Chelsea made light work of Lille in the Champions League after goals from Kai Havertz and Christian Pulisic but Thiago Silva earned plaudits following another imperious display
Gary Lineker labeled Chelsea star Thiago Silva as “ridiculously good” after his performance in the Champions League win over Lille.
Kai Havertz and Christian Pulisic both got on the scoresheet in a 2-0 win over the French champions at Stamford Bridge in their last 16, first leg encounter.
It has put the Blues in control ahead of the second leg in France in three weeks time.
But equally as important to the goals was the complete shutout at the back with veteran defender Silva looking utterly dominant throughout.
And the Brazilian’s brilliant performance even helped Chelsea set a new record in the Champions League as a result.
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After keeping another clean sheet, the Blues are now the first English team in history to win five consecutive home matches without conceding a goal in Europe.
Among the many adulations Silva received on social media, Lineker gave the former Paris Saint-Germain star a fine tribute of his own.
The Match of the Day presenter said: “How good is Thiago Silva? I’ll answer that myself: ridiculously good.
“A wonderful defender who’s defying Father Time.”
This has been a fine campaign for the 37-year-old, who has missed just four Premier League matches all season.
After joining from PSG on a free transfer in the summer of 2020, Silva is on course to play his third year at Stamford Bridge after signing a new one-year deal earlier this term.
As well as being a formidable rock at the back, the Chelsea fans have fallen in love with him and it was telling that he was the last off the pitch on Tuesday night as the Shed End sang his name.
And one of the men who helped convince the veteran star to trade life in Paris for London also came out to praise him.
Jody Morris was assistant to Frank Lampard at the time of Silva’s signing and he admitted the centre-back was like a brick wall for Lille.
He told BBC Radio 5Live: “Extremely solid, especially in the second half. They totally controlled the game and Thiago Silva was unbelievable – it does not seem like he is getting older one bit.
“Kai Havertz, you have to give the manager credit for picking him and Havertz had one of his best games in a Chelsea shirt. N’Golo Kante was his world-class best. Lille didn’t threaten enough and when they got close to the Chelsea goal ran into a brick wall.
“It was a really accomplished performance from Chelsea. The clean sheet is huge at home. With the games they have to catch up in with the league it may allow them to rotate the squad even more.
“It should’ve been more, that’s the only disappointment that Thomas Tuchel will have, but you can’t really moan about a 2-0 win in the last 16.
“Chelsea have been winning without playing their best and if some of these players start performing at the levels they’re capable of then they could go on a long run.”