Chelsea lost their Champions League clash 3-0 at the Stadio Olimpico on Tuesday to drop into second place in the Group C standings in a game characterised by individual errors and a poor collective showing from the visitors.
With Antonio Conte’s side hosting Jose Mourinho’s men – who beat Benfica 2-0 in their Champions League game – on Sunday, Chelsea have little time to pick themselves back up after being beaten all too easily by Roma.
Courtois admitted after the loss on Tuesday that Chelsea projected a “bad image” of themselves in Italy, but urged his teammates to show a reaction by beating United at Stamford Bridge.
He told BT Sport: “We have to fight back on Sunday against Manchester United.
“Sometimes last season I had nothing to do in a game, sometimes I’d have one save to make. We have to react on Sunday as today was a bad image of ourselves.”
Stephan El Shaarawy had given Roma a shock lead within only the first minute with his first-time strike with the outside of his boot before he doubled the hosts’ lead in the 36th minute following an error from Antonio Rudiger.
Diego Perotti added gloss to the scoreline with his goal in the second half after Cesc Fabregas had given the ball away in midfield.
Courtois admitted that Chelsea lost their fighting spirit against Roma as the game wore on, but couldn’t identify why the Premier League champions have endured such a troubled start to the season.
He added: “I’m not sure how he [El Shaarawy] scores that screamer but after 50 seconds you are a goal down.
“I shouted ‘away’ for the second goal but there was a lot of noise in the stadium and Cesar Azpilicueta let the ball go.
“I thought we played well in the first half but in the second half we seemed to drop our fighting spirit and I don’t know what happened.
“It is hard to say what the problem is. This season every game is a hard game. We have to find that balance again.
“And keeping that mentality of not conceding goals and keeping clean sheets.”