Football Features

Arsenal 1-2 Chelsea: Every player rated as Abraham winner turns London derby on its head

By Steve Jennings

Published: 16:11, 29 December 2019

Chelsea completed a remarkable late comeback to beat Arsenal in Sunday’s London derby.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang gave Arsenal the lead early on and the Gunners looked to have done enough to earn a first victory under Mikel Arteta.

But Frank Lampard‘s men struck back through Jorginho – who capitalised on a Bernd Leno mistake – and Tammy Abraham to take all three points in the final few minutes.

Here’s how the players rated at the Emirates:

Arsenal

Bernd Leno – 4 – Wasn’t forced into any meaningful saves until that moment… Completely ruined his and his team’s performance with a costly flap that gifted Chelsea their equaliser.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles – 6 – Chelsea didn’t get forward much down the left, particularly when Cesar Azpilicueta switched to that side, so Maitland-Niles wasn’t worked hard. Dealt with everything thrown at him capably.

Calum Chambers – 5 – His leap and flick-on led to the opening goal but he was forced off with an injury after just 20 minutes.

David Luiz – 6 – A textbook David Luiz display. All over the place at times and was arguably lucky not to see red, avoiding what should have been his first yellow card with a rash swipe. Stood up when Chelsea improved but could nothing about the late comeback.

Bukayo Saka – 7 – Was given the difficult task of containing Willian and did an admirable job. Not scared to put in tackles and his positioning was on-point considering he is more of an attacker. Arteta will be delighted.

Matteo Guendouzi – 6 – His composure and accuracy helped Arsenal gain a sense of control in the first half. A bit more shaky after the break and struggled to clear the ball at times.

Lucas Torreira – 7 – A real battler in midfield. His tenacity and pressing in the first half ensured Chelsea could not settle. Had to drop deeper when Chelsea came into it and was always in position to make sure the visitors could not find a way through the middle.

Reiss Nelson – 7 – Seemed to be instructed by Arteta to get Arsenal up the pitch whenever possible. Dribbled out with the ball superbly and put Arsenal on the front foot. Could have gotten his head up quicker at times, though.

Mesut Ozil – 7 – So stylish and incisive when Arsenal were on top. Made himself available and even held up the ball, which really got the fans onside. Quietened in the second half but received a good reception when substituted.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 8 – The catalyst for the victory in more ways than one. Took his headed goal brilliantly, but his biggest contribution was his tracking back, which he did throughout to help Saka. Worked hard until the very end.

Alexandre Lacazette – 7 – A poor first touched robbed him of the chance to score a second before the break. But what he lacked in sharpness he made made up for with his endeavour. Like many others, he was still sprinting in the latter stages.

Substitutes:

Shkodran Mustafi (for Chambers 23) – 6 – Put his head where it mattered, literally, in a clash with Anyonio Rudiger that showed his determination. Wrong-footed for the winner, though.

Nicolas Pepe (for Nelson 86) – N/A – Didn’t have enough time to make an impact.

Joe Willock (for Ozil 76) – N/A – Came close to scoring in a relatively short cameo.

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Chelsea

Kepa Arrizabalaga – 6 – Could do little about the goal. Will be thankful Arsenal didn’t test him more during their dominant period.

Antonio Rudiger – 6 – Didn’t look comfortable in the early stages, which is the polar opposite of his display at Tottenham a week ago. But played his part in keeping things solid at the back in the second half.

Kurt Zouma – 6 – Tried a couple of wayward diagonals early on that summed up Chelsea‘s first-half display. But much like Rudiger, he was far more solid after the break.

Fikayo Tomori – 5 – A day to forget for Tomori, who was shifted out to right-back where he didn’t look at all comfortable. Frank Lampard eventually took him off as it simply wasn’t working.

Cesar Azpilicueta – 6 – Didn’t really stand out but deserves credit for capably switching roles and not looking out of place at left-back, despite failing to get forward effectively.

N’Golo Kante – 7 – Couldn’t cope with Torreira and Guendouzi initially but grew into the game and instigated most of Chelsea‘s attacks. Looked arrogant and confident on the ball once they took the lead.

Mateo Kovacic – 6 – Struggled alongside his partner Kante when Arsenal were on top, but again he looked far more commanding when Chelsea came back into the game.

Emerson – 3 – A really poor cameo that didn’t do anything for his chances of staying on as Chelsea‘s long-term left-back. Lost Aubameyang for the goal with some poor marking and was hooked in the first half.

Willian – 6 – Saka did a really good job on him but the in-form Brazilian would eventually have his say, providing the assist for the winning goal. His crossing was a little inaccurate before that moment.

Mason Mount – 6 – Did his best to get involved throughout even when things simply weren’t falling for him. It was free-kick that led to the equaliser, but it was Leno’s mistake rather than the delivery that made the goal.

Tammy Abraham – 6 – Deserves plenty of praise for not letting his head drop after a difficult afternoon. Was beaten to the ball by Arsenal’s centre-backs all afternoon but was alive to the opportunity for his goal, which he took well.

Substitutes:

Jorginho (for Emerson 34) – 6 – Anticipated Leno’s error to tap in the equaliser. He didn’t particularly stand out in the game, but his introduction – or rather that tactical switch his introduction brought about – changed the game. Fortunate not to see red for a second booking.

Tariq Lamptey (for Tomori 59) – 6 – Looked comfortable going forward on his Premier League debut.

Callum Hudson-Odoi (for Kovacic 70) – N/A – Gave Chelsea a bit more drive down the left in the final stages.

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