From Frankfurt to France, Kevin Trapp has made the most of his move to the top level of European football. A solid performance in London helped his side towards a quarterfinal spot.
Chelsea 1-2 Paris Saint-Germain (2-4 agg.)
(Costa 27' - Rabiot 16', Ibrahimovic 67')
At the end of February this year, PSG head coach Laurent Blanc criticized Kevin Trapp's lack of focus and even French magazine "L'Equipe" said the keeper was underperforming. Having come from a Frankfurt side where he was regularly tested, Trapp suddenly had to make three or four game-changing saves across the 90 minutes.
Two minutes before Zlatan Ibrahimovic coasted in at the back post to convert Angel di Maria's beautiful cross and put PSG into the quarterfinals, Trapp made two of those saves. Reacting smartly to deny Willian, the 25-year-old German was back up quickly and instinctively threw a left hand up to deny Eden Hazard on the rebound. While not as memorable as his save in the first leg to deny Diego Costa in the six-yard box, it was just as important.
It was the kind of save most top goalkeepers at this level are expected to make, but the difference is Trapp has swapped saving teams from relegation to sending teams into the Champions League quarterfinals.
Tested early on
From the third minute onwards, the keeper showed Blanc he had the required focus, making a smart, reaction save to his left to deny Diego Costa. Coming into the game with five clean sheets to his name, Trapp looked good and, having kept Chelsea at bay, was celebrating when Adrien Rabiot tapped in at the back post after Ibrahimovic lost Gary Cahill.
Not long after, Diego Costa tucked inside Thiago Silva and there was nothing the German keeper could do. It was the only time Trapp - who hails from the goalkeeping school of legendary German goalkeeping coach Gerald "Gerry" Ehrmann - was beaten in the game. In truth, there wasn't a moment during the night in which he looked uncomfortable and he finished the evening with six saves to his name.
Yet to feature for Germany but a squad member on a handful of occasions, Trapp has already shown Joachim Löw the reasons why he deserves to be in the squad this summer. Afterwards, Trapp responded humbly when asked about his chances of making the Germany squad this summer. With the Champions League the competition that offered Marc-Andre ter Stegen a chance to resurrect his Germany career, there are plenty of reasons why Trapp can use it to launch his.