Mason Mount and N’Golo Kante impressed while Timo Werner stepped up as Chelsea narrowly beat West Ham United 1-0 win on Saturday.
The game was off to an open start, but clear-cut chances came few and far between, with neither goalkeeper made to sweat much for much of the first half. Heading into half-time, though, Chelsea had their noses in front, as Timo Werner scored his first goal since February by meeting a cut-back by Ben Chilwell to tap the ball into the net from close range.
The second half was more of the same, albeit with Chelsea mustering up more efforts at goal, only for some wasteful finishing to mean that they could not double their advantage. Nevertheless, after Fabian Balbuena was controversially sent off late on, the Blues held on to win the game 1-0 and retain fourth spot on the Premier League table. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Thomas Tuchel’s men.
Edouard Mendy: 6/10
While Chelsea dominated the proceedings for the most part in the first half, Mendy had to stay alert and make a couple of crucial saves. Hardly made to sweat post the interval, it was a happy return to the side for Mendy, who earned yet another clean sheet.
Andreas Christensen: 7/10
With Thiago Silva being recalled Christensen was once again named on the right side of the three-man unit at the back. The Dane, though, continued to go from strength to strength and apart from a needless cynical foul on Jesse Lingard, he did not really put a foot wrong. Even covered up ably for Cesar Azpilicueta, winning 6 duels. Even played in a key pass in what was another impressive showing.
Thiago Silva: 7/10
Back in the starting lineup and slotting straight into the heart of Chelsea’s three-man central defensive unit, Silva dictated play quite well while keeping the backline disciplined. Recycled possession well for the most part, hardly misplacing any passes while also opening up play smartly at times with his usage of long balls.
Antonio Rudiger: 7/10
Part of the back three once again, Rudiger was solid for the most part while being particularly imperious in the air, winning 7 aerial duels, while also completing 3 tackles and 2 clearances. There were a few sloppy moments on the ball, though, when he chose to charge forward into midfield. Only a rare negative in an otherwise decent display.
Antonio Rudiger won seven of his eight aerials for Chelsea vs. West Ham.
More than any other player on the pitch. pic.twitter.com/xzMDkUjsj8
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) April 24, 2021
Cesar Azpilicueta: 6/10
A surprise selection as the right wing-back, considering he has been exclusively deployed as a centre-back since Tuchel took charge, it was clear that Azpilicueta might no longer be par for the course in the position. Hardly posed a threat going forward while he surprisingly also showed some positional flaws. Had a poor passing rate of 78 percent while losing possession 15 times.
N’Golo Kante: 8/10
Back in the starting lineup after being given a breather earlier this week against Brighton & Hove Albion, Kante looked peppy as ever and ran himself into the ground to thwart West Ham time and again. Won 7 duels while completing 4 tackles, 2 clearances and an interception, the Frenchman was a workhorse in the middle of the park.
Jorginho just continues to grow into a key player for Chelsea once again and against West Ham on Saturday, the Italian international played his part in ensuring Chelsea were on top of the game at the crucial junctures. Completed 91 percent of his passes while also doing a lot of legwork to keep the West Ham attackers at bay. Job well done in the end.
Ben Chilwell: 7/10
Preferred over Marcos Alonso, Chilwell was a little slow off the blocks but ended up delivering the perfectly weighted cut-back, which was converted by Timo Werner for the opener. Had some more positive moments later on as well, and only Mason Mount delivered as many key passes (3) as him on the day. Solid enough defensively as well, winning 12 duels while completing 4 tackles.
Mason Mount: 8/10
Mason Mount for Chelsea vs. West Ham:
◎ Most touches (91)
◎ =Most ball recoveries (8)
◎ =Most shots (6)
◎ =Most tackles (4)
◎ Most shots on target (3)
◎ =Most chances created (3)
◎ =Most take-ons completed (3)
◎ =Most blocks (1)
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) April 24, 2021
A bundle of energy as always, Mount put in the hard yards and tried to make things happen. Set up an early chance for Werner and played a joint-game-high 3 key passes as well. And, as is usually the case, Mount also put in the hard yards off the ball, completing 4 tackles while also being denied by Lukasz Fabianski on a couple of occasions. Such an asset for Chelsea.
Christian Pulisic: 6/10
One of the form players for Chelsea in recent weeks, Pulisic appeared to be bright in the early exchanges and typically looked to take the West Ham defenders on. However, while he did link up well with Mount, Werner and Chilwell, he started to fade as the second half wore on. A minor positive would be the fact that he hardly misplaced a pass. Will hope to do better next time, though.
Timo Werner: 7/10
Set up with an early chance, Werner skied his effort and it looked like another frustrating evening beckoned him. However, the German striker positioned himself perfectly before calmly finishing off Chilwell’s low cross for the opener after having held the ball up superbly in the build-up. Should have doubled his tally in the second half, only to hit his effort off target. Will be relieved to have scored at least once, though.
Timo Werner is the only Chelsea player to be directly involved in 20+ goals in 2020/21:
👕 44 games
⚽️ 11 goals
🅰️ 9 assists
Thoughts on his debut season so far? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/N1gmZRbhxr
— William Hill (@WilliamHill) April 24, 2021
Hakim Ziyech: 6/10
Sent on in place of Pulisic, Ziyech did not see a lot of action, but did manage to muster up a couple of shots, which were off target.
Reece James: N/A
On for Azpilicueta late on, James helped see the game out.
Tammy Abraham: N/A
A late introduction, Abraham made his first appearance for Chelsea in over two months and had one opportunity to score in the dying embers of the game.