to his left twice to deny Ivica Olic and Bastian Schweinsteiger in the penalty shoot-out and set the stage for Didier Drogba to end London’s long wait for Champions League success.
Thibaut Courtois v Queens Park Rangers, 2014/15
Thibaut Courtois came in for heavy ridicule after Stoke City’s Charlie Adam beat him from 65 yards in a Premier League match in April 2015 but the Belgian made up for that unfortunate lapse with a solid performance at Loftus Road the following week.
Queens Park Rangers were in the relegation zone but they gave the league-leading Blues a torrid time in the west London derby with Courtois making a big save to deny Charlie Austin in the first half and producing a magnificent reflex stop after the interval to keep out Matt Phillips from point-blank range.
His heroics kept the game scoreless until the 88th minute when Cesc Fabregas scored with our only shot of target to maintain our seven-point lead over Manchester City and plunge QPR into deeper trouble as they went straight back down to the Championship.
Edouard Mendy v Brentford, 2021/22
For 73 minutes, Edouard Mendy didn’t have too much to do with Chelsea appearing to be in firm control against Brentford in our first league meeting for 74 years. However, he earned his keep that afternoon, producing a string of fine saves in the closing minutes to keep the home side at bay.
The Senegalese goalkeeper used just about every part of his 1.94-metre frame to frustrate the busy Bees as Ivan Toney, Saman Ghoddos and Ethan Pinnock were all denied before Pontus Jansson saw his attempt strike Mendy in the face.
He saved his best for last, tipping over an acrobatic effort from Christian Norgaard in stoppage time to preserve our hard-earned victory before celebrating wildly with his team-mates at the final whistle.