Chelsea were held to a 1-1 draw by Red Bull Salzburg in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday night.
Chelsea came into the contest on the back of a narrow defeat against Dinamo Zagreb in their UEFA Champions League group opener, and new manager Graham Potter would have expected all three points here.
The Stamford Bridge faithful will be fairly disappointed with the result in the end, and Chelsea have now picked up just one point from their first two group games in the premier European competition. The Blues failed to find a breakthrough in the first half, but summer signing Raheem Sterling did well to put his side ahead early on in the second half.
However, Red Bull Salzburg battled their way back into the game and were rewarded for their efforts in the 75th minute. Noah Okafor scored the equaliser for the visitors with a deflected shot, and the Austrian outfit managed to hold on for a point in the end.
The likes of Armando Broja and Hakim Ziyech had opportunities to win the game late on for Chelsea. But the Blues were wasteful with their finishing just like last week, and they had to settle for a point in the end. Here at The Hard Tackle, we look at how the Chelsea players performed on the night.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) September 14, 2022
Kepa Arrizabalaga: 6/10
The Spaniard was given his second successive start in the Champions League because of Edouard Mendy’s injury-enforced absence, and he had a reasonably impressive outing. Kepa produced some important saves for his side on the night, and there was nothing he could have done to prevent the deflected shot that ended up in the goal late on in the second half.
Cesar Azpilicueta: 6/10
The Chelsea captain struggled at times because of his lack of pace, but he made up for it with his intelligent positioning and important clearances.
Thiago Silva: 6/10
The Brazilian showcased his supreme composure and reading of the game at the back. The experienced defender produced some important tackles at the back for Chelsea, but he will feel that he could have done better in the build-up to Red Bull Salzburg’s equaliser.
Marc Cucurella: 6.5/10
The left-back started on the left-hand side of a back three, and he looked solid defensively. Cucurella operated as a wing-back at times and provided an attacking outlet to his teammates.
Reece James: 6/10
James played an important part in the opening goal of the game for his side. He looked reasonably solid defensively, but he would have loved to make more of an impact going forward.
The Italian international had his usual composed outing for Chelsea. Jorginho did well to control the tempo of the game with his short and accurate passing. The Blues dominated the ball for most parts of the game, and Jorginho’s playmaking skills were barely tested.
Mateo Kovacic: 6/10
Kovacic was tasked with driving the team forward with his ball-carrying ability, and he did just that. He misplaced a few passes but had a relatively decent performance overall.
Mason Mount: 5/10
The England international was the only attacking spark in Chelsea’s midfield, but he failed to showcase his incisiveness and attacking prowess. Mount had a mediocre outing overall.
Raheem Sterling: 9/10
Only two English players have scored 25+ goals in the European Cup / Champions League:
▪️ Wayne Rooney (30)
▪️ Raheem Sterling 🆕
Raheem gets his first in Chelsea blue. 🔵 pic.twitter.com/qQEvvSwzM5
— William Hill (@WilliamHill) September 14, 2022
Undoubtedly the best player on the pitch. The former Manchester City winger caused all sorts of problems for Salzburg as he played in the hole. Sterling had a lot of space to run into, and he scored the opening goal of the game as well.
Kai Havertz: 5/10
The German international looked anonymous in the final third, and he will be disappointed to have come away from the game without influencing the contest in the final third. He played his 100th Chelsea game and would have expected to get on the scoresheet.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: 5/10
Aubameyang made his home debut for the Blues. The former Arsenal captain worked hard throughout the game, but he was lacking in sharpness in the final third. He had the chance to score but was wasteful with his finishing.
Armando Broja: 6/10
Broja was brought on to change the game in Chelsea’s favour. Potter wanted him to add attacking impetus to the side, and the youngster did just that. He had the chance to win the game for his side, but his finishing let him down.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek: 5/10
Loftus-Cheek worked hard after coming on and added a physical presence to the Chelsea midfield.
Conor Gallagher: N/A
Gallagher added intensity and work rate in the middle of the park.
Hakim Ziyech: N/A
Another player who had the opportunity to win the game for Chelsea late on. Ziyech missed his chance and did not affect the game significantly in the final third.
Christian Pulisic: N/A
Pulisic came on too late to make any meaningful impact.