Callum Hudson-Odoi and Mason Mount impressed but Timo Werner struggled as Chelsea qualified for the Champions League knockout stages after beating Rennes 2-1.
Chelsea should have been up and running just three minutes into the game, but Timo Werner missed a glorious chance to put the Blues in front. However, they did not have to wait long for the opener as Mason Mount sent Callum Hudson-Odoi through with a scintillating pass and the winger made no mistake.
From that point, though, Rennes started growing into the game and had a few chances, with Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy getting called into action several times on either side of half-time. The hosts’ pressure finally paid off in the 85th minute as Serhou Guirassy rose the highest to head home a Benjamin Bourigeaud corner.
And just when it looked the like spoils would be shared between the two teams, substitute Olivier Giroud powered home a header in stoppage time after Werner’s initial shot had been saved to seal the victory, and in turn, qualification to the Round of 16 for Chelsea.
It was far from a comfortable outing for Frank Lampard’s men on Tuesday and here’s how we rated their performances at the Roazhon Park.
Edouard Mendy: 7/10
Returning to his former club, the Senegalese international had to make a couple of sharp saves late in the first half as Rennes grew into the game. Pulled off a brilliant double save after the break to deny Guirassy at his near post and Nyamsi from the resulting corner, with the latter standing out in particular. Nothing he could do about the equaliser.
Cesar Azpilicueta: 7/10
Coming into the starting XI in place of the impressive Reece James, the Chelsea skipper was solid as ever, letting little past by him on the right flank. Linked up well with Hudson-Odoi early on, but held back in the latter phases of the game with the hosts growing in confidence.
Kurt Zouma: 6/10
A largely assured display from Zouma on his return to his homeland. Was a strong presence in the air, winning four of his five headed duels, while he also made four clearances. However, lost his focus to allow Guirassy to score the opening goal, which sees him get a point docked.
Thiago Silva: 7/10
🇧🇷 Thiago Silva vs Rennes:
95% pass accuracy
3/5 ground duels won
2 long balls
Pivotal, once again. Immense interception/clearance numbers. pic.twitter.com/nMXaMVF392
— LDN (@LDNFootbalI) November 24, 2020
Back into the starting lineup after being rested at the weekend, the Brazilian was solid as usual for most parts against the dangerous Guirassy. Bailed his teammate Ben Chilwell out after an errant pass in the first half and generally swept things up with comfort.
Made a game-high six interceptions and six clearances, while misplacing just three of his 61 attempted passes on the night. However, the veteran centre-back might have done a tad better to stop Guirassy from scoring.
Ben Chilwell: 5/10
A torrid first-half performance from the Englishman. Although he looked good in the attacking phase, Chilwell was put under intense pressure by the lively Jeremy Doku. Almost cost Chelsea a goal when he played a pass straight into Guirassy’s path while he struggled to keep the hosts quiet on his side.
Much-improved in the second half, with a fine tackle on Doku at the hour-mark standing out. Still, one of his poorer displays since joining Chelsea.
Mateo Kovacic: 5.5/10
A rather middling display from the Croatian international, who was not quite able to get on the ball and influence proceedings as he would have liked. Still, showed good energy and intensity, especially in the first half, to help Chelsea stay on the front foot.
Starting as the defensive midfielder ahead of N’Golo Kante, Jorginho failed to provide the same level of security as the Frenchman. Did attempt (8) and complete most tackles (5) on the night but was often dribbled past too easily by the hosts, with the likes of Bourigeaud getting forward with ease. Withdrawn in the second half as Rennes started to turn up the heat.
Mason Mount: 8/10
Mason Mount's game by numbers vs. Rennes:
100% shot accuracy
100% cross accuracy
100% take-ons completed
100% tackle success
2 chances created
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) November 24, 2020
Another fine display from the England international showing why he has become an indispensable member of Lampard’s side. Won the ball on the edge of the Chelsea box before setting Hudson-Odoi through on goal with a magical pass. Could have had a goal of his soon after if not for a fine save from the Rennes goalkeeper. Worked immensely hard off the ball before being given a well-earned rest in the 68th minute.
Callum Hudson-Odoi: 8/10
Handed a rare start on the night ahead of Hakim Ziyech, the Chelsea academy ace grabbed the opportunity with both hands. Made a lively start to the game, setting Werner up for a great chance early on before finding the back of the net with a composed finish to put his team in front. Tracked back well throughout his time on the field as well. A positive performance from the England international.
Callum Hudson-Odoi has scored 2 goals in 2 starts in the #UCL this season.
Taking his chances. 💫 pic.twitter.com/dMtDKngtoR
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) November 24, 2020
Tammy Abraham: 6/10
Not a lot of chances came Abraham’s way on the night, but the striker once again impressed with his excellent hold-up play, while he linked up well with his attacking teammates before making way for Giroud n the second half.
Timo Werner: 5/10
It would have been a much more comfortable outing for Chelsea if Werner had his shooting boots on. Unfortunately, that was not the case on Tuesday as the German international missed a sitter in the first half, firing over the bar after Hudson-Odoi had served it up on a plate for him. Had bad touches, misplaced his passes and just could not get going.
Scuffed his shot and saw it being saved by Alfred Gomis in the second half but the rebound fell to Giroud, who made no mistake. One to forget for ‘Turbo Timo’.
N’Golo Kante: 6/10
Sent on for Mount in the 68th minute, the diminutive Frenchman helped the visitors shore things up even as Rennes ramped up the pressure.
Olivier Giroud: 7.5/10
4 – Olivier Giroud is the 4th player to score for both Arsenal and Chelsea in the Champions League after William Gallas, Cesc Fabregas and Nicolas Anelka. Winner. pic.twitter.com/VD1CTFQZ1c
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 24, 2020
Came on for Abraham with a little over 20 minutes left to be played. Posed a different sort of threat to the hosts with his physicality before proving his worth to this team amid speculations over his future, with a brilliant header to bag three points.
Hakim Ziyech: 6.5/10
Came on in place of Hudson-Odoi for the final 15 minutes. A lively cameo from the Moroccan, who played a role in the late winning goal. Played two key passes, joint-most by a Chelsea player on the night, despite being on the pitch for a very short time.
Kai Havertz: 5/10
Made his return after a two-week hiatus due to coronavirus, replacing Kovacic in the 75th minute. Did not really have much influence on the proceedings, though.
Reece James: N/A
Stoppage-time substitute for Werner.