Hakim Ziyech impressed on full debut while Kai Havertz maintained his good form as Chelsea registered their first Champions League win of the season.
Chelsea were desperate to get back to winning ways as they travelled to Southern Russia to take on Krasnador in the second matchday of the UEFA Champions League. The West London outfit had been held to a draw in each of their last three games, against Southampton, Sevilla and Manchester United.
On Wednesday, however, the Blues finally managed all three points. The game started slow for the visitors, who did not look like they were growing into the game anytime soon. The hosts pressed relentlessly, but gave away a penalty in the 14th minute. Fortunately for them, Jorginho hit the woodwork with his spot-kick, and the scores remained level.
Soon after that, though, Chelsea got the lead through Callum Hudson-Odoi, whose goal came courtesy of some really poor goalkeeping. That said, it was no more than what Chelsea deserved.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) October 28, 2020
As the game wore on, Frank Lampard’s substitutions helped inject some pace into the team as Christian Pulisic won a penalty, this time slotted perfectly by Timo Werner. The goalscorer turned provider as he found Hakim Ziyech in space. The Moroccan, with a scrumptious finish, found the far corner and his first goal in Chelsea colours.
The final nail in the coffin came through Pulisic, who found space to help Chelsea register a 4-0 smashing victory, with most of the action coming in the last quarter of the game. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Lampard’s men.
Edouard Mendy: 7.5/10
Mendy was called into action twice in each half, with only one attempt proving to be worth a flying save. Showed off excellent composure on the ball and capped off the game with a well deserved clean sheet.
Cesar Azpilicueta: 8/10
Azpilicueta had to deal with the threat posed by Cristian Ramirez through the left side of the Krasnodar attack and did extremely well to nullify him. Also a threat going forward, the Chelsea captain displayed one of his better performances this season.
Kurt Zouma: 8/10
Kurt Zouma has gone back to his level best after a disastrous showing against Southampton and has kept three clean sheets in a row now. He was inarguably the best Chelsea defender on Wednesday, making 7 clearances, 3 blocks and 1 interception.
Antonio Rudiger: 7/10
This was probably the safest game to give Antonio Rudiger his first start of the season, and he did not fail to impress. The German was a crucial part of the buildup and ever-present in space as a passing option. Might see more of him given Chelsea’s jam-packed schedule.
Ben Chilwell: 6/10
In Ben Chilwell’s worst game so far in the blues of his new club, he failed to provide cover on the left wing and was constantly dispossessed as he attempted to make audacious passes. Gave away the ball in dangerous areas as well, but was saved humiliation by Edouard Mendy.
Mateo Kovacic: 7.5/10
There is little to no doubt over the quality that Mateo Kovacic brings to this Chelsea lineup, yet he was left out of it for two games in a row. Back in the side, the Croat was reliable in midfield and gave away the ball zero (0) times. Also completed 3/4 dribbles in the process whille winning 7/10 ground duels.
A game to forget from Jorginho, as he suffered against the tireless nature of the Krasnodar midfielders. Not to forget he hit his penalty on the post, failing to give Chelsea the early lead.
Hakim Ziyech: 7.5/10
Hakim Ziyech was given his first start in the Chelsea colours and he did not fail to deliver. In his 80 minutes on the pitch, he created 1 chance, scored 1 goal and completed 100% (5/5) of his long balls. The Moroccan was also pro-active off the ball and worked relentlessly to constantly win it back, as was evident in his 2 successful tackles, 1 interception and 2 clearances.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) October 28, 2020
While it is clear that Ziyech is still trying to find his feet and mind at Stamford Bridge, he does need to be more clinical. Of his 5 shots taken against Krasnodar, 4 reached the goalkeeper safely, while 1 found its way into the goal.
Kai Havertz: 8.5/10
As each game passes by, Havertz’s maturity on the ball keeps improving alongside his ability to understand his teammates. Operating in the hole between midfield and attack, the German played 4 key passes and was rewarded as he got the assist for the opening goal.
Additionally, he also completed 100% of his dribbles (3/3), won 6/11 ground duels, 5/8 aerial duels and 100% of his attempted long balls (2/2). Over the last two seasons, Havertz has taken each game with a pinch of salt and the fans have seen a complete turnaround in his performances near the turn of the year. While he has already been rather remarkable, his best is still yet to come.
Callum Hudson-Odoi: 6.5/10
Callum Hudson-Odoi was preferred over Christian Pulisic in a gamble that could have gone either way. While the Englishman got hold of the game quickly in the first half, scoring the opener, his performance dipped with each pass and passing minute.
Timo Werner: 8/10
Starting in his natural position yet again, it was clear that Timo Werner was here to eliminate all competition he had and make that role his. The 24-year-old showed intent in attack, often dropping to collect the ball or at times taking on multiple defenders at once.
He won the penalty in the first half that was missed by Jorginho before getting his reward in the second through a goal from the spot. Minutes later, he also got his name on the assist record by playing Ziyech in space, with the Moroccan making no mistake with the finish.
Christian Pulisic: 7/10
Christian Pulisic is BACK.
First goal of the season 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/10eBPYSLCl
— B/R Football (@brfootball) October 28, 2020
Pulisic’s impact in Wednesday’s game cannot be understated. Five minutes after coming on, the American won a penalty that doubled Chelsea’s lead. He also got his name on the scoresheet for the first time this season, scoring in the 90th minute of the game.
Mason Mount: 4/10
Mount had 20 minutes to impress Lampard and become a mainstay yet again, but the game went in the opposite direction for him. He took just 12 touches of the ball, yet lost possession with 4 of those. With 8 successful touches, he attempted 7 passes, misplacing 1 of them. Also gave away 3 fouls and was lucky not to be booked.
N’Golo Kante: 6.5/10
N’Golo Kante was introduced to cover the midfield better as Chelsea shifted to a more attacking setup, and he did just that late on.
Tammy Abraham: 7/10
Brought on with ten minutes to go, Tammy Abraham managed to grab an assist in the last minute.
Brought on very late to help see the game out.