'Impressive player': Lille manager names the one Chelsea player who really caught his eye last night

Lille manager Jocelyn Gourvennec admitted that opposition player N’Golo Kante caught his eye after coming up against the Chelsea midfielder last night.

French side Lille left Stamford Bridge on Tuesday with a 2-0 defeat to Chelsea in the Champions League last-16 tie. However, they’ve still got the second leg at home to play in a bid to overturn the two-goal deficit.

The Ligue 1 club held their own for large spells on their visit to London, but didn’t possess the cutting edge around the final third like their opponents.

Chelsea are the defending Champions League holders with a target on their back and looked sharp.

Lille boss Gourvennec singled out Blues central midfielder Kante as someone that was instrumental with his performance.

The 30-year-old set up his team’s second goal with a brilliant assist for Christian Pulisic, as well as buzz around the pitch for 90 minutes.

“He is an impressive player who gives others no time at all [on the ball]. He can break quickly, our man tried to foul him and couldn’t that moment was the key to the game. Through his intensity he dictated the tempo for Chelsea.” Gourvennec said.

Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Impossible for Chelsea to replace

Hopefully, Kante has still got several more years on top of his game. The fact Thiago Silva is still turning in world-class performances at the age of 37 is an encouraging sign.

However, recent injury problems suggest Kante won’t last anywhere near as long.

Blues supporters will need to strap in for a tough ride when the day comes that he does leave because you won’t find a like-for-like replacement anywhere.

He’s unplayable for opposition teams when he’s at his best, and he’s proven that frequently in the big matches.

It’s been a luxury to watch the Frenchman toy with opponents for several years, so fans should saviour every dominant performance he puts in.

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Dom is a Chelsea supporter who has worked in online publishing for more than six years. Graduated from Staffordshire University in 2016, he now writes exclusively for The Chelsea Chronicle covering news, analysis and match coverage. He enjoys the dream position of writing about his boyhood club, which seems to be involved in more drama every single day than an episode of The Bill. Aside from his love for Chelsea, he supports and follows the England cricket team. He also fancies himself as the Sunday League version of Michael Essien.