Interview

Kante reflects on a ‘hard game’ and assesses ‘good fight until the end’ for top four

Few on the pitch did as much as N’Golo Kante to help Chelsea earn an away point at Leeds United on Saturday lunchtime and the French midfielder reflected afterwards on the effort exerted against an intense opponent.

There were no goals and nothing to separate the two sides in West Yorkshire, with Edouard Mendy making a couple of crucial saves to make it five clean sheets in a row for the Blues. 

Nevertheless, our attacking endeavours failed to find the breakthrough against Marcelo Bielsa’s men and Kante felt it was probably the fairest conclusion for the sides to share the points.

‘It was a hard game,’ said the 29-year-old. ‘There was a lot of intensity and chances for both sides so in the end I think it was a fair result.

‘It’s one point for us and we need to appreciate that because it could have been worse. When you cannot win, at least to take one point is something good because it can help for the future.

‘We’re still unbeaten and we didn’t concede again so we need to look forward now.’

Leeds are known and respected for their hard running and impressive physical capabilities, with Thomas Tuchel warning before the game that his side would have to match the hosts in this regard all over the pitch.

His midfield maestro was certainly up to that challenge, covering more distance than anyone, while no player had more touches, passes or dribbles.

‘We could feel at the end that it was an intense game,’ he admitted. ‘We had a lot of runs to drive the ball forward and to defend the opponent because they have this ability to run a lot and play with intensity.

‘We were ready for it and we did a good game. We wanted to score but they defended very well. We need to get better at this but it’s a focus for the whole team.’

The result leaves the Blues fourth in the league, albeit with teams around us still to play this weekend. Kante acknowledges that it will be a competitive fight for Champions League qualification that is likely to run right the way to the final weeks of the campaign.

‘There are many teams and we need to play against a lot of opponents who are fighting for the top four,’ he added.

‘It will be a good fight until the end of the season.’

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