Kante and Chilwell raise injury concern for Chelsea after early exits against Juventus

Kante injury Chelsea Juventus 2021Getty

Chelsea stars N'Golo Kante and Ben Chilwell cast a shadow on an otherwise impressive first half for the Champions League holders on Tuesday after they limped off against Juventus.

The midfielder hobbled straight down the tunnel just before half-time, with the Blues 1-0 ahead, while Chilwell was helped off later in the game. The Blues went on to win 4-0.

Both the players and their club now face a nervous wait to find out whether they will be fit for a key Premier League clash at the weekend.

What happened?

Kante pulled up with 37 minutes played of the game at Stamford Bridge, although the motive for his discomfort was not immediately clear.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek was called upon by Thomas Tuchel to replace the France ace, and saw out the final minutes of the half to send Chelsea into the dressing room with a narrow advantage.

Trevoh Chalobah had previously fired the Blues ahead from a corner, putting the defending champions on track to qualify for the last 16 with a game to spare.

Chelsea went on to extend their lead to 3-0 through Callum Hudson-Odoi and Reece James, but also lost Chilwell to injury, the full-back coming off for Cesar Azpilicueta in the second half.

“Chilwell has a sharp pain in the knee and Kante has twisted his knee," Thomas Tuchel said afterwards. "They will be examined tomorrow."

The bigger picture

If the knock Kante sustained on Tuesday proves serious, it will represent the latest injury setback for the player in what has turned out to be a nightmare year.

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A series of muscle problems have seen him miss several games over the course of 2021, while he was also laid low by a bout of Covid-19 in September which forced him out for a further two weeks.

Chelsea will nevertheless hope his injury is insufficient to prevent him taking the field against Manchester United on Sunday, as Tuchel's men seek to defend their lead at the top of the Premier League.

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