Reece James (Right Wing-back): 7.5/10
Another crucial part of Chelsea’s solid showing at the back, Reece James was equally important in the team’s frequent forays into Atletico’s half down the right-hand side of the field. Blessed with great speed and power, James was a threat both on the overlap and the underlap, either cutting in field to take a shot, or more frequently, running in on the overlap to provide lethal crosses into the opposition box. It was his cleverly disguised ball that allowed Ziyech a great chance to curl one in from the edge of the box and it was his low driven cross that almost found Havertz for an easy tap in. Quite simply put, it was an outstanding night for Chelsea and England’s up and coming right-back.
N’Golo Kante (Central Midfielder): 9/10
It has been such a long time since Chelsea fans have been able to see N’Golo Kante at his best, but Wednesday’s display was quintessential Kante. Running the midfield together with Kovacic in the absence of Jorginho, the Frenchman was everywhere he needed to be throughout the entirety of the game. Cutting out passing lanes, making last ditch interceptions, and driving forward every time the ball was won high up the pitch as part of Chelsea’s new-found pressing game under Tuchel, Kante was vital in helping in helping his team win and then keep the ball. Turning 30 in just eleven days’ time, Kante’s fitness most certainly has to be managed to prevent his recurring muscle injury issues from flaring up again. Nonetheless, when fully fit, Kante remains Chelsea’s only genuine world-class player, a fact Saul Niguez and Koke can surely attest to on the night.
Mateo Kovacic (Central Midfielder): 8/10
The other half of Chelsea’s midfield double act, Kovacic’s selection was undoubtedly in some parts driven by Chelsea’s suspension issues in the middle of the park with Jorginho and Mason Mount both unable for selection. Nonetheless, the Croat was once again at his imperative best against Atletico Madrid. His quick feet and incredibly dribbling abilities saw him frequently drop deeper into Chelsea’s half to receive the ball on the half-turn as the team continued to play out from the back despite the Atletico press. In this regard, Kovacic proved vital in allowing Tuchel to execute his game plan and Atletico Madrid’s players ultimately found him too hot to handle on the night.
Marcos Alonso (Left Wingback): 7/10
Much has always been said about Alonso’s attacking instincts as a player and while that is most certain true in the way that Chelsea’s crossing from the right was almost exclusively done with him as the main aerial threat in the box, the Spaniard was also solid at the back. Working in tandem with Antonio Rudiger, Alonso effectively shut down Chelsea’s entire left flank, with Yannick Carrasco, Luis Suarez, and Moussa Dembele all unable to create any chances or even half-chances to put the tie in any kind of jeopardy throughout the course of the 90. Neither the most elegant nor the fastest defender around at the club, Alonso nevertheless gets the job done and he most certainly got it done against the Los Colchoneros on Wednesday night.