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How N’Golo Kante epitomises Chelsea’s newfound winning mentality under Thomas Tuchel

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N'Golo Kante was the Man of the Match against Real Madrid.
ANALYST
Modified 28 Apr 2021
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The UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg between Real Madrid and Chelsea on Tuesday saw two beautiful goals scored by both teams.

Firstly, Christian Pulisic gave everyone a timely reminder of his talent when he obliterated the Real Madrid defence and rounded off Thibaut Courtois before opening the scoring.

Then it was the turn of Karim Benzema, who scored out of virtually nothing. The Frenchman used his head to control a ball that was destined to fly over him before unleashing a fierce shot into the back of the net.

For a game that featured such spectacular goals, it is rare for a midfielder to steal the spotlight. And yet, that was exactly what Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante did after dominating in the middle of the park in Madrid.

N'Golo Kante produces a midfield masterclass

Real Madrid boast arguably the best midfield in the world. The midfield trio of Toni Kroos, Casemiro and Luka Modric is usually unmatched when they play together.

However,Real Madrid were given a run for their money by Kante. The France midfielder was the driving force behind Chelsea’s attack and was almost everywhere.

Kante ended the game with more take-ons completed (6) than the entire Real Madrid team (5). He also contested the most duels than any other player on the pitch.

This was yet another masterclass in midfield from the former Leicester City star, and he was deservedly awarded the Man of the Match.

Chelsea’s renewed mentality under Thomas Tuchel

N'Golo Kante, perhaps, best epitomises Chelsea’s newfound fighting spirit under Thomas Tuchel.

It was only in January that Frank Lampard infamously declared that Chelsea were 'not ready to compete'. However, a lot has changed since Thomas Tuchel took charge, as he has totally transformed the team.

The German tactician has also managed to change the mentality of the players, who now go into matches feeling like favourites rather than underdogs.

“We played a very strong first half; we should have won the first half,” Tuchel said after Tuesday’s draw with Real Madrid, as quoted by Chelseafc.com. Unfortunately we were a bit unlucky and lacked composure and precision in the decision making in the opponent's box, but we were very strong in the first half. Unfortunately we conceded a goal from a set-piece, otherwise we defended very strong throughout the whole match.”

Chelsea have been getting better and better since Thomas Tuchel’s arrival, and their renewed mentality can only take them to greater heights.

Published 28 Apr 2021
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