Thomas Tuchel heaped praise on a Chelsea ace instrumental to their victory over Tottenham by listing seven strings to his bow.
After being unhappy with what he saw in the first half in North London, Tuchel sent on N’Golo Kante at half-time. It paid immediate dividends as Chelsea scored two goals in the opening 12 minutes of the second half.
Kante scored the second, after Thiago Silva’s opener. Antonio Rudiger added a third in injury time as Chelsea ended the weekend on top of the Premier League.
Regarding his match-defining decision to hook Mason Mount for Kante, Tuchel said: “It was a hard choice for Mason Mount and it was a bit more defensive from N’Golo Kante but I wanted to give energy.”
Kante had to settle for joint-second highest on our player ratings for the contest. Nevertheless the French veteran, 31, did still receive a 9/10 for a display that transformed the contest.
When speaking directly about Kante after the match (via the PA), Tuchel piled a tremendous amount of praise on his midfield dynamo.
“Top player. If you have N’Golo you have something everyone is looking for,” said the German.
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“You have everything you need in midfield, you have work rate, intensity, ball wins, skilful play, dribbles, half-field drives and even a goal.
“I see this every day in training and it is hard to believe how good he is. He is a unique guy, there are no more words from me. N’Golo is N’Golo, he is fantastic.”
Keane savages Tottenham; Neville lauds Chelsea
Meanwhile, Gary Neville fired an ominous warning to the title rivals of Chelsea, while Roy Keane delivered a trademark line when blasting Tottenham after their 3-0 defeat.
Providing commentary on the match for Sky Sports, Gary Neville was mightily impressed with the Blues. Indeed, the Man Utd legend insisted anyone who finishes above Tuchel’s side will likely be champions.
“If you’re Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool any other team who’s got aspirations of winning this title, you’d fancy your chances if you finished above this Chelsea team because they look really, really good,” said Neville (via Football London).
There was of course another side on display on Sunday. Though in typical Keane fashion, he likened Chelsea’s eventual dominance over Tottenham to a contest between “men vs boys”. And perhaps even more predictably, Keane questioned the Spurs’ players’ “desire”.
“Chelsea were excellent, with real quality and desire,” the former Manchester United midfielder said. “It was men vs boys – I could not believe how bad Spurs were.
“You can have an off day and obviously some days you lose to quality, but lack of desire. We saw it with the second and probably third – all the goals… talk about wanting to put your body on the line.”