Football Features

Pulisic puts in dazzling display: Full player ratings as Chelsea confirm Champions League last-16

By Harry Edwards

Published: 22:13, 10 December 2019

Chelsea secured their place in the last-16 of the Champions League with a 2-1 win over Lille.

Tammy Abraham and Cesar Azpilicueta gave the Blues a first-half lead and they looked comfortable until former Chelsea striker Loic Remy pulled one back for Lille.

Frank Lampard’s side managed to hold on to the win, securing second spot in Group H.

Here’s how the players rated at Stamford Bridge:

Chelsea

Kepa Arrizabalaga – 5 – Had practically nothing to do apart from picking the ball out of his net when Lille scored and denying Remy late on.

Cesar Azpilicueta – 8 – Back on the right, the Spaniard enjoyed his game getting forward a lot. Produced a good run to lose his marker from a corner, doubling Chelsea’s lead with a header. Was a calm head when Chelsea needed it late on.

Kurt Zouma – 7 – Seemed a lot more comfortably alongside Rudiger, composed on the ball and produced a wonderful tackle when Lille were threatening to spoil the party. However, there is still a defensive worry.

Antonio Rudiger – 7 – His return added solidity to Chelsea’s defence that it has missed for some time, although it was helped by Lille playing a rotated side. Showed some weak signs late on, but that could be put down to tiredness having played 90 minutes on his return.

Emerson – 7 – A good attacking performance from the Italian international first test Maignan with low effort before delivering a perfect corner for Azpilicueta’s goal. Did allow Lille to attack down his flank as the game went on, troubling Chelsea.

N’Golo Kante – 8 – All over the pitch as usual but was particularly attacking on Tuesday night. Tested Lille’s defence with crosses, couple of shots and was involved in the build up to Abraham’s goal, chesting the ball to Pulisic having started the move in a forward’s position.

Jorginho – 7 – Showed why he is so important to Chelsea with important tackles, interceptions and good passing.

Mateo Kovacic – 8 – A quietly good performance from the Croatian who allowed Jorginho and Kante to do their jobs while going about his with a calmness.

Willian – 7 – Set up Abraham with a good ball across the box having initially beaten his man. Perhaps could have managed the game better late on, going for a third when it may have been better to keep possession, but it didn’t matter in the end.

Tammy Abraham – 8 – A solid all-round performance with good early link up play alongside Pulisic. Opened the scoring with a poacher’s finish, getting onto the end of Willian’s cross with a neat flick having manoeuvred well in the area. Continued to give Lille’s defence something to worry about before being taken off.

Christian Pulisic – 8 – Caused Lille all kinds of problems with his dribbling including in the build up to Abraham’s goal, running across the area before passing to Willian. Taken off for a rest with the game, and qualification, seemingly sorted.

Substitutes:

Callum Hudson-Odoi(for Pulisic 62) – 5 – Didn’t influence the game too much after coming on.

Michy Batshuayi(for Abraham 71) – 5 – Didn’t hold the ball up as well as Abraham did, which put Chelsea in trouble at times.

Mason Mount(for Kovacic 82) – N/A – A late sub.

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Lille

Mike Maignan – 6 – Produced a good save to deny Emerson early on but could not do much about either of Chelsea’s first-half goals. Another pair of good saves inside the opening minute of the first half, denying Pulisic and Willian. Taken off with injury.

Zeki Celik- 4 – Poor marking in his own area for Azpilicueta’s goal, allowing the Spaniard to lose him and win a free header. Struggled against Pulisic and would have been delighted when the American was substituted.

Gabriel – 7 – Got caught out for Abraham’s goal but grew as the game went on, keeping Lille’s back line secure. His performance was helped keep Lille in the game, frustrating Chelsea.

Tiago Djalo – 7 – After a shaky start with the rest of his team, the centre-back combined well with Gabriel to keep Chelsea’s attack out.

Jeremy Pied – 3 – Was given a tough evening by Azpilicueta and Willian, being beaten by the latter in the build up to Chelsea’s opener. Even as Lille stepped up their game, the former Southampton man continued to struggle.

Boubakary Soumare – 7 – Gave Chelsea something different to think about, with his strength on the ball, and helped push Lille forward late on.

Thiago Maia – 3 – Did Pied no favours in failing to track back with Chelsea pushing high, and particularly focusing down hie side of the pitch. Anonymous in attack.

Yusuf Yazici – 6 – Very quiet until Lille scored then started to ramp up the pressure with decent attacking play.

Xeka – 6 – Booked for a cynical block on Kurt Zouma midway through the second half in what looked like being only real contribution to the game. But his influence grew as Lille went for broke, driving at Chelsea’s weak point.

Luiz Araujo – 6 – Lille’s brightest attack spark, though that wasn’t too hard to achieve, testing Chelsea’s defence with some good runs.

Loic Remy – 5 – For most of the game Remy looked to be paying homage to his time at Chelsea, not doing much, but with fewer offsides. But he pulled a goal back for Lille with a good finish from just inside the area, setting up a nervy end.

Substitutes:

Jonathan Bamba (for Thiago Maia 66) – 7 – Made a difference after coming on, providing the assist for Remy’s goal.

Leo Jardim(for Maignan 72) – 6 – Dealt with everything that was thrown at him.

Renato Sanches(for Araujo 82) – N/A – A late sub.

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