Individual brilliance once again earns the Blues a massive victory, this time at Anfield.
It was Olivier Giroud against Atletico Madrid and Mason Mount on Thursday night versus Liverpool. Aside from that, it was a great performance by the whole team both defensively and in the attacking phase. The Chelsea starting XI saw changes like it always has under Thomas Tuchel, but the players on the pitch did the job and got over the line regardless.
Everyone thought Timo Werner grabbed the lead in 24′, but the finest of margins ruled him offside. Three minutes from halftime the blues got their lead through Mount, who cut inside and finessed the ball into the bottom right corner. From there on it wasn’t pretty, but the three points are all that matters.
Enough about the team performance though, how did each individual perform against the defending champions:
Edouard Mendy (Goalkeeper): 7/10
The Senegalese shot stopper didn’t have much to do throughout the game, but was calm and collected when he needed to be. The defense in front of him made his job easy and all he had to do was pick up the mess.
Antonio Rudiger (Centerback): 7/10
The defense was great and really limited Liverpool’s front three. Antonio Rudiger was good, but he wasn’t the best centerback on the pitch. That being said, it’s not that he did bad, but he had few mistakes that could of caused a goal.
Andreas Christensen (Centerback): 8/10
Andreas Christensen really took it upon himself to stamp his authority on the game. For me, he was the best of the three in defense and passed the ball with composure and didn’t lunge into bad tackles. He redeemed himself from his previous performance against the Reds and did it in style.
Cesar Azpilicueta (Centerback): 8/10
Ever since the captain has returned to the centerback position, the Blues haven’t looked like conceding. It really shows how much of an effect that leadership has on the performance of a side and today was no different, Cesar Azpilicueta really put in another great outing
Reece James (Right wingback): 7/10
The young English starlet’s ability to adapt will be an asset in his career, whatever job he’s given, he can do it and do it effectively. Reece James was less involved in the first half than Ben Chilwell, but didn’t put a foot wrong and did a good job marking Sadio Mane and Andy Robertson all game.
Jorginho (Central midfielder): 7/10
Jorginho returned to the starting XI at expense of Mateo Kovacic for one reason, and that was to find that killer pass over a weak Liverpool defense. He did just that on several occasions, but finishing wasn’t there as usual and VAR robbed him of an assist. With N’Golo Kante beside him, I thought they outworked and outperformed the opposition’s midfield three and didn’t do anything wrong.
N’Golo Kante (Central midfielder): 8/10
Can Kante never be dropped? With him out of the side, the Blues’ midfield becomes too one dimensional. His willingness to do the dirty work Thursday and during his Chelsea tenure is the key for the people around him to flourish. Here’s hoping for many more performances like this from the Frenchmen.
Ben Chilwell (Left wingback): 8/10
Chilwell has finally been given his chance from the manager and I thought he really took it against Liverpool. For the first half, he was heavily involved in all the good things the Blues did in the final third and caused Trent Alexander-Arnold some real trouble down that left flank. A healthy rotation between the fullbacks never hurts, let’s see who will take opportunities and earn the starting spot.
Mateo Kovacic (Central midfielder): N/A
Kovacic replaced Mount to see out the game and add another body into the midfield to close the gaps and did just that.
Two big games in a row for Hakim Ziyech to prove a point and Thursday was much better from the Moroccan international. He was more involved in the build-up and was more confident on the ball, sadly he is still lacking that killer pass that we’ve seen a little bit of in a Blues shirt earlier in the season.
Timo Werner (Striker): 7.5/10
Werner’s first half was once again his season in a nutshell, a lack of quality of finishing and luck rarely being on his side. Like always, the front three was allowed to free roam and switch on several occasions, this allowed Werner to do what he is best at and get in behind the defense. A beautiful ball from Jorginho found Werner and he did everything right, lifted the ball over Alisson’s head and slotted it home. VAR once again intervened and took a beautifully worked goal away from Werner and the Blues though. Persistence is key and I have full confidence one day Werner’s hard work will pay off.
Mason Mount (Left winger): 9/10
What more can be said about Mount, these type of performances are merely becoming a formality. He has proved that no matter the manager or where he plays, 100 percent effort is the bare minimum to what he brings to the side. His ability to take the game by the scruff of the neck is the reason Chelsea left with three points on several occasions and this was proven true once again with a moment of class to grab the game winner.
Christian Pulisic (Right winger): N/A
The American got his annual substitute appearance and was brought on when the game plan was clearly to hold on to the result. Therefore, he barely did anything of note.
Kai Havertz (Striker): N/A
I am trying to understand why Kai Havertz isn’t being given a chance. He came on with less than two minutes to go and for what reason, I do not know. This season will be considered a complete waste of a young talent’s career if he isn’t given a chance soon, Tuchel needs to sort it out.
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