Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane has described N’Golo Kante’s tireless performance in the 1-1 Champions League semi-final first-leg draw as a “nuisance”.
It was hardly a surprise that 30-year-old midfielder was named the man of the match on Tuesday evening.
He was busy.
The midfielder was involved in more duels (21) and completed more dribbles (6) than anyone else on the pitch.
As Chelsea icon Pat Nevin described it, it was a “superhuman” performance.
Even Varane, who should be familiar with such an industrious display from his fellow France international, was impressed.
“N’Golo? He was a nuisance, that’s clear,” the Real Madrid defender told RMC Sport in his post-match interview.
“At this stage of the season, physicality is a determining factor, and it’s true that he runs a lot [laughs].
“He caused us a lot of problems, he managed to break the lines, he also has this ability to recover balls.
“We know the quality of this team, and he is one of their strengths.”
Kante’s energy was key to Chelsea’s arguably winning the midfield battle in that game.
Thomas Tuchel will hope that he will have Mateo Kovacic back in the team and be able to rest either Kante or Jorginho in this weekend’s game against Fulham, before heading into the decisive second leg on Wednesday, May 5.