Football Features

“Back to his game-dominating best” – Player ratings as Chelsea out-defend Diego Simeone’s Atlético Madrid

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 22:17, 17 March 2021 | Updated: 10:14, 22 March 2021

In a one-sided night of football, Chelsea beat Atlético Madrid 2-0 to progress to the Champions League quarter-finals 3-0 on aggregate.

The Blues dominated the match from start to finish, and deservedly picked up a win and a sixth-straight clean sheet too.

Here’s how the players rated at Stamford Bridge:

Chelsea

Edouard Mendy – 7 – Did what little he had to do very well, including a great stop from Joao Felix in stoppage time.

Cesar Azpilicueta – 7 – Very lucky to not concede a penalty for pulling back Carrasco. Was otherwise impressive.

Kurt Zouma – 7 – Didn’t have much defending to do, but did his defending well.

Antonio Rudiger – 8 – Devoured Luis Suárez and absolutely everyone Atleti threw his way. No one could do anything to him as he rampaged about the pitch killing attack after attack before it could even form. Has really found his form again under Thomas Tuchel.

Reece James – 7 – Decent. Protected his flank well and whipped in some nice crosses too.

N’Golo Kanté – 8 – Shadowed Joao Felix supremely, including one excellent block to stop him getting a shot off. Every time anything looked like happening for Atleti, Kanté was on the scene to get the ball away. Won the ball back a game-high 13 times. Ran the break tirelessly as well. Just magnificent, back to his game-dominating best under Thomas Tuchel.

Mateo Kovacic – 7 – Very impressive in the middle of the park.

Marcos Alonso – 7 – Played well.

Hakim Ziyech – 7 – Scored the opening goal albeit with a great touch of fortune as he mis-hit the shot meekly at Oblak and got lucky the goalkeeper fell over himself. Played well besides that, too.

Timo Werner – 7 – Growing into that Chelsea shirt. Confidently ran the break on more than one occasion and created the game-winning goal with a beautifully weighted cross.

Kai Havertz – 6 – Had a good run and a nice pass in the lead-up to Chelsea’s first. Was otherwise quiet.

Substitutes:

Christian Pulisic (for Ziyech 77′) – 7 – Ran some nice breaks, including one that led to a tasty assist for Emerson’s second.

Callum Hudson-Odoi (for Werner 83′) – 5 – Scuffed a clearance that somehow functioned as a release pass in the lead-up to Chelsea’s second.

Emerson (for Havertz 90’+3) – 7 – Scored a stunning second goal with his only touch of the night just seconds after coming on.

Ben Chilwell (for Alonso 90’+3) – n/a – Came on late.


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Atlético Madrid

Jan Oblak – 4 – Inexplicably nutmegged by Ziyech for the goal (arguably he was fooled by Ziyech using his right-foot).

Kieran Trippier – 5 – Some nice crosses but it was a miserable return to the capital for Trippier.

Stefan Savic – 3 – Should have closed Werner down faster on Chelsea’s goal, but was otherwise doing alright. Got sent off for a flagrant elbow on Antonio Rudiger late on. Sheer idiocy.

José Giménez – 6 – Defended well. Atleti’s best player, probably.

Renan Lodi – 5 – Bar one early shot he didn’t really impact in attack and struggled defensively. Hooked at half-time.

Koke – 5 – Worked hard to recycle possession but his team-mates didn’t do anything with it.

Saúl – 5 – Couldn’t get into it.

Marcos Llorente – 5 – One delicious cross aside, Llorente was unable to impact the game.

Yannick Carrasco – 5 – Offered nothing much but should have won a penalty when Azpilicueta hauled him down. Subbed off.

Joao Felix – 6 – Atleti’s only notable attacking presence despite being shackled by N’Golo Kanté. Felix had a few delightful dribbles but every time he was about to get away, N’Golo Kanté slammed the door in his face.

Luis Suárez – 3 – Stuck in his own personal groundhog day in the Champions League knockout stages where the fatigue of a long season catches up with him and he simply does not have the mobility and dynamism to trouble the better level of defenders you find in the KO rounds. Rudiger devoured him time and time again as he floundered about the field looking a far cry from the man who, powered by revenge, scored 16 goals in his first 17 La Liga games this season. Hooked before the hour mark in shame.

Substitutes:

Mario Hermoso (for Lodi 46′) – 5 – His introduction returned Atleti to a 3-5-2 shape which they were more comfortable in.

Moussa Dembélé (for Carrasco 53′) – 6 – Immediately added a level of thrust but it was too little too late.

Angel Correa (for Suárez 59′) – 5 – Added little.

Thomas Lemar (for Trippier 69′) – 5 – Did nothing.

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