Chelsea: Kante’s brilliance can lead Blues to European glory

N’Golo Kante encapsulated Chelsea’s tiresome performance against Barcelona, and he holds the key if the club can go the distance this season.

Alastair Pusinelli by Alastair Pusinelli

(Photo credit: Konstantinos Payavlas)

Chelsea produced arguably their best performance of the season last night in a 1-1 draw with Champions League favourites Barcelona. 

Ernesto Valverde’s team have tasted defeat just once in all competitions since the start of the campaign, but last night was the first time they were outperformed by their opponents. 

Chelsea’s discipline was faultless, but one misplaced pass from Andreas Christensen threw away their 1-0 lead at Stamford Bridge, with Lionel Messi on hand to place the ball into the bottom corner to take a vital away goal in the Camp Nou.

All is not lost for The Blues, however. They may have to produce an even better performance in Spain to make it through to the quarterfinals but Antonio Conte has proven his men can go toe-to-toe with anyone in the world. 

With two massive clashes against Manchester clubs City and United coming up before they face Barcelona again, the 1-1 draw will come as a massive confidence boost after a tricky start to 2018.

One thing is clear though. Central midfielder N’Golo Kante is vital to how the rest of the season will pan out for Chelsea, with the Frenchman showcasing his talents on the grandest stage last night.

“The best in the world at what I do”

Similar to a tiresome wrestler, no one can come close to what N’Golo Kante produces on a football pitch. 

The Frenchman is just 5 feet six inches tall (an inch shorter than Lionel Messi), but the impact he has on football matches is massive. In the clash with Barcelona, Kante covered 11.7km which was almost 20% of the total distance Chelsea covered over the 90 minutes. 

Considering the 26-year-old was operating in a passive role to deal with four Barcelona central midfielders, this is a remarkable effort.

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Alastair Pusinelli

First console: GameBoy Color / Favourite Game: Assassin's Creed 2 / Currently playing: Football Manager 2020

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