Luton 2-3 Chelsea: Cole Palmer leads ratings in narrow win

Chelsea traveled to Kenilworth Road for the second London derby in a row. It was a match that should have been straightforward but turned out to be a knife fight.

Luton Town v Chelsea FC - Premier League
Luton Town v Chelsea FC - Premier League / Shaun Botterill/GettyImages

Chelsea traveled to Kenilworth Road for the second London derby in a row. It was a match that should have been straightforward but turned out to be a knife fight.

Chelsea needed to continue winning games to get out of 10th place, and while they got it at Kenilworth Road, it was a more eventful game than it should have been. First of all, Mauricio Pochettino's men ended the first half with two goals from an abysmal 0.38 from seven shots. The second half saw Luton fight back, and concede a third goal first, before they started scoring goals of their own. The Blues seemed to be having a comfortable game at first, though it soon became obvious that it would be anything but. Here is how the Pride of London thinks the players fared individually.

Dorde Petrovic: 7.5/10

The game started easy for Petrovic, so easy that he did not face a shot in the first half, despite Luton Town taking five shots. He was alert though, running out from his line to clear the ball, snuffing out two potential chances. His distribution was also good, considering that the Blues were often under pressure. He mostly rose to the occasion when he was called upon.

Malo Gusto: 6/10

Gusto was underwhelming, attempting zero crosses despite all the chances he got to put the ball into the net. His passing was OK, but his dribbling was abysmal.

Axel Disasi: 7/10

Disasi was solid, making four defensive actions and distributing the ball expertly. He won a majority of his duels and only lost possession of the ball an impressive two times. The Frenchman made one key interception at 2-0 up to make sure that a Luton player didn't have a free shot at Petrovic.

Thiago Silva: 7/10

Silva, like Disasi, was solid, though Disasi's passing was better. The centerback pairing didn't get caught out of position, and this meant that the Blues always had most of Luton's attacks under control - in the first half anyway. Silva made some key clearances and blocks.

Levi Colwill: 7.5/10

Colwill was excellent in his duels, but his passing was poor. Overall he was OK, winning an impressive 7/7 tackles.

Conor Gallagher: 6.5/10

Gallagher was not as all-action today. His passing was good but almost nothing else was as good. He won just 4/11 of his ground duels, and he struggled to impose his game on Luton's midfield.

Moises Caicedo: 7.5/10

Caicedo was the busier central midfielder and the better one. His ball retention was great but his defensive awareness and ball winning was better. His distribution was also very good.

Noni Madueke: 8/10

Madueke did most of the work for his goal. It was a very well-taken shot that ended up in the one place the goalkeeper couldn't have even hoped to reach. He was superb in and out of possession, completing 4/6 take-ons as well as 5/7 tackles.

Cole Palmer: 9.5/10

Palmer's first goal was also the result of high-level technical execution. Chelsea did well to pounce on a mistake by Luton's Issa Kabore. Palmer recorded two goals and an assist in this game, which was commendable. His second goal was, again, top of the line, dribbling past the goalkeeper and a defender to make one of the easiest finishes he would ever have to make.

Nicolas Jackson: 7.5/10

Jackson gets credit for contesting as many duels as he did against Luton's defenders, though he only won 5/18. His dribbling, as usual, was very good. He found Palmer in the 70th minute for Chelsea's third goal, effectively putting the game to bed.

Armando Broja: 5/10

Broja also gets the credit for duel contesting, though he too only won 4/16. The Albania international had a tame first half before he was taken off early in the second half.

Christopher Nkunku: 5/10

Nkunku took a long time to get into the game because Luton made the game as much of a physical battle as possible, and it was a physical battle the Frenchman didn't seem ready for.

Enzo Fernandez: N/A

Fernandez was a non-factor.

Alfie Gilchrist : N/A

Gilchrist's only action was winning a tackle, which was also - interestingly enough - the last action of the game.

Mauricio Pochettino: 4/10

Chelsea is not playing better now than they were at the beginning of the season, and this is worrying because he has had more time with the squad, and he should know better about the squad now than he did in his first few games. The Blues were less threatening than relegation-battling Luton Town. This is not the first time that a struggling team has had relatively easy game against Pochettino's men. The away side has now conceded 31 goals, which is two less than they conceded in the whole 2021/22 league season under Thomas Tuchel. The west London side is not good defensively, and that is on the head coach.