Olivier Giroud was simply phenomenal as Chelsea romped to a 4-0 win over Sevilla in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday.
A much-changed Chelsea were hot off the gates, breaking the deadlock just 8 minutes into the game as Olivier Giroud produced a sumptuous finish after being found by Kai Havertz. Antonio Rudiger would then deny Sevilla a way back into the tie, blocking Karim Rekik midway through the first half before the Blues turned on the style.
Giroud doubled his tally and Chelsea’s advantage less than ten minutes post the interval, this time scoring with a delectable dink over Alfonso Pastor after being set up by Mateo Kovacic. A perfect hat-trick was complete for Giroud 20 minutes later, as he headed in from a pinpoint cross by N’Golo Kante.
Giroud then put some gloss on his tally and the scoreline, converting from the spot late on after being brought down inside the Sevilla box. The 4-0 win meant Chelsea have been confirmed as the Group E winners and The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Frank Lampard’s men following a terrific display at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium on Wednesday.
Edouard Mendy: 7/10
There was not a lot that Mendy had to do, with Chelsea thoroughly dominating the proceedings. The Senegalese goalkeeper, though, was equal to whatever rare opportunity Sevilla did manage to conjure up, making one fine save in the first half. Reliable once again with the ball at his feet.
Cesar Azpilicueta: 8/10
Back into the starting lineup, Azpilicueta was rock solid at the back, hardly letting Oussama Idrissi or later, Lucas Ocampos get the better of him. His defensive numbers were quite superb, to say the least – 7 duels won, 4 tackles won, 2 clearances, 2 interceptions and 1 block. However, the Chelsea captain was rusty on the ball and generally looked to keep things simple as a result.
Antonio Rudiger: 8/10
Back into the starting lineup, Rudiger produced a solid display at the heart of the Chelsea defence that would have surely left Lampard impressed. The German international made a couple of critical blocks, notably denying Karim Rekik in the first half. Imposing in the air, he could have had a goal of his own in the first half. A big showing, this.
Andreas Christensen: 7/10
Given a rare opportunity to impress, and that is exactly what Christensen did against Sevilla. The Dane grew into the game as the minutes ticked by, only really being threatened by the Sevilla frontmen during set-piece situations. Somewhat wasteful with the ball at his feet, though.
Emerson Palmieri: 7/10
Another player making a rare appearance, Emerson produced a surprisingly matured performance against Sevilla. The Italian international did well to keep a check on Franco Vazquez and Joan Jordan while typically carrying a threat down the left flank. Played 3 key passes and did well to chase lost causes and keep the ball in play.
Kai Havertz: 8/10
Returning after regaining full fitness, Havertz made an early impact in the game, providing the assist for Giroud and Chelsea’s first at the end of a brilliant run. Generally accurate with the ball at his feet, misplacing a mere 3 passes all game. Showed a lot of energy while backing up defensively as well, winning 7 duels and completing 3 tackles. A step in the right direction.
Olivier Giroud gives Chelsea the lead! His second goal in our last two #UCL games.
A fantastic assist from Havertz, also. 🔥 pic.twitter.com/exjqzleicF
— LDN (@LDNFootbalI) December 2, 2020
Recalled into the midfield, Jorginho produced a typically professional display. The Chelsea vice-captain hardly lost the ball, completing 46 of the 47 passes he attempted, generally dictating play smartly. Created one fine chance as well while being solid in the defensive phase.
Mateo Kovacic: 8/10
As is usually the case with Kovacic, he was industrious in the middle of the park, keeping things tight to deny Ivan Rakitic constantly. Going forward, he carried the ball superbly and even stitched together three chances, including one that saw Olivier Giroud score his second.
Callum Hudson-Odoi: 7/10
A game of hits and misses for Hudson-Odoi, who carried a great deal of threat when he looked to take the Sevilla defenders on but did not quite manage to back that up with the right kind of end product. Did play 1 key pass but lost possession a staggering 19 times as well. Will hope to do better next time around.
Christian Pulisic: 7/10
Another player who was back after recovering from an injury, Pulisic did not see a lot of the ball and was a little slow off the blocks as well. Looked purposeful when taking the Sevilla defenders on but like Hudson-Odoi, his end product was not quite there on the night. Will be hungry to make an impact in the coming games.
Olivier Giroud: 10/10
Hat-trick hero! 👏
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) December 2, 2020
Amid widespread speculation over his future, this was just the kind of performance that Giroud needed to produce to give Lampard some food for thought while also making a case to his suitors. The finish for his first goal was delightful as he cut in on his left foot before curling his effort in.
Giroud’s second was just as beautiful as he easily chipped over Alfonso Pastor after being set up by Kovacic. Completed a perfect hat-trick by nodding in from N’Golo Kante’s inch-perfect cross. Then added a fourth from the spot without a fuss. Nothing more that Giroud needs to do to get more starts at Chelsea, having done all he could to impress Lampard this year.
Hakim Ziyech: 7/10
On for Pulisic, Ziyech did not see a lot of the ball, but did look to push Chelsea forward when he did see some action. Misplaced quite a few passes due to this outlook, though.
Mason Mount: 7/10
Like Ziyech, Mount hardly saw the ball but did get a good chance just moments after coming on. His energy helped in asserting Chelsea’s authority on the game.
N’Golo Kante: 8/10
Honestly this cross.
Kante is in world class form right now. https://t.co/A0uZ7u4KET
— TheScore (@TheScore01) December 2, 2020
Made an impression just a few minutes after coming on, producing a perfect cross for Giroud to head in from. Settled in to add a more solid base in the midfield.
Timo Werner: N/A
On for Giroud, Werner nearly won a penalty moments after being introduced before it was deemed to not be a spot-kick.
Billy Gilmour: N/A
A late introduction, Gilmour helped see the game out. Most importantly, he would have felt good to be back on the pitch after recovering from a long-term knee injury.