Pundit: This midfielder vital to Chelsea’s FA Cup win (not Nemanja Matic)
Garth Crooks singles out Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante
Garth Crooks highlighted N’Golo Kante’s contribution as vital after Chelsea were 4-2 winners against Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup semi-final on Saturday afternoon.
The France international started alongside Nemanja Matic in midfield as Chelsea came up against Mousa Dembele and Eric Dier at the home of English football.
Matic stole the plaudits after the Serbia international scored a stunning long-range strike to seal Chelsea’s place in the final against Arsenal at Wembley.
However, former Spurs forward Crooks felt that Kante’s performance was even more crucial to Chelsea’s 4-2 win.
“What another wonderful performance by the little man,” Crooks told BBC Sport.
“Yes, it was Nemanja Matic who sealed Tottenham’s fate with the most incredible strike but it was N’Golo Kante who kept Chelsea’s head above water when Spurs threatened to drown the Blues with copious possession.
“Kante must be a dream to work with. He provides no fuss or hysterics, he simply gets on with the job. Which is why I think Chelsea won this semi-final. Chelsea are prepared to sacrifice beauty for character and resilience.”
Kante won the PFA player of the year award ahead of Eden Hazard, Arsenal striker Alexis Sanchez, Everton centre-forward Romelu Lukaku, Tottenham’s Harry Kane and Manchester United’s stricken Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Chelsea signed Kante in a big-money deal from Premier League champions Leicester City at the end of the 2015-16 season.
The former Leicester defensive midfielder is looking to win a second Premier League title in successive seasons with different clubs.