A star performer for Denmark at this summer’s European Championships, Andreas Christensen also enjoyed a fantastic finale to the 2020/21 campaign with Chelsea.

The defender was one of those to benefit from the arrival of Thomas Tuchel in January. He had only played five league games, two Champions League dead rubbers and an FA Cup tie prior to that. But the switch to 3-4-3 suited Christensen’s style of play, and he delivered a series of defensive masterclasses, notably in the dramatic end to our European adventure.

Seizing his chance

Christensen started the opening game of the season, at Brighton, but in the second, against Liverpool, he was sent off for a last-man foul on Sadio Mane in added time at the end of the first half.

We conceded three goals in each of his next two league appearances and from then on Frank Lampard favoured Thiago Silva and either Kurt Zouma or Toni Rudiger in the heart of defence.

An injury to Thiago Silva midway through the first half of Tuchel’s third game in charge, at Tottenham, gave Christensen his chance. It was one he seized with both hands.

After comfortably keeping Spurs at bay, Christensen started 11 of our next 13 league fixtures, with nine ending in clean sheets. He was especially outstanding against Manchester United, completing all 77 of his passes, and at Anfield, registering a game-high nine clearances as we kept the champions at bay.

European masterclasses

Christensen was also exemplary as our European exploits stepped up a notch, keeping Atletico and Porto quiet away from home, and limiting Real Madrid to very few chances in both legs of the semi-final.

The 25-year-old’s composure in possession, reading of the game and recovery speed was being was earning praise from far and wide, so it was a real shame when he picked up a tendon injury during our win at Manchester City with just a few weeks of the season remaining.

He missed the FA Cup final and was back on the bench for the final league fixture. At the season finale in Porto, Tuchel opted to stick with Thiago Silva in the middle of the three, and Cesar Azpilicueta and Rudiger either side of him, so Christensen was again a substitute. However, just as in his first appearance under Tuchel, he was brought on for the injured Brazilian in the first half.

We took the lead shortly afterwards and then Christensen helped lead a magnificent rearguard showing to protect that advantage in the second half. Despite his late introduction, no Blues player made more interceptions than him, and only Reece James bettered his four clearances. He is now the only player to have won the UEFA Youth League, the Europa League and the Champions League.

Chelsea peak

‘He is crucial in the back three, he gives us a lot of options because he can play all three positions and he’s very calm, but don’t misjudge him for being calm, he is a very tough one to play against,’ was Tuchel’s verdict on the Dane.

After his best period during his Chelsea years, it was easy to see why the boss rated his performances so highly.

Andreas Christensen’s 2020/21 stats

Appearances: 27Starts: 24Substituted: 3Unused sub: 11Minutes played: 2,298Goals: 0Assists: 0

Andreas Christensen Premier League appearances 2020/21

Andreas Christensen made 17 appearances in the Premier League for Chelsea this season, of which 15 were starts.

Andreas Christensen Champions League appearances 2020/21

Andreas Christensen played seven times in the Champions League this season, including one game, the final, as a substitute.

Andreas Christensen FA Cup appearances 2020/21

Andreas Christensen played three games in the FA Cup this season, all starts.

Andreas Christensen Carabao Cup appearances 2020/21

Andreas Christensen did not feature for Chelsea in the Carabao Cup this season.