3. A mixed bag
There were also a few negatives, besides the one mentioned in the first slide. They’re not that major, but they do deserve a mention.
Very, very surprisingly, Antonio Rudiger was a mixed bag. It was not a bad performance, but it wasn’t very good either. The German, who has been a mainstay in the Chelsea defense ever since his countryman took over—and has looked incredibly comfortable and patient on the ball—had a very weird game. His passing was off, by his standards. He had a few very weird instances where he passed the ball rather carelessly, which resulted in the Blues losing possession. He made a couple of not-so-good decisions—nothing that really changed the game’s flow or anything, but as I said, something worth noting.
It wasn’t a bad performance as a whole because there were a few things that he did which surprised me in a good way. One, obviously, was when he went into full ‘YOLO’ mode and woke his inner Hazard, going on to beat defenders so easily in one sequence! He also had a few good defensive sequences. Rudiger tallied two tackles, two interceptions and four clearances, but his decision making surprised me just a little bit.
Elsewhere, Giroud just didn’t have the impact he would’ve wanted. He didn’t see the ball much with just 26 touches. He was either too early or too late at the end of crosses. The Frenchman didn’t really link-up well with other attackers like he usually does, and wasn’t really up in the air for duels either. Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof didn’t really have a difficult time when he was on the pitch, which was rather disappointing, as I genuinely felt like he could’ve had a big impact on the game.
What were some of the lessons you learnt in the match? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter!