Premier League • England

‘One of the best’ – Pundit makes bold Chelsea claim after starring display

James Holland
Edouard Mendy Chelsea

Pundit Tony Cascarino has heaped praise on a Chelsea player following his stunning performance against Brentford on Saturday.

The Blues went into the match as favourites and broke the deadlock just before half-time. Ben Chilwell fired a powerful strike past David Raya and into the net.

But Thomas Frank’s men did not lose spirit and dominated the final stages of the game. They hit the post through Bryan Mbeumo as they hunted for an equaliser.

Chelsea keeper Edouard Mendy then pulled off two world-class saves to maintain his clean sheet. He raced off his line to block a Saman Ghoddos effort late on. Trevor Chalobah was then on hand to clear away the follow-up.

Mendy’s save against Pontus Jansson was even better. The ball found Jansson inside the box and the central defender fired towards goal. But Mendy bravely put his body on the line and blocked with his face.

The Senegal international was named man of the match as his efforts gave Chelsea all three points.

Reacting to his performance, Cascarino said on talkSPORT: “Chelsea dug deep. [They] had a goalkeeper that performed miracles and you could argue that he’s been one of Chelsea’s best ever signings.

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“He cost £17million from Rennes, came in and seemed to breeze into the team. Showed no signs of concerns of nerves.

“Yesterday was a day that made you think ‘wow’. Whoever made the decision, I suspect it was Petr Cech because he was at Rennes as a goalkeeper and will know a lot of people at that football club, and was probably pivotal in that move to get him for Chelsea.”

Mendy has now managed an impressive 30 clean sheets in 54 performances for the Blues. Defenders can rely on him to make big saves, unlike his team-mate Kepa Arrizabalaga.

The Spaniard was signed for £72m but struggled during the 2019-20 campaign. His failures forced Chelsea to dig back into their pockets and sign Mendy last year.

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Tuchel responds to narrow Chelsea victory

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel saluted Mendy for his performance after the win.

During an interview with BBC Sport, the German said: “We were very strong for 70 minutes and very lucky for 20 minutes, to sum it up. We escaped with the three points thanks to Edouard.

“It was like a cup game at the end; they took risks and the atmosphere gave them a lot of courage.”

On the Bees’ determined display, Tuchel added: “They play like this from the start, it was a lot of effort to not allow them to create this energy, and we put lots of effort into collecting second balls in midfield; we put a lot of effort into invisible work.

“We were strong in the challenges and played with composure. It is important not to lose the ball just as you win it because this is what they like. It was like this in the end.”

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