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Thomas Tuchel confirms Kante "felt his hamstring" in Leicester win

Thomas Tuchel confirms Kante
© Reuters
Thomas Tuchel is hopeful the key midfielder has avoided a hamstring injury.

Thomas Tuchel hopes N'Golo Kante has avoided injury by coming off early during Chelsea's crucial 2-1 Premier League win over Leicester.

Kante trudged out of the Stamford Bridge clash after little more than half an hour, complaining of twinges in his hamstrings.

The World Cup-winning midfielder has been in sparkling form at the end of this campaign and boss Tuchel has admitted Kante's presence can transform the Blues.

Thomas Tuchel consoles N'Golo Kante, left, as he leaves the field
Thomas Tuchel consoles N'Golo Kante, left, as he leaves the field (Catherine Ivill/PA)

Toni Rudiger's bundled goal and Jorginho's penalty helped Chelsea see off Leicester, to avenge Saturday's FA Cup final defeat and inch the Blues towards a top-four league finish.

Tuchel was delighted with the result, but quickly admitted Chelsea are left to sweat on key man Kante's fitness – with the final league fixture at Aston Villa and the Champions League final still to come.

"I hope that N'Golo is not injured, he told me that he went out before injury," said Tuchel.

"He felt his hamstring and was worried that he would get injured if he continued to play.

"So we put Mateo Kovacic in, which was also a huge risk. We had planned to put him in only for 20 minutes. But we had to put him in for 60 instead.

"So we took some risks but it was absolutely the moment to take risks, in a game of the highest importance at the end of the season.

"We are a different team with and without NG, but we can also manage to adapt."

Win at Villa on Sunday and Chelsea will book a top-four finish and qualification for next term's Champions League.

Boss Tuchel insisted the Blues have no time to celebrate after a pulsating result, with their job only half done.

Thomas Tuchel, centre left, and his team applaud their returning fans
Thomas Tuchel, centre left, and his team applaud their returning fans (Peter Cziborra/PA)

"It felt like a huge effort and a top performance," said Tuchel.

"Don't get me wrong, it's a big step, but it's only a step; it's not done yet, we have to push it over the line on Sunday.

"Now is not the time for celebrations or praise; it's three points but only three points and the job is not yet done."

Chelsea leapfrogged Leicester, who face Tottenham on the final day when they will require a victory to push into Champions League qualification.

And Foxes boss Brendan Rodgers admitted his side wasted several chances to secure what would have proved a vital draw, most notably from Ayoze Perez late on after Kelechi Iheanacho had pulled a goal back.

Brendan Rodgers, second left, speaks to the match officials after the game
Brendan Rodgers, second left, speaks to the match officials after the game (Peter Cziborra/PA)

"We knew it would be tough off the back of the weekend," said Rodgers. "We knew we'd have to weather the storm.

"We could have been better with the ball and played forward a little bit more.

"We're disappointed with the goals we conceded.

"Our idea was to make sure we stayed in the game. But we gave away a soft corner, and the second one looks very, very harsh for the penalty.

"And Ayoze will know with his late chance that he could have done better."

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Today's Olympic highlights header

Sunday's key events


GOLF
· The men's golf reaches its conclusion, with plenty of players still in medal contention. Home favourite Hideki Matsuyama is one shot off Xander Schauffele's lead, while Great Britain's Paul Casey is another shot further back and Tommy Fleetwood is also in the mix (11.30pm-8am)

CYCLING - BMX
· Great Britain have already made history in the BMX events in Tokyo, something Charlotte Worthington and Declan Brooks will be looking to add to in the women's (2.10am) and men's (3.10am) freestyle finals

SWIMMING
· The final day of swimming action begins with the men's 50m freestyle final. Ben Proud could add to a medal-laden Games in the pool for Team GB so far, although he is up against USA's Caeleb Dressel, who is going for his fourth gold in Tokyo (2.30am)
· From sprint to endurance, Great Britain's second medal hope of the day comes through Daniel Jervis in the men's 1500m freestyle final (2.44am)
· Team GB will again be among the heavy favourites for gold in the last swimming event of the Games - the men's 4x100m medley relay final - having won the mixed event in a world record time on Saturday (3.36am)

BOXING
· Already guaranteed at least a bronze, Pat McCormack takes part in the men's welterweight semi-final against Ireland's Aidan Walsh with a spot in the gold medal final at stake (4.03am)
· Ben Whittaker is also in the semi-finals of the men's light heavyweight and will be looking to continue Team GB's success in the ring (4.51am)

TENNIS
· There will be a surprise on the top of the men's tennis podium after Novak Djokovic missed out on a medal altogether. Alexander Zverev takes on Karen Khachanov in the second match on Centre Court at the Ariake Tennis Park (7am-2pm)

SAILING
· Alison Young will be going for gold in the women's laser radial medal race (7.33am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· Team GB's Max Whitlock will look to defend his 2016 Olympic title in the men's pommel horse final (10.41am)

ATHLETICS
· The men's high jump final includes GB's Tom Gale, although his chances of a medal look bleak (11.10am)
· So often the blue-riband event of the Olympics, the men's 100m final takes place as the world's fastest bid to be crowned Usain Bolt's successor. Three Brits have made it into the semi-finals (11.15am-11.32am), and the final looks wide open after an underwhelming display by favourite Trayvon Bromell on Saturday (1.50pm)

HOCKEY
· Great Britain face India in the men's quarter-final (1pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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