Frank Leboeuf said N’Golo Kante winning the key battle against Leeds United’s Kalvin Phillips was crucial to Chelsea’s win on Saturday.
It is fair to say Kante’s influence in the game often gets overlooked because of the standard he has set for himself.
The 29-year-old rarely makes dazzling runs like Christian Pulisic or Timo Werner or those towering headers like Kurt Zouma but he is arguably the first name on Chelsea’s teamsheet.
And according to Lebouef, the midfield dynamo was the real hero for Chelsea at the weekend.
“Chelsea should have finished the game earlier [and] scored more goals,” the former Blues defender told ESPN FC.
“But I’m pleased to see what I [saw].
“I think one key of the game [is] the fact that Leeds couldn’t play the game they normally play because N’Golo Kante got the [better] of Kalvin Phillips.
“That was a real fight in the middle of the park and we saw less of Phillip’s leading the game for Leeds than he normally does.
“That was the key [to] tonight’s win for Chelsea.”
The France international made more tackles than any other Chelsea player against Leeds (four), along with an interception.
Along with Werner, Kante is one of the only two Chelsea players who has not missed any Premier League game so far this season — and you can easily see why Frank Lampard relies on him.