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Tuchel reserves special praise for N’Golo Kanté, Thiago Silva, Andreas Christensen in Chelsea’s win over Spurs

Fully deserved

Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea - Premier League Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

After a high intensity, and, on balance, a fairly even and scoreless first half, Chelsea turned on the quality after the break to blow Tottenham Hotspur away, 3-0, at New Three Point Lane last night, and keep pace with all our title rivals at top end of the early table.

Thiago Silva’s header from a corner got the party started; a deflected long shot from N’Golo Kanté doubled our lead and essentially settled the result, and Antonio Rüdiger added the cherry on top with a third in stoppage time. Two goals from center backs and one from a “defensive” midfielder wasn’t exactly what was expected in the game billed as a “strike-off” between Romelu Lukaku and Harry Kane, but on a day when all our attackers seemed to leave their shooting boots back at Cobham, their contributions were more than welcome and ever so timely.

And of course it wasn’t just their rare appearances on the scoresheet that made such an impact on proceedings. Kanté’s half-time introduction literally won the game; Thiago Silva was imperious throughout, and his defensive partners, Rüdiger on his left and Andreas Christensen on his right, were right there with him as well.

Afterwards, Thomas Tuchel reserved special praise for his gamechangers, starting with the most adorable of all adorables.

“[Kanté] is a top player. If you have N’Golo, you have something everyone is looking for. You have everything that you need in midfield with work rate, intensity, ball wins, skilful play, off the ball, with the ball, dribbling and even a goal.

“I see this every day in training and it is hard to believe how good he is. He doesn’t make a fault in ball wins. He plays excellent in every possession game in training. He is a unique guy.

“There’s no more words needed from me. We have a strong midfield together with Jorgi and Kova in the second half. N’Golo is N’Golo. He is fantastic.”

-Thomas Tuchel; source: Football.London

It’s tough to imagine where Chelsea would be without Kanté in our ranks these last five years. He is a literal cheat code, and not just because he cheats at cards.

Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea - Premier League Photo by James Gill - Danehouse/Getty Images

Meanwhile, Thiago Silva continues to defy Father Time. Three days shy of his 37th birthday — by far the oldest player on the team: Azpilicueta, the second oldest, is five years younger! — Ô Monstro just keeps adding to his own legend.

“[Thiago Silva] was outstanding. He almost scored twice and he’s so strong. The delivery was good for his goal and we are very happy that he was able to score and open the game for us today but his performance even in the first half was outstanding. It was a fantastic performance.”

-Thomas Tuchel; Source: Chelsea FC

Silva’s already made history with Chelsea in his time at the club, and hopefully he can make a lasting impact in the sense of guiding the next generation as well, especially one Andreas Christensen, who often deputizes for him but is also versatile enough to line up next to him in the wider spots of the back-three.

Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea - Premier League Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Christensen may not have gotten on the scoreboard — though he came close with a long-range effort — but his defending was practically flawless, just as it has been with purposeful regularity over the past few months. Tuchel has improved many of our players, especially in defense, but Christensen’s rise since the manager’s appointment has been wonderful, to say the least.

“Andreas has been very strong [...] In the beginning, I had the feeling it was a bit of push to believe in himself and impose himself and trust in his quality because he has everything that we need in these positions. Again a very strong performance. You can see it in the minutes.

“We rely fully on him and he’s doing very very good so far and it is everybody’s target that he continues like this.”

-Thomas Tuchel; source: Football.London

Hopefully we can all continue like this!

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