Joe Cole complimented N’Golo Kante’s tireless display for Chelsea against Porto in the Champions League last night, speaking on BT Sport.
Despite the Blues 1-0 loss on the day, Thomas Tuchel’s team progressed to their first semi-final in the competition for seven years thanks to a 2-0 led from the first leg.
If not for a wonderful overhead kick from Mehdi Taremi in the final minute, Chelsea would have walked into the final four completely unscathed by their Portuguese opponents.
Tuchel set up his side to be solid, with less focus on attack and more on preserving their advantage.
There were few standout performers because of the collective effort Chelsea put in.
However, Cole did want to highlight Kante’s contribution in the midfield.
The former Blues title winner said: ‘I thought Kante was the bright spark, he held it together in there. (Antonio) Rudiger was excellent tonight and Kante held it together.”
Kante really was here, there and everywhere during the game yesterday.
He rarely gave Porto the time to breath, sucking the life out of many of the offensive moves they tried to string together.
His partnership with Jorginho was excellent, one that Tuchel will probably need to call-upon again when Chelsea face Manchester City in the FA Cup this weekend.
The German coach confirmed that Mateo Kovacic would probably miss Saturday’s fixture, meaning a double pivot of Kante and Jorginho once more.
Based on the pair’s most recent showing, Chelsea supporters should be encouraged going into the City clash.