The early exchanges of Chelsea’s meeting with Manchester United this evening saw the former dealt a worrying blow on the personnel front.
Chelsea vs Man United
The Blues are currently locked in action with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men at Stamford Bridge.
The matchup marks an absolutely crucial one in the Premier League’s top-4 race.
As things stand, it is Chelsea who occupy the final Champions League berth.
The Londoners, however, before kick-off, sat just 2 points clear of in-form Spurs in 5th.
Manchester United, meanwhile, sat 4 points further adrift of Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham.
As such, tonight’s showdown in the English capital could see the Red Devils’ Champions League hopes all-but ended.
If it is hosts Chelsea who emerge victorious from the clash, United will slip what would likely prove an insurmountable 9 points behind Frank Lampard’s men.
Chelsea’s hopes of emerging victorious, however, were dealt a major blow early on this evening.
With just over 10 minutes on the clock, N’Golo Kante went to ground in evident pain.
After being tended to by the hosts’ medical team, it quickly became clear that the Frenchman would be unable to continue, forcing Frank Lampard to hook his star midfielder for Mason Mount.
Kante’s injury, meanwhile, could not come at a much worse time for Chelsea, with the Blues set for a pair of absolutely crucial fixtures over the coming week.
First, next weekend, the capital giants will welcome 5th-placed Tottenham to Stamford Bridge, before Lampard’s men get their Champions League campaign back underway in a meeting with Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich 3 days later.
Compounding Chelsea’s woes is the fact that Manchester United have since taken the lead into the break, courtesy of Anthony Martial.