Christian Pulisic, 22, Forward: 7.5
Christian Pulisic played a complete game, which will hopefully mollify the mindless banter merchants going off about him already being a flop or a cast-off.
Pulisic played unselfishly throughout the game, tracking back as necessary and making runs of the ball in support of Pedro, Michy Batshuayi or (sigh) Ross Barkley. He was not rewarded for this essential play, which anyone who understands his history would expect – his profile is closer to Willian’s than Eden Hazard’s, and like Willian, he’s taking unnecessary stick from idiots.
Neither Pulisic nor Callum Hudson-Odoi were deeply involved in the game, which speaks to an organizational issue affecting Chelsea’s wing play more than anything specific to either player. A more conspicuous performance may have done more to raise his profile in the depth chart, but he certainly did not do anything that will set him back.
Pedro, 11, Forward: 7
Pedro, too, spent a lot of time dropping deep to receive the ball, as befits a player in the No. 10 role. This vertical play made good use of Pedro’s energy and work rate, although many times the Blues could have used him to make a run in behind as Grimsby Town did defend well (despite the scoreline), relatively speaking.
Oh, and apparently Pedro is the penalty taker now.
Callum Hudson-Odoi, 20, Forward: 7
Like Reece James, Hudson-Odoi is in Carabao Cup against Grimsby Town shape, but not yet in Premier League or Champions League shape, unless as a substitute with the game already safe.
Because he did not track back as much as Christian Pulisic he did not leave much of an impression, particularly in the first half. But Frank Lampard “reinforced pretty strongly” at half-time the need for the wingers “to run behind and end up in areas inside the box where you’re taking people on.” Hudson-Odoi took this on board for the second half and found himself in much better positions, culminating in him closing out the scoring in the 89′.
Michy Batshuayi, 23, Striker: 8
Every time Michy Batshuayi needs to score simply to keep alive his distant hopes of playing for Chelsea regularly, he does, and somehow it’s never enough. Batshuayi scored a brace against Grimsby Town and added an assist. Will it be enough? Who knows. He should be somewhat encouraged by Olivier Giroud’s exclusion from the bench, but Batshuayi’s position with this team over three managers now remains one of Chelsea FC’s great enigmas.
Batshuayi rarely fails to entertain and produce on the pitch. Perhaps at some point he will start in one of the major competitions.