Frank Leboeuf was full of praise for N’Golo Kante as Chelsea secured a 2-0 win (3-0 agg) against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday night.
We all know how good Kante is, but that was a ridiculously good display even for his standard.
When you had someone like him in your team, constantly winning the ball back, it was unsurprising that the Chelsea attackers played with so much confidence.
But it is not only the defensive side of his game, the 29-year-old also played an important role offensively.
He created two chances in the game, while completing four of his seven dribble attempts.
To put it into perspective, Mateo Kovacic who is known for his dribbling ability completed five dribbles from the same number of attempts.
Leboeuf was clearly impressed as he described Kante as “the king of the midfield”.
“That guy [Kante] was absolutely magical today,” the former Chelsea centre-back told ESPN FC.
“You have to add Kovacic, because they worked very well together and won the battle in the middle of the [pitch].
“You know with players like Koke, it’s never easy because it’s a real fight.
“But today from the first minute to the last, Kante was the king of the midfield.
“Remember the last action, when Emerson scored the goal, [Kante] got the ball in his 18-yard-box and sprinted for 80 metres.
“He was physically at the top.
“And if Kante is at the top physically, it changes the game.”
It was a collectively good performance from Chelsea, but it is safe to say that Kante was deservedly named as man of the match.
After an injury-ridden spell in which he missed almost half of Chelsea’s games in 2019/20, it was great to see Kante play at close to full capacity.
Long live the king of the midfield.