Chelsea 2-1 Arsenal: players rating

Chelsea Players rating

Kepa Arrizabalaga – 6

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Could do nothing about Aubameyang’s opener but despite Arsenal’s dominance he did not really have too much to do. When called upon he showed some good handling during the second half to take the pressure of his defenders.

Antonio Rudiger – 6

Endured a difficult start to the game as Arsenal poured the pressure onto Chelsea’s defence. Booked early on for a late challenge on Lucas Torreira, Rudiger won some important headers late on as Chelsea defended their lead, despite picking up a nasty cut on his head following the clash of heads with Shkodran Mustafi.

Kurt Zouma – 6

Had a glorious chance in the first half, but failed to connect with the ball at the far post when in on goal. Looked far more comfortable once Chelsea switched to a back four. Made a good last-ditch tackle to deny Alexandre Lacazette early in the second-half.

Cesar Azpilicueta – 6

Switched from right wing-back to left-back in Frank Lampard’s first-half reshuffle. He kept Reiss Nelson a bit quieter than Emerson and produced some testing crosses into the Arsenal penalty area.

Fikayo Tomori – 5

A difficult afternoon for the English defender. Switched to right-back after Emerson’s substitution and he struggled up against the combination of Bukayo Saka and Aubameyang. Substituted after 58 minutes by Lampard.

Emerson – 5

Lost Aubameyang for Arsenal’s opener before being hooked by Lampard after 34 minutes following Chelsea’s poor start to the game.

N’Golo Kante – 6

Not his usual self. He was second to a lot of challenges during the match as Arsenal dominated the midfield battle for long spells. Helped by the introduction of Jorginho, the France international kept going right until the end and his efforts were eventually rewarded.

Mateo Kovacic – 5

Another player in blue who had a difficult afternoon in north London. Struggled to get any kind of grip on the game up against Torreira and Guendouzi, and was eventually replaced by Callum Hudson-Odoi as Chelsea tried to get back into the game.

Mason Mount – 7

Things weren’t happening for the England international during the first half, but Chelsea were on the back foot for long spells. He had an early shot saved by Bernd Leno but it was his free kick that was missed by the keeper, and eventually tapped in by Jorginho.

Willian – 7

A pretty quiet afternoon for the Brazilian but he produced when it mattered, picking out Abraham for the striker’s late winner. His pace was always a threat on the counter-attack for the Blues but he grew into the game when Chelsea did, and became an influential figure for his side.

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Tammy Abraham – 7

It looked like it wasn’t going to be Abraham’s afternoon. He was quiet for long spells with Chambers and Luiz, and then Mustafi and Luiz dealing with his threat well. But as Chelsea began to dominate the game Abraham came alive. He should have scored when heading the ball straight at Leno in the second half and he dawdled in possession before getting a shot away, which allowed Luiz to block. However, he finally got his reward late on, pouncing on Willian’s cross before firing past Mustafi and under Leno to seal all three points.

Substitutes

Jorginho – 8

His introduction was key to getting Chelsea back into the game. Brought on in the 34th minute, he gave Chelsea a bit more control in midfield and capitalised on Leno’s error to bring Chelsea level. Booked for cynically hauling Lacazette to ground early in the second half, he was lucky to be on the field to score with referee Pawson opting not to show a second yellow for tugging at Guendouzi’s shirt.

Tariq Lamptey – 7

Chelsea’s best spell of the game coincided with the youngster’s introduction. He gave Chelsea an outlet down the right that they didn’t have in the opening 60 minutes and he caused Saka plenty of problems with his pace. Produced one key pass to set up Abraham, but the striker’s shot was well blocked by Luiz. Offered Chelsea a different dimension on his Premier League debut.

Callum Hudson-Odoi – 5

Handed 20 minutes to try and make an impact. He had one shot from distance blocked by Guendouzi.

Gunners players rating.

David Luiz – 7

The Brazilian had a no-nonsense attitude about him in the first half, clearing the ball long whenever necessary. However, he lost composure late in the first half and early in the second half with a couple of clumsy challenges on N’Golo Kante and Willian respectively – the latter of which he was booked for. He did regain it though and produced a couple of key interventions to deny Abraham in the second half.

