Edouard Mendy was delighted with Kai Havertz and Timo Werner’s role in our win over Fulham but believes the best of the duo is still to come.
Havertz scored his first-ever brace in the Premier League, the second of those goals from a brilliant one-two with Werner, to give us a 2-0 victory against our neighbours on Saturday in a fiercely contested tie, with the Blues knowing how big a win could be for our top-four chances given recent results, while Fulham were all too aware how badly they needed the points in their relegation battle.
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Playing as a two-man strike-pairing for the first time with Chelsea, the two German forwards were a threat throughout, but our goalkeeper says their performance was no less than he expected having seen their ability every day at Cobham, and feels there is still plenty more to come from them as they continue to adapt to life in England.
‘They are really good players,’ said Mendy. ‘They are young players and it is the first time that they have moved to another country. I think they needed a couple of months to adjust and understand the Premier League but I see them every day and I know how good they are.
‘I am happy for them. They showed their qualities on the pitch.
‘Next season, 100 per cent, we will see the best of Timo and Kai. Even this year, we have enjoyed their good levels of performance and they are important for us. A game like Saturday’s is really good for their confidence.’
Of course, Mendy played his own starring role in the win over Fulham, pulling off several top-class saves to keep our determined opponents out and secure his 16th clean sheet in 28 Premier League appearances.
However, he preferred to focus on what victory meant for the team, as we moved within two points of third-placed Leicester and gave ourselves a great chance of extending the gap between ourselves and those outside the top four.
‘It was an important game for us because it was a derby and the draw from Leicester against Southampton meant a win would be a good result for us. We know Fulham are a good team, a hard team, so we fought for this win and I was happy with my performance.’
Mendy also admitted it had not been easy to switch attention back to domestic matters for that game with Fulham, coming sandwiched as it did between the two legs of our Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid.
However, he feels we showed we were up to the task, allowing us to now return our focus to progressing to the Champions League final when we host Real Madrid at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday, with a narrow away-goal lead to protect following a 1-1 draw in the first game.
‘It is not easy to switch between the two Champions League games with a Premier League match in the middle but we did it. The manager knows how difficult it is to stay focused in the game against Fulham but we had a good start even though they pressed us high. We stayed strong together and were clinical in the counter-attack.
‘To be honest, we won against Fulham and it was a hard game, but now we must recover and be focused on the Real Madrid game. It is a semi-final and we have won nothing. We need to be ready for this battle.’