Christian Pulisic hails ‘amazing’ N’Golo Kante and reveals where Chelsea need to improve after beating Lille


Christian Pulisic has revealed where Chelsea need to improve after their Champions League victory over Lille and hailed N’Golo Kante for his ‘amazing’ performance against the French champions. Goals from Pulisic and Kai Havertz saw Champions League holders Chelsea take control of their last-16 tie with Lille .

The Club World Cup champions will look to secure their place in the quarter-finals when they travel to northern France for the return leg on March 16. Pulisic was delighted to get on the scoresheet at Stamford Bridge and combine with the ‘amazing’ Kante to help Chelsea take command of the contest following Havertz’s early header. The American said:

 ‘It’s always nice to get on the scoresheet, and even more so because it helped us get a good result today. ‘N’Golo Kante is amazing. The way he drives with the ball is incredible and I knew he’d find me with the pass, so it was just a case of me staying up there with him and getting into the right area in the final third.

‘We’re in a good position now but we know it’s not going to be easy over there.’

While Pulisic revelled in Chelsea’s first-leg win, he admitted there was still room for improvement and said the Blues need to ‘control’ games better.

We need to work on our control more,’ Pulisic, 23, added. ‘The game felt a bit too open at times today, but you expect that against a good team. ‘We defended well today and that was really important. It’s a great start for us. We knew we needed to get a good result in this first leg.

‘Obviously there’s still a lot of work to do, it’s only half-time in the tie, but we are really happy with our work so far and with the lead we can take with us to Lille. ‘We know it will be a difficult game over there though. They are a dangerous team, with a lot of speed up front so we need to be careful of them on the counter-attack for sure.

‘But I’m sure if we put in another good performance like this one then we can come away with the victory again.’

The 2-0 win over Lille saw Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea become the first English team in the history of the European Cup or Champions League to win five consecutive home matches without conceding a goal.

They are like a brick wall, you can’t get round them or through them,’ former Chelsea and England star Karen Carney told BBC Radio 5 Live’s Football Daily podcast . ‘Thiago Silva is like a rock. He just reads the game 10 steps before everyone else, getting in the right positions. He nullifies every threat.

‘Antonio Rudiger is so aggressive, Andreas Christensen is growing, Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcus Alonso had solid performances. ‘When you have got N’Golo Kante in front of them – who’s just brilliant at sweeping up everything and then going the other way, running with the ball at pace – they are just so difficult to play against.

‘They just stay in the game by being defensively solid, then capitalise on those moments and turn it on when they want. That is why they are so good.’

 Chelsea, currently third in the Premier League, face Liverpool in the Carabao Cup final on Sunday.

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