Frank Lampard says N’Golo Kante is the best midfielder in the world on current form. Agree?
Chelsea extended their unbeaten run against Manchester United to 12 games on Monday night as they saw off the 10-man Red Devils 1-0 to reach the FA Cup semi-finals.
United matched Chelsea’s 3-4-3 formation from the start and – by matching their intensity too – Jose Mourinho’s men looked well in the game against his former club.
However, the tide turned in Chelsea’s favour on 35 minutes when Ander Herrera was sent off for picking up a second yellow card for a foul on Eden Hazard, seconds after referee Michael Oliver had warned his teammates against persistently fouling the lively Belgian.
Mourinho immediately sacrificed Henrikh Mkhitaryan and brought on Marouane Fellaini to fill up United’s midfield alongside Paul Pogba, who was once again nowhere to be seen in a big match.
Pogba was invisible, but his opposite number was everywhere. N’Golo Kante was excellent defensively – only Antonio Valencia made more tackles – but the Frenchman was superb with the ball as well.
Kante was easily the man of the match and he deservedly scored the only goal, with a fine low strike from long range.
Here’s N’Golo Kante’s stunner vs Man Utd ?
What. A. Player. ? pic.twitter.com/jCdaLOeSdH
— The Sun Football ? (@TheSunFootball) March 13, 2017
Hazard had a fine evening too. The Belgian was a constant livewire, while Diego Costa did his usual windup/holdup act to good effect.
United struggled with 10 men as Marcus Rashford was left isolated up front.
Rashford, who was a surprise starter after being reported ill before kickoff, worked hard and earned himself one golden chance, which saw Thibaut Courtois make a fine save.
Chelsea’s progress booked a last-four meeting with Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup semi-final draw, which was made after the final whistle.
Courtois 6, Azpilicueta 7, Luiz 7, Cahill 7, Moses 8, Kante 10, Matic 7, Alonso 6, Willian 7, Diego Costa 7, Hazard 8.
Fabregas 6, Zouma n/a, Batshuayi n/a.
De Gea 8, Valencia 7, Jones 6, Smalling 6, Rojo 7, Darmian 6, Herrera 3, Pogba 5, Young 6, Mkhitaryan 6, Rashford 6.
Fellaini 6, Lingard 6, Young 6.