Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel could’ve stumbled upon the ‘final, missing piece’ to capture Premiership silverware this term, or so says former England striker Peter Crouch. And to no surprise, it’s come in the form of Senegalese goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, who delivered an emphatic display to prevent Premier League newcomers Brentford from finding the back netting.
Chelsea’s starting line-up was compromised in defence when Antonio Rudiger and Thiago Silva were ruled out of Saturday’s London derby.
An alternative back-three started for Chelsea, and it became evident when Brentford penetrated the makeshift defence on countless occasions.
Chelsea managed to snatch a goal before the break, thanks to Ben Chilwell, but Brentford pressed most of the attack throughout the ninety minutes.
And the Blues saviour was stunting bright orange, as Edouard Mendy made seven saves to guarantee his team went home with all three points. BetMGM one of the sportsbooks with the best promo codes raised the Chelsea odds for bettors, but not without a nail-biting finale before securing their winnings.
Man of the match Mendy made his most crucial saves in the game’s dying moments – tipping Christian Norgaard’s impressive effort. This wasn’t before denying Pontus Jansson, Sama Ghoddos, and Ivan Toney from inside the box.
Mendy has performed at an elite level since joining Chelsea from Rennes in September 2020, and he’s now achieved 20 clean sheets from 38 Premier League appearances.
“Thomas Frank had it right after Chelsea managed to defeat Brentford on Saturday night when saying his team would have that game nine times out of ten,” Crouch told the Daily Mail.
“The reason they didn’t? Edouard Mendy, Mendy underlines the importance of a goalkeeper to a title-winning side. He is the final, missing piece that could get them over the line this season.
“Chelsea were hanging on, and it is one of those games they would have drawn or lost in previous years.
“That Mendy save from Christian Norgaard at the end was unbelievable, and there were a few more. But Mendy’s overall contribution has given them an added calmness since he arrived from Rennes last year.
“His touch is spot on when dealing with horrendous back passes; he comes and takes crosses with authority.
“Look at all the teams to have lifted the league title, and one common theme is trust in an exceptional goalkeeper. Mendy is a significant influence in Chelsea now finding themselves in the mix. There are other factors, of course. You have to be strong everywhere, but the margins are so fine that the goalkeeper is often a deciding factor.
“Mendy has slotted in seamlessly – signed at 28, with experience and mistakes behind him, he is one of those goalkeepers who goes largely unnoticed most of the time. That is exactly the sort of steadiness you want. And when his moment in the spotlight came this weekend, he turned dropped points into three points.”
After the final whistle at Brentford Community Stadium, Mendy received praise from supporters and Tuchel alike. In addition, Tuchel thanks his backroom staff, who’ve continually worked alongside the former Rennes keeper. Both Petr Cech and Hilario have played roles in Mendy’s incredible rise since joining the Blues.
“A lot of clubs have a lot of specialists in scouting. I can only speak about the situation here.”, Tuchel told the press.
“When we arrived, I found Kepa, Mendy, and Willy Caballero and Petr was even training with them for the first half a year.
“Together with Hilario, our goalkeeper coach, I found a fantastic, competitive group of goalkeepers and coaches and Petr Cech helping them through every single session. That was very, very impressive.
“Of course, credit goes to the club and to Petr Cech, who opted for these possibilities and who saw the potential in these games. We can be delighted that we have this strong group, and we are.”
Only four goalkeepers have obtained 20 clean sheets in 38 appearances; Liverpool pair Alisson and Pepe Reina, ex-Manchester United star Roy Carroll and Petr Cech himself.