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Tuchel hails Chelsea’s “extra man” after comfortable win over Atletico Madrid

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel singled out N’Golo Kante for praise after his dominant midfield performance in the routine victory over Atletico Madrid.

The Blues built on their 1-0 advantage from the first leg to run out 2-0 victors at Stamford Bridge and earn their place in the Champions League quarter-finals.

Hakim Ziyech opened the scoring in the first half and Emerson Palmieri came off the bench to score with his first touch in the closing stages.

But Kante stole the show in the centre of the park with his impeccable reading of the game and tireless work to win back possession.

Tuchel singled out World Cup-winner Kante for praise

Tuchel was delighted with the Frenchman’s performance and said it felt like Chelsea had an extra body in midfield to stifle Atletico’s attacks.

“If you play with N’Golo you have half a man more because he has a volume that is simply outstanding,” said the Blues boss.

“It is a big gift for me, a guy so, so humble and a big helper on the pitch. Don’t underestimate his quality.”

Kante ran the show from midfield against the La Liga leaders
Kante ran the show from midfield against the La Liga leaders

Was N’Golo Kante’s performance against Atletico Madrid his best of the season? Have your say in the comments.

Despite his side’s comfortable victory over the Spanish club, Tuchel claimed Chelsea need to be more incisive when counter-attacking as they progress deeper into the Champions League.

He added: “We need to improve in counter attacks, the first contact after we win the ball when we implement more forward thinking to exploit space.

“We are a hard working team and a hard working team is the best team you can have as a coach.

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“We want to be more clinical and with precise decision making with counter attacks. We are still lacking the last pass.”

Chelsea will learn their quarter-final opponents and the team they could face in the semi-finals as UEFA conducts the draw on Friday.

Meanwhile, the Blues host Sheffield United on Sunday with a spot in the FA Cup semi-finals on the line.

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