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Football Reporting
Football Reporting

Champions League

Edouard Mendy marshals Chelsea to Champions League victory as unsung hero comes to fore – Andy Dunn

Mason Mount deserved all the immediate acclaim that came his way in the wake of a neat turn and finish in the first half of a match of dubious quality.

But let’s face it. The defender recklessly sold himself and the keeper could have thrown his cap on it.

Okay, not quite, but Agustin Marchesin certainly should have made a better fist of trying to keep out Mount’s effort.

Be honest, if that was a goal against a Premier League club, we would not be saluting the scorer, we would be slating the keeper.

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It was a lovely piece of play from Mount but it was still a poor goal to concede.

Mount's goal was a moment of individual brilliance - but it should have been prevented
Mount’s goal was a moment of individual brilliance – but it should have been prevented

In fact, it was the type of goal the 10-man Chelsea of last Saturday would have conceded.

But that collapse against West Bromwich Albion was an aberration in the Thomas Tuchel era.

Defensively, Chelsea have been sound.

And while Tuchel can take some of the credit, a generous sliver can also go to Edouard Mendy, a goalkeeper who has a calming presence about him.

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Mendy has kept an astonishing seven shutouts in eight Champions League appearances
Mendy has kept an astonishing seven shutouts in eight Champions League appearances

Can Edouard Mendy be Chelsea’s No.1 goalkeeper for many seasons to come? Have your say in the comments.

He did not have anything too difficult to deal with against Porto – he kept out an inswinging corner as he obviously should, beat away a header and blocked one with his right leg.

But he marshalled those ahead of him with some purpose and clearly has a rapport with his back line.

You cannot ask for much more.

And in these days when keepers are judged as much on their footwork as their glove work, it is worth remembering the only stat that really matters.

It is goals conceded and Mendy, since joining Chelsea, has conceded an average of 0.67 per game.

In eight Champions League matches, he has kept seven clean sheets.

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But you can’t put a figure on what a solid, reliable keeper brings to any team.

That is why Mendy has been invaluable.

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