Chelsea had a rough start against Leicester City, but the hairdryer treatment and key substitutes saw Frank Lampard’s members over the line.
Brendan Rodgers has never beaten Chelsea in his coaching career, so one would expect him to have his team very ready to face off against his former club. And fired up they were; the Foxes came out flying and were unlucky not to score in the first ten minutes. Chelsea weathered the storm and after the first water break, they woke up and began to play with Leicester. Ultimately getting passed them with a goal from substitute Ross Barkley, what did the rest of the squad accomplish?
Willy Caballero (Keeper): 7
Willy Caballero did what Willy Caballero does: he got the job done in a shaky manner. It seems like Caballero never does anything with confidence or assertively, but more often than not he gets the result. Caballero made some good saves, but passing and clearances are always nerve wrecking to watch him handle.
Reece James and Cesar Azpilicueta (Right Back): 8
These two have been combined because they each played a half, and both were decent. James did not really do anything bad enough that it warranted him coming off at half for Azpilicueta. He did get himself caught in possession unnecessarily a few times, but that is his normal. Azpilicueta came on and did exactly what the Spaniard does; he offered stability and confidence at the position he plays.
Antonio Rudiger (Center Back): 8
The German, like his partner Kurt Zouma, was very strong early. He had a wild challenge that could have ended badly, and some errant passes that he would like to have back (turning the ball over against a Leicester City team that enjoys countering is not advisable). But overall, really good physical play from Rudiger to disrupt Leicester City’s attack all season.
Kurt Zouma (Center Back): 7
Zouma was strong and steady all match and did not get too up or down which is a nice change of pace from a lot of performances the Blues’ center backs have been putting in this season. The Frenchman was particularly strong in the air and banging some long balls up the pitch. Both center backs had to play smart for a large portion of the first half due to the midfields lack of presence.
Emerson (Left Back): 6
Not sure how he managed to stay on the pitch as long as he did. He did win a few duels, and some recoveries, but there was nothing special produced or exhibited by left back who may be on his way out. If that is the case, he did not do Chelsea any favors towards his resale value. He may have pace, but anyone debating whether it should be him or Marcos Alonso that starts, today was clear, give more Alonso.