'I love him': Ex-England international claims Chelsea would've lost to Liverpool if £22m star wasn't playing
David James proposed that Chelsea would have been defeated by Liverpool had it not been for Edouard Mendy.
Speaking on Premier League Productions after the side’s pulsating 2-2 draw last weekend, the former England goalkeeper heralded Mendy as the main component for the Blues’ precious point.
Mendy man of the moment
The 29-year-old made his final domestic appearance before jetting off to the Africa Cup of Nations and what a way to wave farewell to Stamford Bridge.
Despite conceding twice in the first half, the ‘keeper kept Chelsea in the tie thanks to a handful of superb saves after the break.
His denial of Mohammed Salah’s audacious effort was the pick of the bunch, although the save against Sadio Mane a few moments before was equally as important.
Mendy may feel he could’ve done more to prevent Mane and Salah’s goals, such is the quality of the £22m (BBC) bargain signing from Rennes.
However, he denied even greater damage to Thomas Tuchel’s team and their fading pursuit of Manchester City’s league title.
“Top draw. I love this goalkeeper. I love him. There’s something about it him. It’s the athleticism,” said James on Chelsea’s gloved guardian.
“It’s so easy and we see it so often when ‘keepers can’t adjust their feet enough and to get a spring running backward which is difficult.
“Chelsea came back in this game with two goals, two wonderful goals, but without Mendy in goal, they end up losing anyway.
“We’ve been there and when you come off the field and all you can think about is the last 90 minutes.
“Whereas, when you get to watch the game back and we’ve talked about Mendy and the great saves that he’s made, Liverpool had chances to win but Chelsea’s goalkeeper was equal to it.”
Is the title race over?
Thanks to a combination of Mendy’s magical palms, Mateo Kovacic’s wonder strike and Christian Pulisic’s equaliser, Chelsea ended the night with a share of the spoils.
Both clubs were desperate to claim victory, in an attempt to at least keep sight of City’s dust cloud.
Although a draw is not devastating in the slightest, the manager feeling most smug after Sunday’s fixture must’ve been Pep Guardiola.
Tuchel has a chance to wipe the smile off the Spaniard’s face in a few weeks, but will it already be too little too late?