In our look at the latest Chelsea-related news stories from the media, the media heaps praise on N’Golo Kante for his Super Cup display, BT Sport pundits are astounded by Kepa Arrizabalaga’s magnificent double save and former referee Mark Halsey feels Stephanie Frappart made two correct penalty decisions in the game.
These stories are samples pulled from external media sources. They do not represent the views or position of Chelsea Football Club.
Kante lauded for Super Cup display
Making his first start of the season after overcoming a knee problem which kept him out of action for much of pre-season, N’Golo Kante produced a magnificent performance as Chelsea took the Super Cup against Liverpool all the way to penalties on Wednesday.
Kante was an injury doubt for the game after picking up a small injury in training this week but the Frenchman ended up playing the entire 120 minutes in Istanbul.
The Independent was glowing in its praise of his performance as he caused Liverpool no end of problems during the game.
‘Kante danced between the lines, shapeshifting from one end of the field to another in a frenzied scamper that seemed to mark Liverpool’s midfield trio all at once,’ stated its report.
‘After last weekend’s bleak defeat to Manchester United, it is near impossible to overstate the transformative impact Kante can have on Lampard’s team. For all the talk of youth, he is its vanguard; the only player capable of playing conductor and enforcer simultaneously.
‘If the question remained as to how best deploy him after Sarri’s tinkering last season, the result was patently clear tonight. Let him run free, hustling and pressing, cutting and creating, able to impose himself in both defence and attack. There are few, if any, players better in the world at it.’
According to the Guardian: ‘Kante was the dominant force of the first half, displaying not only his accepted defensive quality to nip the ball off the toes of James Milner and others but also attacking with a verve and intelligence that regularly unsettled the European champions.’
And the BBC named him as their man of the match, adding that he ‘was by far the best player on the pitch in the opening 45 minutes as he pulled the strings in midfield.’
Kepa astounds pundits with double save
Despite letting in two goals against Liverpool in the Super Cup, Kepa Arrizabalaga received high praise from BT Sport pundits Glenn Hoddle and Joe Cole for a magnificent double save which he produced in the second half.
The Spaniard showed razor-sharp reactions as he went down low to his left to palm away Mohamed Salah’s deflected effort before rising to his feet to push Virgil Van Dijk's follow up on to the bar to keep the score level at 1-1.
'I think both [saves] are incredible. The first one is a deflection as well, that's a great save for me,' said Hoddle during the broadcast, as reported by the Daily Mail.
'Any goalie will tell you that's the hardest place to make a save and the second one is in the air and that's reactions. His feet are so quick to get back across, for me the first one is incredible.'
Cole echoed the former Chelsea manager’s comments.
'I think the first one is unbelievable with the deflection, to see it that late as well and his reactions were just remarkable really,’ said the former Blues midfielder.
‘I think Tammy does well as well, just a great bit of goalkeeping.'
Referee got penalty decisions correct: Halsey
Writing in the Sun, former Premier League referee Mark Halsey said Stephanie Frappart was spot on with a pair of penalty decisions during Chelsea’s Super Cup clash against Liverpool.
The Frenchwoman made history by becoming the first female referee to officiate a major men’s European match and Halsey felt she put in a faultless display in Istanbul, by ‘getting into good positions and letting the game flow’.
Added Halsey: ‘[Frappart], who refereed July’s Women’s World Cup final, got a key decision correct when she awarded an extra-time penalty to Chelsea for Adrian’s rash challenge on Tammy Abraham.
‘She had got another big call spot on just five minutes in when waving away Reds penalty claims after Sadio Mane’s shot hit Andreas Christensen’s arm.
‘The Blues defender’s hands were not outside his “natural silhouette” and Frappart would have considered the proximity of Mane to Christensen when the Liverpool forward took the shot.
‘Frappart was spot on and it was also good that VAR did not get involved ¬— because we saw referees give penalties for similar incidents in the Champions League last season.