Football News

Man City 1-0 Chelsea: Player ratings as Blues beaten at Wembley yet again

By Harry Edwards

Published: 19:35, 20 April 2024

Manchester City’s FA Cup title defence has taken them to another final after they beat Chelsea 1-0.

The defending champions weren’t at their best and had to ride out the storm at times, but they were critical with their chance when it did come. Bernardo Silva was the man to get the winner, just five minutes from time. For Chelsea, it’s another defeat at the home of football, now losing 10 of their last 15 trips.

Here’s how the players rated at Wembley:

Man City

Stefan Ortega – 7 – Was Jackson’s second-biggest enemy (after himself) with a couple of fantastic saves in quick succession just after the break.

Kyle Walker – 7 – Had a moment in the first half when he slipped but it wasn’t punished, and he did play a risky game with some of his defending. But Walker backs himself and it’s still clear why, as he was the man in the right time on a few occasions.

Manuel Akanji – 7 – Moved into midfield when Man City had possession and he grew into the game once his side smelled blood.

John Stones – 6 – In the early stages Stones was slotting into his midfield role when Man City were in possession but then he reverted to centre-back. Made a good block on a shot from Madueke before coming off at half-time.

Nathan Ake – 7 – Did his job defensively and was well-matched for Madueke. Of the starters, he was one of a few who could be proud of their performance.

Rodri – 6 – Was beat a few times in midfield, but he had his moments of class.

Bernardo Silva – 6 – Silva will go down in the record books as the match winner, but this wasn’t a game for him. He wasn’t involved too much throughout, but was crucially at the back post to send Man City into the FA Cup final.

Kevin De Bruyne – 7 – Produced a ridiculous pass to Foden for a chance in the first half and often pushed out wide on the attack. Had the midfield fight that Man City needed at the crucial moment, without his usual attacking impact.

Phil Foden – 6 – Made a brilliant run behind the defence for his chance, but was put off enough by Petrovic. Other than that, he wasn’t as involved as Man City would have liked. That’s not a slight on him though, only a few players for either team really stood out.

Jack Grealish – 7 – In the first half, Grealish tucked inside when De Bruyne moved out wide which limited his usefulness. But he was came much more alive in the second half asking questions of the Chelsea defence. Taking off just after the hour mark following a strong follow through from Caicedo, and he wasn’t happy about the Ecuadorean escaping punishment.

Julian Alvarez – 5 – Good footwork inside box to fake a shot in the 20th minute, but that was about it for the game. He’s struggling constantly being moved around the Man City team.

Substitutes:

Ruben Dias (for Stones 45) -7 – Man City did look stronger defensively after he came on.

Jeremy Doku (for Grealish 65) – 8 – Absolutely changed the game in Man City’s favour. They weren’t threatening Chelsea enough before he came on, and both Gusto and Disasi will be seeing him in their nightmares for a few weeks. Completed more take-ons (four) than any other player for either team despite playing just 25 minutes.

Oscar Bobb (for Alvarez 88) – N/A – A late sub.


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Chelsea

Djordje Petrovic – 6 – Did just enough to put Foden off after he was played through. Good save to deny Foden in the second half but wasn’t overly worked.

Malo Gusto – 5 – Defensively he was strong enough in the first half but looked to be struggling as the game went on, especially after Jeremy Doku came on. Offensively, his crossing was a bit off, either overhitting or undercooking them. Spurned a good creative chance on the break with a weak early cross to Jackson that was cut out.

Trevoh Chalobah – 7 – Looked pretty comfortable back in the defence, showing Chelsea have missed him during his injury-hit season.

Thiago Silva – 7 – He was the centre-back being pressed in the opening stages and there were a few nervy moments, but his experience shone through.

Marc Cucurella – 7 – Was good on the overlap in the attack and looked pretty resolute defensively, even against his usually low standards. Produced a good block on the line in the first half though it was offside. Unlucky not to be able to stop Silva’s goal late on.

Moises Caicedo – 5 – Against Everton on Monday he was excellent, but Caicedo struggled here. He was back to making silly fouls and didn’t look confident on the ball. Fluffed a chance when played through in the second half, getting the ball stuck under his feet when overhitting the cross.

Enzo Fernandez – 5 – A bit of a passenger throughout though he did hit a good pass for one of Jackson’s chances. There’s just something about him and Caicedo being on the pitch at the same time that negates both of their abilities .

Noni Madueke – 6 – Was dangerous in bursts for Chelsea, having his moments up against Ake, but he was not a big enough threat as the Blues played through the middle. Did force a good block from Stones in the first half.

Cole Palmer – 6 – Looked to pick up a knock in the opening stages but ran it off and created space for a shot in the first half with good footwork. He was the man trying to break the lines for Chelsea, it’s just a shame he couldn’t also be the man on the receiving end of his own passes.

Conor Gallagher – 5 – Played wider on the wing and it didn’t work. Chelsea needed a winger on his flank but he isn’t offensively-minded, passing up an opportunity to capitalise on Walker slipping in the first half because he didn’t drive towards goal. Kept trying to bring the ball inside, when someone running the flank would have been so much better.

Nicolas Jackson – 3 – He had three shots in total — Palmer had more — and hit the target three times. But that’s what makes the performance worse. When Jackson plays with confidence his really dangerous, but he missed a one-on-one in the first half trying to go around Ortega but taking the ball too far. A shot would have been better and that drained all of his confidence. Missed two chances he should have scored in the opening stages of the second half, denied by Ortega each time.

Substitutes:

Mykhailo Mudryk (for Madueke 79) – 4 – Didn’t add threat to Chelsea’s attack and had a bad set piece late on, messing up Chelsea’s last chance.

Axel Disasi (for Gusto 79) – 4 – Really struggled against Doku.

Ben Chilwell (for Cucurella 88) – N/A – A late sub.

Raheem Sterling (for Fernandez 88) – N/A – A late sub.

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