What a difference one player can make.
Chelsea have been leaking goals in recent weeks but they kept a clean sheet against Manchester United on Sunday afternoon thanks largely to the protection that N’Golo Kante provides for the team’s back four.
The indefatigable French midfielder made his first appearance for the Blues since September against Jose Mourinho’s side at Stamford Bridge and it was no coincidence that the hosts kept their opponents at bay for the entire 90 minutes.
The Daily Mail awarded Kante, who had been sidelined with a hamstring strain, an 8/10 for his performance while the Telegraph handed him a 9/10.
Cesc Fabregas took Sky Sports’ Man of the Match award but, in the opinion of many viewers, Kante deserved the accolade more.
Reaction to Kante's performance on Twitter
Football fans - and not just Chelsea supporters - took to Twitter to rave about the 26-year-old’s imperious performance.
Check out these tweets…
Kante: I still need more confidence
Remarkably, Kante feels that he lacked some of his normal confidence against Jose Mourinho’s side because of the injury he recently suffered.
"I need more confidence because when you play after this injury, you have some fear,” he was quoted as saying by the London Evening Standard. “But with one week training, and this game, I am getting more confident.”
Video: Kante's highlights v Man Utd
You’d never imagine that he was playing with a degree of fear, though, judging by his excellent individual highlights from the match.
A video has now emerged and you can watch it here…
He’s just a brilliant defensive midfielder, isn’t he?
Frank Lampard described Kante as the best central midfielder in the world earlier this year and the more he shines in big matches, the more that assessment looks perfectly reasonable.
Is N’Golo Kante the best midfielder in the world? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: https://www.givemesport.com/writeforgms