N’Golo Kante was thrilled to make such an important contribution on Saturday even if he was left frustrated by the fact he didn’t open his account for the Blues against his former club.
The Frenchman left Leicester in the summer having been a key cog in their title win last term, and so while understandably his first appearance against them was a poignant one, it clearly made no difference to him once the action got underway. He dominated the midfield area in trademark style, regaining and recycling possession throughout, and was named the game’s best player afterwards.
‘Getting man of the match was good for me but winning and playing well as a team was more important,’ he said.
‘I had a formidable season at Leicester and so it was a special match for me. Before the game I spoke to my old teammates, but I am a Chelsea player now and once it started it was just another game. I wanted to help my team get the three points. That’s what we did.
‘We needed the victory but to score three goals too is really good for our confidence. I am so happy with the win.’
Kante came very close to topping off his afternoon’s work with a goal. In fact, you could argue that was the only thing missing from his performance at the Bridge.
‘I had my chance! The goal was open but Wes [Morgan] blocked my shot. It was close! Maybe next game. It was a shame but the more important thing was the victory and I was happy to help towards that.’
At the other end, we eased to a second consecutive clean sheet and both have come with the new 3-4-3 formation Antonio Conte has introduced. Kante explained what is has been like for the team and for him on an individual level.
‘The new system is working well. We have been better with and without the ball, and we have conceded fewer chances.
‘Personally I like the system too. My job in a defensive central midfield position is to cut off attacks against us, but it has been a bit different in the past two games as I have been able to get forward a bit myself.’