Chelsea beat down London rival Crystal Palace heading into the international break, but how did each player perform in the match?
Chelsea reacted perfectly after the sub-par West Brom performance as the Blues emphatically beat a historically tricky opponent. They scored four goals in the second half and didn’t even allow a shot on their own goal. Every player did his job well, there was only a few unsatisfactory performances. Here’s how the players fared against Crystal Palace:
Edouard Mendy (Goalkeeper): 7
Mendy was one of the less busy players on the pitch as Crystal Palace had no shots on target. There was the cut back that Mendy punched away, though that wasn’t a shot on target, his intervention ensured that Chelsea were not exposed to any danger. It may be unfair to say Mendy had nothing to do, because he communicated excellently with his defenders, which is half of what goalkeeping is.
Cesar Azpilicueta (Right back):6.5
Azpilicueta did the barest minimum to secure a clean sheet. He was not sparkling, he wasn’t brilliant, he was just OK. He didn’t make needless mistakes, he carried out the game plan well and he was available to cover gaps that appeared. Azpi was adequate.
Thiago Silva (Centerback): 7.5
Silva was one of the busier defenders against the Eagles. He was positioned excellently throughout the match, clearing any loose ball and making sure that Chelsea wasn’t caught flat-footed at any point in the game. He made four clearances and two interceptions in the match. He was solid.
Kurt Zouma (Centerback): 8.5
Zouma was every bit as solid as Silva, but was also a problem for the Crystal Palace in the air. Zouma was also positioned well throughout the match. He won all three of his attempted aerial duels, including one against Mamadou Sakho for his goal. Zouma is Chelsea’s best central defender, that’s the only clear thing about this squad.
Ben Chilwell (Left back): 9.5
Chilwell had a near perfect game. Near perfect because he had a poor clearance that fell to Wilfred Zaha in the defensive third. This was similar Marcos Alonso’s error against West Brom, the only difference being that Chilwell’s error didn’t end up in a goal conceded. Other than that, Chilwell barely put a foot wrong in the game. He scored a goal and assisted Zouma’s. He made three interceptions and kept a clean sheet. It was a complete performance from the England international
N’Golo Kante (Central midfielder): 7.5
Kante was solid again, per usual. He has had better games in a Chelsea shirt though. His partnership with Jorginho in the pivot, while not magnificent, was functional. He didn’t do much in terms of defensive actions, largely because he didn’t have much to do with Chelsea having 71 percent of the ball.
Jorginho (Central midfielder): 8.5
Jorginho had a superb outing, completing eight of eleven attempted long balls. He was constantly switching play to the flanks at the right moments, moving the ball quickly and making himself solid in defense. Jorginho made three interceptions, showing how well positioned he was. He topped off his performance with two well taken penalties. Penalties are harder than they look, and the Italian international has been consistent from the spot throughout his career in west London.
Kai Havertz (Central attacking midfielder): 7
Havertz, like Callum Hudson-Odoi, didn’t dazzle. He made three key passes and won a penalty. The German was helpful off the ball though, making three clearances, two tackles and one interception. This is a performance that Havertz can build on.
Mateo Kovacic (Central midfielder): N/A
Kovacic didn’t impact the game in his substitute appearance, not that he was expected to. Kovacic’s absence from the starting line-up was understandable seeing as he played in the midweek game against Spurs.
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Callum Hudson-Odoi (Right winger): 7
Hudson-Odoi wasn’t spectacular, neither was he awful. He made two key passes and created one big chance. The Chelsea front four could have been better on the day, but today they did enough. Hudson-Odoi got into good positions and contributed his fair share to build up.
Tammy Abraham (Striker): 7
Abraham had some good moments in the match, but he also had some questionable ones. He missed a big chance, but won a penalty. He too, has had way better games in a Chelsea shirt. The England international earned his minutes against Crystal Palace, but he will need to produce better performances to stay in the line-up.
Timo Werner (Left winger): 6
Werner needs to start scoring goals; of course, he’d be the first person to tell you that. Werner has made too many appearances at left wing for many fans to be comfortable with. Injuries and other factors have forced Frank Lampard to come up with various solutions to the same problems. Wherever Werner is deployed, he needs to start scoring goals—he is a striker after all. The German has scored his first Chelsea goal, now he needs a Premier League goal, or four.
Christian Pulisic (Left winger): N/A
Pulisic definitely did as much as a player could do in seven minutes with nine touches, perhaps more. He made two tackles and two clearances, securing the game. The American got some much needed minutes to help with his recovery.
How did you rate each player? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter!