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‘Brilliant’ Mendy hailed as the main difference maker in Chelsea’s title pursuit

The Blues beat Brentford 1-0 on Saturday thanks to the Senegalese international’s superb late performance, even depriving Pontus Jansson of his face during the Bees’ assault.

For former Manchester United star Neville, Mendy’s performance underscored why Chelsea are able to fight for the title this season after struggling with Kepa Arrizabalaga already between the posts.

“He was absolutely brilliant,” Sky Sports expert Neville said.

“If you want to win the title, you’ll have games in a season where you might not deserve to win, but your goalie makes a couple of world-class saves.

“He made the difference. Kepa in goal last season for Chelsea was a big deal, goals coming in far too easily.

“It’s much more difficult to score against Chelsea, not just because of the change in the last five with the arrival of Thomas Tuchel – but also the goalkeeper.”

Chelsea topped the table with the win despite not being at their best and it is this resilience that Neville says puts them in a good position for the title.

“I think this Chelsea team are resilient and difficult to face,” he added. “I can’t think any league team would like to play against them.

“I know Brentford enjoyed the last ten minutes, but for 60 to 70 minutes they couldn’t get into the game. It was a Chelsea side that also had missing players.

“I think they’re with a loud title scream, really.”

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