N’Golo Kante marking Virgil van Dijk from corner is one of football’s biggest mismatches

If Thomas Tuchel was selecting one of his Chelsea players to mark Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk at a corner, it’s safe to assume that N’Golo Kante would rank close to the bottom of the list.

Kante is obviously a magnificent defensive-minded player – one of the best of his generation, in fact – but the French midfielder is 5ft 6in tall.

Van Dijk, on the other hand, is a 6ft 4in powerhouse of a man.

Despite the height difference, Kante was seen attempting to mark Van Dijk at a corner during the 2019 UEFA Super Cup.

You have to assume it was some curious tactical instruction from Chelsea’s manager at the time, Frank Lampard.


Video: Kante marks Van Dijk at corner

Watch the footage here:

It’s hard not to laugh at the stills. This is surely one of the biggest mismatches in football history.

Why was Kante marking Van Dijk at a corner?

What was Lampard thinking?

We can only assume that the Chelsea legend, who was replaced as manager by Tuchel in January 2021, felt that none of his players were strong enough in the air to compete with Van Dijk.

Subsequently, the next best option was to put a blocker – in this case, Kante – on the Dutch centre-back.

But surely Kurt Zouma or Andreas Christensen still would have been better options than poor old Kante, who produced a typically excellent performance in Istanbul.

Liverpool beat Chelsea to win 2019 Super Cup

Despite Kante’s best efforts, though, it was Liverpool who lifted the trophy on the night.

The Premier League sides played out a 2-2 draw before the game was decided on penalties.

Tammy Abraham was the only player to miss during the shoot-out, meaning Lampard and his players left Vodafone Park with runners-up medals.


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