Chelsea ran out 2-0 winners for the fourth time in the Premier League, and put new boss Thomas Tuchel on a four-game win streak. The Blues never really looked like losing the match. Overall, it was a complete performance; chance creation, multiple goals and clean sheet, but how did the players perform individually?
Kepa Arrizabalaga (Goalkeeper): 8/10
The Spaniard was superb in this game. He was alert, competent and didn’t take any risks. On a night when he’s inclusion in the line-up caused a lot of groans of discontent, he did himself justice and certainly justified his minutes. It is difficult to know how much Kepa Arrizabalaga’s performance would impact the next XI, but this performance will go a long way in helping restore the Spaniard’s confidence. He made four saves to secure the clean sheet and he looked like he was out to prove a point. It’s going to take more than one good performance to displace Edouard Mendy, but Arrizabalaga needs to make sure that he plays as well as he can whenever he’s given the opportunity—you never know.
Antonio Rudiger (Centerback): 7/10
Antonio Rudiger was solid again. He has been playing well under the new manager, long may it last. His distribution was good today and he won an impressive four out of six duels. His inclusion in the side under the new manager raised eyebrows, but Tuchel has made it known that every player will get a chance under him and he’ll select based on merit. Rudiger has played well so far and has therefore started every league game for the German. His defensive solidity may be due to the change of formation, providing the centerbacks with more bodies to stop counters and generally defend better in numbers.
Andreas Christensen (Centerback): 7.5/10
Andreas Christensen stepped into the Chelsea line-up when Thiago Silva got injured and has stayed in it, for good reason too. Many fans don’t like seeing the 24-year-old Denmark international in the side, but he has been playing well and hasn’t given Tuchel a reason to drop him. Christensen’s distribution was superb today, completing eight out of 10 attempted long balls, though on two separate occasions he passed the ball right to a Newcastle player in front of him. He won four out of six aerial duels, which is good because he has often been criticized in the aerial department.
Cesar Azpilicueta (Centerback): 8/10
Cesar Azpilicueta was Chelsea’s busiest centerback on the night, leading the team in clearances, interception and tackles. He won nine out of 12 attempted duels and created one chance. He got his head to a corner kick in the first half, which was impressive seeing as he’s not exactly an aerial threat. His inclusion in the line-up is one that has also caused some groans of discontent as he had barely made league appearances for the Blues before the new manager walked in. Many feel he’s too slow for the game now, but he has shown that’s very much nonsense. He helps his same side wingback in overloading the right flank, as well.