September 24, 2021

Champions League: Chelsea’s Mendy shifts focus to FC Zenit after Aston Villa win

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After helping the Blues beat the Lions, the Senegal international is looking forward to Tuesday’s match against Sergei Semak’s men

Edouard Mendy has now turned his attention to Tuesday’s Champions League encounter with FC Zenit Saint Petersburg.

The Senegal international, who was signed from Rennes, was one of the Blues’ heroes as they defeated Aston Villa 3-0 at Stamford Bridge in Saturday’s Premier League encounter.

Against Dean Smith’s men, the 29-year-old kept a clean sheet as Romelu Lukaku’s brace and Mateo Kovacic’s strike saw Thomas Tuchel’s men through.

Following this result, they will now square off against the Russian Premier League giants as they commence their European title defence.

While praising his team for a job well done, the goalkeeper stated that Chelsea are now thinking of their next fixture against Sergei Semak’s side.

“Another solid performance from the team in a tough game, above all a great atmosphere at home. Focus now on the next challenge Champions League,” Mendy wrote on Instagram.

Despite securing all points against Aston Villa, manager Tuchel highlighted the challenges his team had to surmount.

“It was absolutely not comfortable,” he told Chelsea website.

“We played against a strong Aston Villa side, who were well prepared.

“They looked sharp from the start and caused us a lot of problems. We had to block a lot of shots and be wary at set-pieces because they are strong.

“I thought defensively we were very strong and did what we needed to do. Then in the second half, we were better. We were in control a lot more; we were a lot more fluid, and we took our chances well.

“It was a perfect result for us and of course a perfect night for our striker [Lukaku] but we know we can still improve a lot.”

Mendy shot into fame having joined the London team in a £22m ($31m) deal as the club sought to find greater firmness between the sticks as costly errors had sneaked into Kepa Arrizabalaga’s game.

He has since proven to be one of the bargain signings, making crucial saves for the Londoners who finished fourth in the 2020-21 league campaign.

The African star also played a key role in their Champions League success – featuring in 12 games and not conceding a goal on nine occasions – a feat that earned him Europe’s Goalkeeper of the Year Award.

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