Rio Ferdinand loved the way Chelsea’s Reece James defended against Rafael Leao yesterday in the Champions League group stages.
Chelsea picked up a much-needed three points on Wednesday night with a comprehensive 3-0 home victory over AC Milan.
Wesley Fofana, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and James all scored for the Blues at Stamford Bridge to make it a memorable European night for Graham Potter.
Up next, there’s a Premier League home fixture against managerless Wolverhampton Wanderers this Saturday. Chelsea then travel to Italy for their second game against AC Milan within the space of a week.
Reece James vs. Rafael Leao
Pundit Ferdinand admired Chelsea’s right wing-back James for his “aggressive” approach to defending in the second-half last night.
AC Milan winger Leao, 23, showed a few glimpses of what an exciting player he is, especially in the first-half with some eye-catching dribbling. In fact, Gianluca Di Marzio reports that Chelsea could make a move to try sign him in the future.
However, 22-year-old James stood up well against him in some defensive situations during the second period.
“What I loved about Reece James in the second half he came out and he said ‘I’m going to be aggressive with you (Leao)’,” Ferdinand told BT Sport 2 (10:15pm, 5 October).
“He said ‘I’ll defend you and also be an effective player at the other end of the pitch’.
“That’s the difference with Reece James. He will accept this fight. He wants the 1v1, understands that he has a responsibility to do that, and then he’ll go play up there.”
His stock continues to rise
It was another dominant performance from James in Chelsea colours, with the Champions League a competition he seems to play particularly well in.
As well as his defensive contribution, he scored and assisted to leave a big mark on the contest.
Let’s hope he remains fully fit all season and keeps up this incredible momentum.
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