Chelsea were made to pay for their disastrous performance by a merciless and clinical AS Roma side at Stadio Olimpico on Matchday 4 of the UEFA Champions League.
Despite going a goal down within the first minute, Chelsea took charge of the game in the first half and pretty much dominated the first 45 minutes. They saw more of the ball, took numerous efforts at goal, but a lack of focus and some poor defending from the Blues saw them go another goal down in the first half itself.
The score remained 2-0 going into the second half, but as we would come to see later, Antonio Conte could do nothing during half time to inspire his team. Eusebio di Francesco’s men took the reigns from the get go and dominated the entire half, scoring again and ensuring that they only let their visitors leave after they had bettered them in every single area of the pitch.
Thibaut Courtois: 7
Started off the game by picking the ball out of his net. Courtois could’ve done better with the third as it came to his near post, but was at no fault for the second. Besides that, the Belgian put in a fine display, making a number of saves to keep the scoreline at 3-0, which could’ve been far worse.
Antonio Rudiger: 4
At fault for Chelsea’s second goal. It was Rudiger’s worst display in a Chelsea shirt this season and how fitting for the Roma faithful that it came at the place he once called home. The German looked rash, lost and made a number of mistakes.
All in all, it was a nightmare maiden start in the Champions League for the player, who was included in the team after two good performances against Everton and Bournemouth. It would be surprising to see him start against Manchester United after this performance.
David Luiz: 5
The Brazilian couldn’t take charge of his defence or do anything to inspire his teammates. Luiz looked erratic and his positioning and judgement were no good. He needs to pull his socks up after an underwhelming start to the season.
Gary Cahill: 5
Faultless for either of the goals that Chelsea conceded in the first half, Cahill had little to do in the first half. He was taken off surprisingly for Willian in the 56th minute, something that really won’t do his confidence any good.
Cesar Azpilicueta: 5
Azpilicueta needs to stop being used at right wingback as he is clearly far more useful at right centre-back. The Spaniard should have done better to prevent El Shaarawy’s second and didn’t do well after he was made to shift back to the back-three either. Perhaps his worst performance of the season.
Tiemoue Bakayoko: 5
Radja Nainggolan, Daniele De Rossi and Kevin Strootman were just too much for the Frenchman to handle alone. Fabregas’ lack of defensive ability made things all the more harder for him and he seemed overwhelmed for the most part.
Missed an easy chance to bring his side back in the game, after misplacing his header from a few yards out. Bakayoko is definitely feeling the effects of Chelsea’s lack of depth and crazy schedule.
Cesc Fabregas: 5
Absolutely wasted in the double pivot. Fabregas just doesn’t seem to have any chemistry with Bakayoko and would be far better with another midfielder to provide cover. He did play some good passes, but seemed lost as the game went on. The Spaniard was rightly taken off for Drinkwater in the 71st minute as Conte looked to shore up the midfield. Desperately needs a rest.
Marcos Alonso: 5
Alonso was decent going forward, but couldn’t make much of getting into the kind of positions he did. The Spaniard did well in the air and for the most part, dealt with El Shaarawy decently. But, he was late to react for his first goal and his lack of pace was made evident. Needs to defend as well as he goes forward.
One of Chelsea’s more industrious performers, but like most of his teammates, he couldn’t make an impact either. His forays lacked that cutting edge and towards the end, conviction. Missed an early chance, and allowed Perotti to get past him far too easily for Roma’s third.
Alvaro Morata: 4
An extremely disappointing game from the former Juventus man. He missed a great opportunity for an equalizer and could do absolutely nothing of note during his time on the pitch. In what was his worst performance in a Chelsea shirt, Morata gave Fazio and Jesus an easy night.
Should have been brought off much sooner. Unable impose himself in the game, his hold up play was well below the standard we’ve come to expect. It’s been six games without a goal for the Spaniard and it might be a surprise if he started against Manchester United in the weekend. Brought off for Michy Batshuayi in the 75th minute.
Eden Hazard: 7
Had a brilliant first half. Hazard wreaked havoc in the Roma defence and looked to inspire his side after their early setback. He kept having a go at Alisson’s goal, and was arguably the best player on the pitch in the first 45 minutes, but he faded off in the second half like the rest of his team.
Seemed to hurt his ankle while attempting to dribble past two Roma defenders and that didn’t help his cause either. The Belgian’s importance to this side cannot be understated, and losing him and Kante together would be the stuff of nightmares for Antonio Conte.
Brought on for Gary Cahill in the 56th minute to provide a more attacking threat. However, he could do nothing of note, and looked absolutely bereft of confidence. The Brazilian struggled to make something, but not for lack of effort, as Roma were already cruising by then.