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06 August 2017

Antonio Conte forced to defend his decision to allow Thibaut Courtois take his shocking penalty

ANTONIO CONTE has been forced to defend his decision to pick Thibaut Courtois as one of Chelsea’s penalty takers.

The keeper took Blues’ second penalty but ballooned his strike hopelessly over the bar as his side missed out on their first silverware of the season.

Thibaut Courtois took Chelsea’s second penalty but blazed it over
Jamie McPhilimey – The Sun
Thibaut Courtois’ penalty was high, wide and not very handsome
Rex Features

Arsenal scored late to take the game to penalties before the Gunners ran out 4-1 winners in the shootout.

It was the first time that the new ‘ABBA’ format was used in England as the FA try to eliminate the advantage given to the first penalty taker.

When asked why he opted to hand Courtois a spot-kick, Conte was bullish in his response.

He said: “He is one of our best players to take a penalty.

“If your player shows you in training to be one of the best, you pick him to play and try and shoot a penalty.

“But don’t forget [Alvaro] Morata is a forward and he did the same.”

Antonio Conte revealed Thibaut Courtois is one of the best penalty takers in the squad
Getty – Contributor
Alvaro Morata also missed from the spot when he put his kick wide
PA:Press Association
Victor Moses handed Chelsea the lead just after half-time
News Group Newspapers Ltd


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Arsenal new boy Sead Kolasinac headed home a late equaliser at Wembley
Arsenal new boy Sead Kolasinac headed home a late equaliser at Wembley
Rex Features

Morata, Chelsea’s club record signing, also missed the target from 12-yards having dragged his penalty past the post.

Conte’s side looked to be cruising to victory following Victor Moses’ opener just after half-time.

But Pedro received his marching orders following a nasty tackle on Granit Xhaka and it proved costly.

Minutes later Arsenal’s summer signing Sead Kolasinac headed Arsenal level before neither side could grab the winner before the full-time whistle.

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