Football Features

“Pep won’t be leaving him out of any more big games!” – Chelsea 0-1 Man City player ratings

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 15:00, 25 September 2021

In a high-level afternoon of Premier League football, Manchester City dominated and defeated Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Rio Ferdinand called it a “1-0 beating” after the match and he wasn’t far wrong. This was seriously impressive from Pep Guardiola’s men as they pushed the Blues back from the first minute until the last. The Premier League champions dominated the European champions.

Here’s how the players rated at Stamford Bridge:


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Chelsea

Edouard Mendy – 8 – Immense few saves to keep City at bay. Could do nothing about the goal due to the deflection but made so many other saves to stop City from walking away with the massive victory that their play deserved.

Cesar Azpilicueta – 7 – Had a fantastic battle with Jack Grealish that he admittedly struggled with once moved to wing-back.

Andreas Christensen – 8 – Really impressive to stop the City attacks dead in their tracks. A team-high four clearances and won possession back an astonishing 12 times for the Blues.

Antonio Rudiger – 8 – Commanding as always. Found his way to so many City passes and crosses. Completely nullified Jesus as a wing presence (but ironically could not stop him centrally). Set an intense tone that too many of his team-mates couldn’t match.

Reece James – 5 – Unlucky to be forced off early with an injury. Hopefully he recovers quickly.

N’Golo Kanté – 4 – Didn’t look comfortable in a midfield three and neither did he seem fully fit. Couldn’t combat the City midfield at all and the fact that he was subbed off early says it all.

Jorginho – 6 – Some really impressive defensive interventions in the Chelsea’s first-half rearguard, but really began to flag as the game wore on and had to be withdrawn.

Mateo Kovacic – 4 – Tigerish but lacking in quality. Completely overawed by the City midfield.

Marcos Alonso – 4 – Couldn’t get into the game at all and was fortunate that Rudiger had his back because Chelsea got behind him easily.

Timo Werner – 5 – Outnumbered. Some of his runs were great but there was no support from his team-mates.

Romelu Lukaku – 4 – Couldn’t get into the game. Part of that was his lack of service, sure, but he didn’t help himself with some poor touches and decisions when he did get the ball. There will be better days for Romelu Lukaku.

Substitutes:

Thiago Silva (for James 29′) – 8 – Instantly found the rhythm of the game and settled into the rearguard brilliantly. Put his body in the way, tackled, intercepted, cleared a shot off the line. Brilliant.

Kai Havertz (for Kanté 60′) – 5 – Didn’t really add too much.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek (for Jorginho 76′) – 6 – Added a huge amount of drive and ball-carrying to the Blues side.


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Manchester City

Ederson – 7 – Collected crosses well to keep his goal safe. Had no saves to make but passed the ball through the Chelsea press with ease.

Kyle Walker – 8 – Really impressive in the defensive phase. Didn’t do much in build-up but his role as a covering defender allows City to play with much more risk in attack.

Ruben Dias – 8 – Handled Werner’s pace and movement better than in the Champions League final. Matched Lukaku when he had to. Put his body on the line when required. Seriously impressive stuff from the reigning FWA Player of the Year.

Aymeric Laporte – 8 – Matched Lukaku physically and was a big part of City’s solid defensive showing.

Joao Cancelo – 9 – Was absolutely relentless up and down the left. He defended well when he had to, linked play through midfield and his thundering sprints around the back of Jack Grealish were a constant threat to Chelsea. He also “created” the goal after a nice dummy and shot that luckily fell for Jesus.

Rodri – 9 – Made a mockery of his exclusion in the Champions League final by absolutely running the show at Stamford Bridge. Spread the play as expected but the way he stopped the break over and over was truly incredible. Pep won’t be leaving him out of any more big games!

Bernardo Silva – 9 – An absolute phenomenal display in the middle of the park. Really smart and savvy in the way he pressed and passed. Kept the ball moving all game long and nearly always picked the right pass to keep Chelsea in a chokehold. Pep Guardiola repeated “we were ourselves,” in his post-match interview and Bernardo was a massive reason why.

Kevin De Bruyne – 7 – Not quite at his resplendent best but still played some passes that defied description.

Gabriel Jesus – 8 – Didn’t really get the best of Rudiger as a winger but never stopped running or pressing and scored the only goal of the game with a wonderful turn and a snapshot that was admittedly deflected.

Phil Foden – 7 – A nice display of link football. Was always on the move, always looking to pressurise and push Chelsea back.

Jack Grealish – 8 – Had the beating of his man all game long but just couldn’t get his final ball or shot right. Tormented Azpilicueta at times but nothing would fall. Missed a golden chance to seal victory late on.

Substitutes:

Riyad Mahrez (for De Bruyne 81′) – 5 – Didn’t add the pace and penetration Guardiola would have hoped.

Fernandinho (for Foden 87′) – N/A – Came on late.

Raheem Sterling (for Grealish 87′) – N/A – Came on late