Football Features

Chelsea 2-2 Arsenal: Player ratings as Sanchez and Raya have evening to forget

By Harry Edwards

Published: 19:38, 21 October 2023

Chelsea were left cursing a late crumbling as Arsenal came from two goals down to secure a draw on Saturday evening.

Cole Palmer gave Chelsea a first-half lead from the penalty spot after William Saliba was adjudged to have handled the ball inside the box. Mykhailo Mudryk doubled the lead shortly after the break and Chelsea looked on their way to all three points.

However, Robert Sanchez’s misplaced pass to Declan Rice gave Arsenal a route back into the match and Leandro Trossard equalised late on the take a point.

Here’s how the players rated at Stamford Bridge:


Robert Sanchez – 4 – Had a bit of a nervy moment in the first half as he rushed out of his box to challenge Saka, but nothing came of it. Looked a bit shaky from set pieces and passed the ball straight to Declan Rice for Arsenal’s first goal, setting up the comeback.

Malo Gusto – 7 – Back in the team after suspension, it was a great performance from the Frenchman, who dealt pretty well with Martinelli. However, he was caught out at the far post for Trossard’s equaliser, dropping his performance.

Thiago Silva – 8 – He’s looked his age a few times this season but this was Thiago Silva rolling back the years with a fine defensive performance. Unfortunately Chelsea unravelled at the end.

Levi Colwill – 6 – Perhaps the weakest of the Chelsea defenders. He had some good moments but Colwill’s passing let him down, being a bit too casual at times including one occasion where he almost played Chelsea into danger. Also gave the ball away with his attempted long balls, which didn’t relieve pressure.

Marc Cucurella – 8 – In a battle against Saka, this was Cucurella’s best game in a Chelsea shirt. He kept the Englishman quiet for most of the game, only really being beaten once. However, the cross for Arsenal’s equaliser came from Saka on his flank.

Conor Gallagher – 8 – Pushed up high alongside Palmer as part of Chelsea’s press, which didn’t let Arsenal get settled in the game at all. Set up a chance for Palmer with a great run through the middle and it was his press that turned the ball over to start the move for Mudryk’s goal. But they just couldn’t hold on.

Moises Caicedo – 7 – Helped to control the midfield and completely nullify Arsenal’s trio. His passing was a tad off at times, but it didn’t really hurt Chelsea. Went missing a little as Arsenal stepped up in the dying stages.

Enzo Fernandez – 8 – He was everywhere for Chelsea in both defence and attack, helping them control the game for 80% of the match. But he was among those who lost their composure as Arsenal ramped things up, ruining what had been a great game.

Raheem Sterling – 8 – Caused Zinchenko all sorts of problems in the first half and had just as much luck against Tomiyasu after the break. He seemed to thrive on the slippery pitch, really utilising it for his pace.

Cole Palmer – 8 – Played through the middle as the False No.9, Palmer stopped an early Chelsea counter with a poor pass but only grew from there. Stepped up to coolly put Chelsea 1-0 up from the penalty spot, having won the war of words with Sterling for the responsibility. Had a couple of opportunities to score again, including one in the second half after a poor pass from Raya, but he couldn’t win that battle. Taken off with Chelsea seemingly cruising.

Mykhailo Mudryk – 7 – Worked hard off the ball and was key to Chelsea trying to break against Arsenal’s defence. Did well to get his head onto Sterling’s cross before Saliba, bringing the penalty and then put Chelsea two up with a bizarre goal, catching Raya out with a cross. On the up and he’ll be thankful Zinchenko wasn’t on the pitch after his goal, with his compatriot threatening an attack if Mudryk had scored.

“I told him, ‘If you do or attempt to do that on Saturday, I’ll rip your balls off’,” Zinchenko joked after Mudryk had scored a wonderful strike for Ukraine against Malta.


Nicolas Jackson (for Mudryk 65) – 5 – Should have scored almost immediately after coming on but he hesitated having been played through by Sterling. Did not really add anything to Chelsea’s game.

Noni Madueke (for Sterling 83) – N/A – A late sub.

Reece James (for Palmer 84) – N/A – A late sub.


David Raya – 4 – Couldn’t do anything about the penalty, sent the wrong way from the penalty spot. However, all the questions for Chelsea’s second came as he was caught too far off his line from Mudryk’s cross. Had another nervous moment shortly after, passing the ball straight to Palmer in his own box but he recovered well to deny the shot.

Ben White – 6 – Was pinned back for large parts of the game but when Arsenal were on the up he was involved a lot.

William Saliba – 5 – Penalised for his handball stopping a Mudryk header. It wasn’t deliberate and came from close range but his arm was out. It’s a decision that has split opinion, with some believing it fair and others calling it harsh. But that aside it wasn’t a strong performance.

Gabriel – 5 – Gave Palmer a bit too much space and looked rather shaky throughout.

Oleksandr Zinchenko – 3 – A first half to forget for the defender. In the early stages he saw a pass from inside his own box go straight to a Chelsea player leading to a shot. He was then booked for a foul on Mudryk and generally struggling up against Sterling. Taken off at half time.

Martin Odegaard – 4 – Lost the ball in the build up to the second goal which summed up his performance. He was nowhere to be seen when Arsenal needed him.

Jorginho – 3 – He was completely absent in the midfield, which contributed to Arsenal having no control.

Declan Rice – 7 – Was getting forward quite a lot, finding himself on the wings at time as part of his role on the left side of midfield. Didn’t have too much control in the first half but pulled a back back with a wonderful first-time strike. Really stepped up to change the game when it mattered.

Bukayo Saka – 7 – Up against Cucurella he had little luck until late on and put in a great cross to set up Trossard’s equaliser.

Gabriel Jesus – 5 – Did well to force a shot midway through the first half but that was about it for his involvement, starved of supply.

Gabriel Martinelli – 7 – Did well to fashion a shot in the second half and was Arsenal’s best player while he was on the pitch, asking a lot of questions.


Takehiro Tomiyasu (for Zinchenko 45) – 5 – Looked stronger than Zinchenko but still struggled against Sterling.

Eddie Nketiah (for Jesus 68) – 6 – On the periphery at times but went close to winning it with a good shot.

Emile Smith Rowe (for Jorginho 68) – 6 – Looked bright after coming on, adding a new dimension to Arsenal’s game.

Leandro Trossard (for Martinelli 78) – 7 – Great run at the far post to tap in the equaliser.

Kai Havertz (for Odegaard 78) – 5 – Didn’t really add anything.