Edouard Mendy has asked Chelsea to “carry on” after his outstanding performance in Russia in the 4-0 victory in Krasnodar in the Champions League. Fans serenaded the newcomer on Twitter after several excellent saves.
Kepa Arrizabalaga, who became the world’s most expensive goalkeeper when he joined the Blues, had made a number of mistakes in the weeks prior to Mendy of Rennes’ signing a five-year deal last month.
The relatively unknown stopper was hailed by his new boss Frank Lampard for “showing his quality” in the 0-0 draw with Sevilla, which opened the club’s account for the season in Europe and ended a gloomy defensive run.
Senegal’s star Mendy impressed Krasnodar even more when he went clean for the fourth time in a row. He thwarted Daniil Utkin’s deep blow with his fingertips to keep the Premier League side from getting off to a nightmare start in a match they eventually won 4-0.
Finally a Chelsea keeper who can really save 🌝
– hameed (@ _hameedk17) October 24, 2020
Can anyone really remind me the last time a Chelsea goalkeeper had a MOTM performance in my eyes?
– Mature_Gambino (@ saksham337) October 24, 2020
Lampard hopes that the kind of victory made Abramovich happy. However, he didn’t get a chance to speak to the #FCFC owner.
– Simon Johnson (@SJohnsonSport) October 28, 2020
The out of shape Kepa stands out for his demeanor in recent Chelsea results. In the one game he played instead of Mendy in October, Chelsea’s well-documented troubles returned in the background as they drew 3-3 in Southampton.
“I’m very happy,” said Lampard of an achievement that improved as the game developed.
“It was a difficult game. I think we were the better team in the first half and in the second half we had to put some pressure on for 15 minutes in the opening stages.
“But I liked a lot of things about the way we played.”
His impressive new goalkeeper said: “It’s definitely nice to have conceded a fourth straight goal.
Edouard Mendy has been the real difference maker for Chelsea so far! So often in the last season we would dominate the games and still lose 1-0, 2-0 due to the inconsistent goalkeeping performance! Thanks to this brilliant storage, the goal line remains 0-0. Pic.twitter.com/vZV6qJcGZq
– Nouman (@nomifooty) October 24, 2020
Eduardo Mendy will be the first African goalkeeper to win the Premier League title. Highlight this tweet. # EPL # CFC
– Chelsea Maniac💙💙🇰🇪 (@CFC_Stan) October 23, 2020
“It’s not just me, but my team-mates too, who made sure that we didn’t admit it. Anyway, that’s a good record – we just have to keep going.”
After Jorginho missed his second penalty of the season with a post, home goalkeeper Matvei Safonov suffered a howl when midfielder Callum Hudson-Odoi slipped out of the box at the start of the first half
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich was spotted in the stands alongside Krasnodar’s counterpart and oligarch colleague Sergey Galitsky, and the Russian businessman’s nerves rang at the start of the second half.
Yury Gazinsky hit a corner shortly after the break by shooting a shot into the grass and bouncing over Mendy’s grip on the crossbar before Chelsea frantically removed the threat.
Mendy’s determination almost resulted in him poleaxing Kurt Zouma when he collided with the defender during the resulting penalty area, and his exploits were rewarded when the exhausted Krasnodar struggled late to maintain the pace.
Glad Roman Abramovich was present at the game and saw a win in his own country, Lampard adds that he always feels the support of the owner. #CRACHE
– Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) October 28, 2020
Another significant investment by Abramovich, German striker Timo Werner, had no issues with Jorginho as he got a chance from the penalty spot and smashed his emphatic free kick past Safonov.
Hakim Ziyech then finished a nifty team move with a finish in the far corner of the net from the penalty area on the left, hitting a bunch of defenders with an accurate shot.
Substitute Christian Pulisic added fourth late from close range to put pressure on Lampard and expectant boss Abramovich. He was looking forward to the first away game of a Champions League season, which is expected to extend to the later phases.
Lampard spoke of his satisfaction after the win, but admitted that he had not spoken to Abramovich personally.
The fans had no doubt about who the star of the show was. “Finally a Chelsea goalkeeper who can save,” said one impressed spectator, applauding the 28-year-old goalkeeper.
“Can anyone really remember the last time a Chelsea goalkeeper won the match of the game? Tears in my eyes,” enthused another.
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“Don Abramovich in the house!” Billionaire Chelsea owner seldom makes an appearance to watch the Champions League clash against Krasnodar