Glenn Hoddle was extremely impressed by Edouard Mendy’s Champions League display for Chelsea last night, speaking on talkSPORT.
Mendy kept his eighth clean sheet in this season’s competition during the Blues 2-0 win over Real Madrid yesterday.
That’s now 26 shut outs in 40 appearances since the 29-year-old joined from Rennes last October.
His latest was achieved by making some excellent saves to deny Karim Benzema and a few routine ones to keep out any extra attempts.
For all the millions spent on new Stamford Bridge recruits over the summer, Mendy may just be the most important.
Hoddle felt the Senegalese shot stopper really stepped up against Madrid when it mattered most.
“He looked authoritative,” said the former Chelsea manager.
“There are certain games where the ball goes back to him and you think he might make a mistake.
“But last night he looked like he went up another gear. It’s an incredible the confidence that the goalkeeper gives them defensively.
“They’ve always got three great centre-backs, whoever they are, that’s where they’ve got a real depth to their quad.
“At the moment, even if you penetrate that back three, you’ve got a really strong goalkeeper to beat. Yesterday he made a couple of wonderful saves.”
Of course, Mendy did not just keep Madrid out on his own.
A back three consisting of Andreas Christensen, Thiago Silva and Antonio Rudiger made lightwork of the Spanish threat.
Jorginho and N’Golo Kante mopped up anything in midfield, whilst the forward three defended from the front.
It was an all-round dominative display from Thomas Tuchel’s team, who will take on Manchester City in the final at the end of this month.
Before that, the English heavyweights are set to do battle this weekend in the Premier League, a mini dress rehearsal for the main event in Istanbul.