Bukayo Saka – 7

Faced a tricky task up against Willian, but the stand-in left-back did his job well. He made a couple of crucial interceptions and combined well with Aubameyang in attack. However, he ran out of steam as the game wore on and he could not get back to stop Willian’s cross picking out Abraham for Chelsea’s winner.

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Lucas Torreira – 7

The Uruguayan midfielder appears to have rediscovered his mojo in recent weeks. Playing in his best position, he shielded his back four brilliantly and broke up any signs of a Chelsea counter-attack. Alongside Matteo Guendouzi, he helped Arsenal dominate the midfield battle for a lot of the game. Booked with 18 minutes left on the clock after racking up a number of fouls and allowed Jorginho to score unopposed, but they were minor blots on his copybook.

Calum Chambers – 7

The Englishman made an excellent start to the game making a couple of crucial interceptions in defence before setting up Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s opener at the other end of the pitch with a textbook near-post flick-on. However, his afternoon was cut short by injury in the 24th minute and the Gunners will be hoping it’s not serious.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles – 7

An assured performance at full-back for the 22-year-old. He stood up to everything that Mount and Willian threw at him. Booked late on as the game became stretched with Arsenal looking for an equaliser.

Bernd Leno – 4

One early save to deny Mason Mount but he hardly had anything to do all afternoon until he failed to deal with Mount’s free kick, leaving Jorginho with a tap-in at the far post. Arguably Arsenal’s best player all season but was a real moment to forget for the 27-year-old. Could do nothing to stop Tammy Abraham’s winner.

Matteo Guendouzi – 7

Playing in place of the absent Granit Xhaka, Guendouzi worked hard for his side. Booked after just 10 minutes for a clumsy challenge on Willian, the Frenchman had to tread carefully for the rest of the game. He worked well alongside Torreira but his afternoon fizzled out, much like Arsenal’s.

Reiss Nelson – 8

Struggled with his final ball against Bournemouth on Boxing Day, but the winger produced a lively performance on the right flank against Chelsea. He used his pace and trickery to good effect on a number of occasions up against Emerson and then Cesar Azpilicueta. Still plenty to work on but a promising display. Replaced late on by Nicolas Pepe with Arsenal needing a late equaliser.

Mesut Ozil – 7

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The German playmaker picked up where he left off against Bournemouth. Playing in between the lines, he found plenty of space and caused Chelsea problems right up until he was taken off in the 75th minute. One of his best displays in an Arsenal shirt for a long time.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 8

Mikel Arteta got a real tune out of Aubameyang on the left flank. The Arsenal skipper was immense. He set the example for his team-mates to follow, putting in a huge shift for his side. He tracked back when his side needed it, and, as is customary, he got on the scoresheet with a real poacher’s finish.

Alexandre Lacazette – 5

It’s not quite happening for the Frenchman in front of goal at the moment, but you cannot question his work rate. He had one clear-cut sight of goal in the first-half but a poor first touch allowed Kante to get a crucial tackle in. He beavered away all afternoon but he did let his emotions get the better of him late on, picking up a booking for questioning Craig Pawson’s decision not to show Jorginho a second yellow card. He then gave away the late free-kick which led to Chelsea’s equaliser.

Substitutes

Shkodran Mustafi – 5

Thrust into the action after Calum Chambers’ withdrawal and he produced a number of key headers during the second half as Arsenal stood firm for long periods of the game. He put his head where it hurt, literally, by clashing heads with Antonio Rudiger attempting to clear the ball, but he could not get a block in to deny Abraham’s winner. He was turned far too easily by the England striker.

Joe Willock – 5

Was on the pitch for just two minutes when presented with a golden opportunity to wrap up the game. The 20-year-old’s shot flashed inches wide of the upright and the rest, as they say, is history. It will take him a while to forget about that missed opportunity.

Nicolas Pepe – 5

Brought on in the 85th minute game, a minute before Chelsea’s winner. With Arsenal needing an equaliser, their club-record signing failed to make any impact of note. Hasn’t kicked on since scoring in the Gunners’ 3-1 win at West Ham earlier in the month.

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