Chelsea: Joe Cole ‘blown away’ by Reece James after Juventus victory

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Joe Cole has been 'blown away' by Chelsea defender Reece James

Joe Cole has been ‘blown away’ by Chelsea defender Reece James (Picture: BT Sport)

Joe Cole has been ‘blown away’ by Reece James and says the Chelsea defender played like a ‘machine’ during the Champions League victory over Juventus.

England international James, 21, continued his superb form as Chelsea thumped Serie A giants Juventus 4-0 at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday.

Scoring Chelsea’s second goal in the emphatic win, James joined Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah as the only two Premier League players to have scored five goals and provided five assists this season.

Beating Juventus means Chelsea are safely through to the knockout stages of the Champions League as they look to win the competition in back-to-back seasons under Thomas Tuchel.

Speaking to BT Sport following Chelsea’s victory, Cole said: ‘I have been banging the drum for Reece James for years. I remember coming back and training with the team after being in America.

‘I was blown away by his technical ability. Especially for such a big, strong, athletic lad. His touch is velvet, he makes the right pass, takes the right decisions.

‘When he gets in front of goal it is like your top, top strikers’ level of composure and technique.’

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James continued his impressive form against Juventus

James continued his impressive form against Juventus (Picture: Getty)

Asked to name his Player of the Match after Chelsea’s victory in west London, Cole added: ‘It has to be Reece James.

‘It could have been five, six, seven. But he was just a machine. Take the goal out of it – it was every part of his game.’

The only negative for Chelsea on Tuesday night was possible injuries to N’Golo Kante and Ben Chilwell ahead of Sunday’s Premier League clash with Manchester United.

French midfielder Kante was withdrawn shortly before half-time while English defender Chilwell was subbed off in the 71st minute.

‘Ben has a sharp pain in the knee and N’Golo twisted his knee a little bit,’ Blues boss Tuchel said.

‘They are very sad things because N’Golo was very good before he went off and ‘Chilly’ has been in a fantastic moment.

‘Ben was in a lot of pain at the time on the pitch, but now he feels a little better. Hopefully we will get away with not-too-bad news.’

On Sunday, Chelsea will hope to consolidate their position at the top of the Premier League against a Manchester United side yet to appoint Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s replacement.

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