Leeds United news: Phil Hay lauds N'Golo Kante for stifling Kalvin Phillips

Chelsea star N'Golo Kante vs Leeds

Leeds United struggled to find their most lucid rhythm on Saturday evening and were eventually outclassed by an impressive Chelsea side at Stamford Bridge.

The pre-match narrative unsurprisingly concerned a tale of two managers who famously took centre stage in the iconic "spygate" incident while Frank Lampard was manager of Derby County in the 2018/19 season. 

But in reality this clash was defined by the level of financial investment that's gone into each squad. 

There are few owners in the world who can compete on a playing field with Roman Abramovich, and inevitably his Chelsea side - stacked with multi-million pound individual talents - will blow some of their less well funded rivals away on a fair handful of occasions this season.  

Though Leeds were impressive for large spells, the hosts' class eventually shone through. 

Plenty of Chelsea players delivered performances worthy of individual acclaim, but there was one player who The Athletic's Phil Hay was particularly impressed by. 

Indeed, while commenting in his post-match discussion thread on The Athletic, the widely revered journalist identified N'Golo Kante's performance as a defining display in the context of the result. 

The France international's ability to successfully suffocate Kalvin Phillips at the base of midfield particularly impressed, and Hay was eager to make that point in the aftermath of proceedings. 

Chelsea's N'Golo Kante

"Kante had a terrific game. He's a Premier League winner and that fibre showed itself. It would have been daft after Everton if Lampard hadn't tried to stifle Phillips. You saw in the earliest minutes what Phillips can do from range."

And the Leeds correspondent went on to add: "Kante winning the midfield was a big factor. Any time he does that, Chelsea always tend to play well. They also risked a pretty high press and made it work."

GIVEMESPORT'S Jack Saville says...

This was the type of all-action midfield masterclass we've come to expect from Kante.

In a squad that is littered with an array of talented attacking players Kante's understated role can often go under the radar, so it is refreshing to see a journalist of Hay's standing recognise the exceptional defensive work he got through in the midfield on Saturday. 

During the course of proceedings Kante completed four tackles, one interception and made three fouls, while his pass completion rate (83.7%) was only bettered by Chelsea's central defenders Kurt Zouma and Thiago Silva, per Whoscored.

Phillips showed exactly what he is capable of with a sumptuously weighted through ball to Patrick Bamford for the opening goal, but he was relatively subdued in a playmaking sense thereafter. 

Chelsea have Kante, who is valued at £63m by Transfermarkt, to thank for mitigating Phillips' threat and playing a decisive role in their victory. 

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