Chelsea dropped points yet again at home this season, thanks to a solitary Kevin De Bruyne goal which helped Manchester City clinch all three points at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues looked to be thoroughly outplayed and outclassed by a better, faster, and clearly fitter Manchester City side. Alvaro Morata’s substitution in the first half seemed to be the turning point of the match and Chelsea never looked the same without their talisman upfront.
While the champions were never going to suffer a three or four-goal thrashing like City’s other victims this season, they were clearly beaten in every department of the pitch and it eventually took a stunning Kevin De Bruyne goal at the end of a superb Manchester City move to win the game.
Chelsea have now won only one of their four home games this season in the Premier League and this loss puts them in fourth place, 6 points away from the 2 Manchester sides at the top of the table and a point behind arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspurs.
Thibaut Courtois: 7
The Belgian was far busier than his City counterpart. Could do nothing for De Bruyne’s bullet of a goal but besides that, he had a good game. Made some smart stops from David Silva and Fernandinho to keep the Blues in the game with a fighting chance.
Antonio Rudiger: 6
The German started the game off slowly, but then slowly accustomed himself to the pace of the game. Yet to live up to his £30 million price tag, but this was a decent performance. Made a late block off the goalline to prevent Gabriel Jesus from getting on the score sheet.
Andreas Christensen: 7
Chelsea’s best defender on the night, the young Dane almost never put a foot wrong over the course of the game. Got the better of Gabriel Jesus in most of their individual battles and dealt with the the City onslaught with a calmness and maturity well beyond his years. Promising performance.
Gary Cahill: 6
Chelsea’s captain is yet to find his form this season and this was yet another underwhelming performance from the Englishman. While there weren’t any errors that were costly, it wasn’t his most assuring performance as he seemed to struggle to keep up with the pace of the game.
Cesar Azpilicueta: 6
Started in an unfamiliar right wing-back role instead of Victor Moses, he didn’t do much to justify his selection. Spent most of the game trying to keep Silva and Sane at bay and even attempted two shots at Ederson’s goal. Put in a good shift defensively.
N’Golo Kante: 7
Seemed to be in a perpetual state of motion on the night, but was a bit overwhelmed by City’s attack. Constantly looked to contribute in both attack and defence and ran himself into the ground. But it just seemed as if there was too much for him deal with, alongside Bakayoko at any given time.
Tiemoue Bakayoko: 7
Defended well for most of the game but eventually seemed to tire out as the game went by. City’s pressing seemed to get the better of him and his was a bit off. The effects of his midweek Champions League outing became evident as the game went on.
Cesc Fabregas: 6
Chelsea’s biggest creative outlet found himself stifled for most of the game, especially after Morata limped off. The lack of a target upfront left Fabregas a little lost. As City gained more possession as the game progressed, the Spaniard got the ball far lesser than he would’ve liked and was on the backfoot for most of the game.
Marcos Alonso: 5
Could offer little going forward, as he was busy trying to contain Raheem Sterling down his wing. Besides that, Alonso defended decently and nearly got booked for a rash challenge on the Englishman. Cut a fatigued and frustrated figure on the flank.
Eden Hazard: 7
Tried as best he could to make an impact on the game, but the Blues’ lack of possession restricted him from exerting much of an influence on the game. Couldn’t quite link up with Willian in the same manner as he does with Alvaro Morata and was subbed off in the 72nd minute, looking fatigued.
Alvaro Morata: N/A
Limped off in the 35th minute to prevent aggravating a muscle problem.
Brought on for Alvaro Morata in the first half, the Brazilian offered Chelsea nothing going forward and instead of trying to play upfront as a striker, often found himself drifting out wide. Lacked conviction, creativity and looked somewhat jaded. Not his best day in a Chelsea shirt.