It was a huge surprise at Wembley as Thibaut Courtois stepped up to take the second penalty of Chelsea’s shoot-out. With fans trying to get their head around the new ABBA system, the unpredictable arrival of the Belgian at the penalty spot made matters even more confusing.
To be fair to the Belgian, he has previously taken penalties in shoot-outs in pre-season and elsewhere, usually finding the back of the net. However, on this occasion, when it really mattered, his effort rocketed over the crossbar.
Having made a series of impressive saves in game, from the likes of Granit Xhaka and Mohamed Elneny, it put a real dampener on his display. Now, the afternoon will only be remembered for the humiliating miss that sent Chelsea on their way to defeat.
Of course, Courtois did not do that alone. Alvaro Morata, a £60 million striker, missed by similar margins as he fired wide past Petr Cech in the next penalty to give the Gunners and opportunity to take the lead and win the game. Olivier Giroud obliged with the fourth penalty for Arsene Wenger’s side which won the tie.
Whether it was a subtle message from Antonio Conte about the need for new signings or just a sign of how little the Community Sheild matters, Courtois’ miss was the talk of social media post-match. The miss will likely be subject to plenty of talk from the media, fans and pundits alike in the coming days, but it seems unlikely that the goalkeeper will be stepping up to the penalty spot in more serious surroundings again.
Here is how Twitter reacted to the moment:
Most were simply astounded by how bad the miss was…
Other goalkeepers when Courtois is taking the penalty. pic.twitter.com/ikk55uVBe1
— Mohamed ElNneny (@ElNnenyM) August 6, 2017
Looking for that Courtois penalty like… pic.twitter.com/XXsoGzxCw1
— ODDSbible (@ODDSbible) August 6, 2017
Some fans tried to make light of the miss…
Thibaut Courtois paying Tribute to Lukaku's first touch with that penalty kick
— Soldier? (@PatohShanqueels) August 6, 2017
Courtois went for the spectacular and achieved the hilarious
— kenna (@kennagq) August 6, 2017
Some blamed the rest of the Chelsea team…
I didn't understand why Courtois took a pen before Morata. Then I saw Morata's pen. Almost makes sense
— Clark Whitney (@Mr_Bundesliga) August 6, 2017
Or on Antonio Conte…
Let that be a lesson to you Roman. Sell any more players without his permission and Conte is putting Courtois on penalties.
— Paddy Power (@paddypower) August 6, 2017
Whilst most realised that there was no explanation…
Courtois taking a pen 2nd is like me doing something even I can't think of cause that's even more stupid than anything I'd do
— Sam Douglas (@Sam_Mallory) August 6, 2017
Trying to work out why Courtois took a penalty pic.twitter.com/8t847HJ8xt
— Football Tips (@footballtips) August 6, 2017
But it will certainly go down in history…
Courtois taking second pen and skying it is probably the single best moment in community shield history.
— Ryan De Freitas (@ryan_defreitas) August 6, 2017