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‘Brilliant’ Mendy hailed as key difference-maker in Chelsea’s title pursuit


The Blues beat Brentford 1-0 on Saturday thanks to the Senegal international’s stunning late display, even denying Pontus Jansson with his face during the Bees’ onslaught.

For former Manchester United star Neville, Mendy’s performance underlined why Chelsea are able to challenge for the title this season having previously struggled with Kepa Arrizabalaga in between the posts.

“He was absolutely brilliant,” said Sky Sports pundit Neville.

“If you’re going to win the title you will have games in a season where you maybe don’t deserve to win, but your goalkeeper makes two or three world-class saves.

“He has made that difference. Kepa in goal last season for Chelsea was a big problem, goals were going in far too easily.

“It’s a lot more difficult to score against Chelsea, not just because of changing to the back-five with Thomas Tuchel brought in – but also the goalkeeper.”

Chelsea went top of the table with the victory despite not being at their best and it is that resilience that Neville believes stands them in good stead for the title.

“I do think this Chelsea team is resilient and they are tough to play against,” he added. “I can’t think that any team in the league would like to play against them.

“I know Brentford enjoyed the last ten minutes but for 60-70 minutes they couldn’t get in the game. That was a Chelsea team that had players missing as well.

“I think they’re in with a great shout of the title, I really do.”


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