An explanation for Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante’s absence for the Blues’ clash with Manchester City yesterday afternoon has emerged online this evening.
The two sides went head to head at the Etihad, with City having headed into proceedings hoping to extend their already massive lead atop the Premier League table.
The Sky Blues sat 15 points clear of nearest challengers Liverpool in the English top-flight before yesterday, with the Citizens having been brimming with confidence, after putting Arsenal to the sword by 3 goals to nil in consecutive fixtures over the last week.
Chelsea, meanwhile, saw their positive recent streak of results come to an end at the hands of Manchester United last time out, with goals from Romelu Lukaku and Jesse Lingard ensuring that Jose Mourinho got one over on his former employers.
The opening 45 minutes yesterday evening saw hosts City unsurprisingly control the majority of possession, with the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan and Leroy Sane particularly influential.
However, chances were few and far between, with Cesar Azpilicueta’s clearance off the line from Leroy Sane’s driven effort the closest that either side came to a goal.
In fact, so little did visitors Chelsea create over the course of the first-half, that the Blues actually managed to equal an unwanted 14-year-old club record, as showcased below:
Chelsea failed to register a single shot on or off target in the first-half of their clash with Man City, the first time the Blues have done so since 2003-04 pic.twitter.com/VIqQkJK0Pa
— 101 Great Goals (@101greatgoals) March 4, 2018
The second-half saw little change, with City in complete control and Chelsea struggling to establish any kind of stranglehold on proceedings.
And the utter dominance of the hosts finally paid dividends shortly after the restart, as Bernardo Silva beat Marcos Alonso to David Silva’s squared delivery to the back post to slot past Thibaut Courtois.
Despite the absolute gulf between the sides throughout proceedings, the solitary goal was all that separated the giants of English football at full-time, as City moved one step closer to an inevitable Premier League crown.
While Chelsea’s tactics as a whole came under major scrutiny in the aftermath of the clash, one major contributing factor to the Blues’ disappointing showing was the absence of star midfielder N’Golo Kante.
Kante was a surprise omission from Chelsea’s starting lineup upon the announcement of the XIs prior to the clash, with little explanation having been forthcoming as to why.
But, as per a report from Matt Law of the Telegraph this evening, Kante’s absence was a precautionary measure, after the French international fainted at the club’s training ground last Friday.
As per the report:
‘Shocked team-mates were terrified Kante had suffered a heart problem when he momentarily passed out in front of them after training last Friday.’
‘Having regained consciousness and been attended to on site, Kante was sent to a specialist for a series of cardiology tests, which, fortunately, all came back clear.’
‘Having found no heart problems or other issues, the specialist report cleared Kante to play for Chelsea against City but the 26-year-old felt unwell on Sunday morning and it was decided to take no risks. No specific reason was given by the specialist as to why Kante would have fainted, but it has been suggested that last week’s freezing temperatures may have been a contributing factor.’