7 clearances, 6 duels won: Chelsea defender produces world-class display in Lille win

Thiago Silva Chelsea

Chelsea defender Thiago Silva produced a sublime defensive performance during the 2-0 win over Lille in the Champions League round of 16 first leg.

The Brazil international has been one of the Blues’ most consistent defenders since his arrival in 2020. He produced another world-class showing against the French champions.

Lille went 1-0 down after just eight minutes on the clock with Kai Havertz heading home from a corner. They tried to push for the equaliser, but could not find the back of the net.

Christian Pulisic made it 2-0 shortly after the hour mark, and the scoreline remained unaltered. Silva was once again instrumental for Chelsea at the heart of the backline.

The 37-year-old has shown no signs of slowing down, and was at the top of his game last night with an impressive seven clearances. He also won six ground and aerial duels.

The centre-back also blocked two shots from the opposition, and made a vital interception in the opening half when Zeki Celik could have handed Jonathan David a simple tap-in.

Kante was named the man of the match for his impressive all-round display, but Silva equally deserved the award, having nullified Lille’s attack, who registered only two shots on target.

Chelsea had a mixed run of fortunes in December with wins hard to come by. However, they have recently picked up momentum with six straight victories in all competitions.

Their attacking performances have not been overly convincing with clear-cut chances missed, but the backline has been rock solid mostly with Silva being at the thick of things.

The Brazilian has shown exceptional fitness levels for his age, having played every minute in the past four games. He will have a key role to play in the Carabao Cup final against Liverpool on Sunday.

The west London giants are aiming to win the Cup competition for the sixth time in their history. They previously beat Tottenham Hotspur to the trophy in 2015 (2-0 win).

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