Chelsea Player Ratings vs Al-Hilal: Kepa, Kovacic, Ziyech, others stand out in 1-0 Club World Cup triumph

February 9th, 2022 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Kepa Arrizabalaga – 9

Not much for the Spaniard to do in the sticks in the first half but anything that did come his way he handled well, and he was good with his feet playing out from deep once again. He made a couple big saves in the second to keep Chelsea in the lead.

Andreas Christensen – 6

He was suspect to start with giving the ball away on a couple of occasions but he soon settled and put in some good tackles and kept his concentration at the back.

Thiago Silva – 7

Class as always and even put in a couple of nice first half challenges. Plays deep like a sweeper and foresees everything, was under pressure in the second half a lot more and dealt with it well.

Antonio Rudiger – 7

Nice easy game for him really at the back in the first half, but it was a different story in the second as Chelsea lost control and he had to defend for his life on a few occasions.

Cesar Azpilicueta – 7

He was playing very advanced and quite inverted on occasions for Chelsea as they controlled the game. Had to defend a lot more in the second half though and did his job well.

Mateo Kovacic – 9

His drive forward with the ball helped set up Chelsea’s opening goal at a time when they really needed to break the deadlock. Class performance from Kovacic who was one of Chelsea’s better players.

Jorginho – 7

Works very well alongside Kovacic as the pair control the game in midfield for Chelsea. He was rested at half time and came off for Kante.

Marcos Alonso – 5

He was OK in the first half and he looked to get involved in attacking plays as often as possible as he does. But his frailties at the back and getting easily beaten are clear to see once again once the tide turned and Al-Hilal started attacking more in the second half.

Hakim Ziyech – 8

Another very bright game for him as a lot of what Chelsea did good in an attacking sense came through the Moroccan once again. He came off in the second half for Mason Mount as Chelsea looked for more control.

Kai Havertz – 7

Worked very well combining with Lukaku and Ziyech up top for Chelsea, set up the first goal for Lukaku with some good work as well. A very nice technical game from him and he could have and probably should have got a goal himself too and was a little wasteful in the final third.

Romelu Lukaku – 6

First half goal gave him some needed confidence and he looked a bit more comfortable today. He still wasn’t involved anywhere near enough as he should be and faded a lot in the second half.

Chelsea sub ratings

N’Golo Kante on for Jorginho (HT) – 6

Some sloppy passes from Kante but other than that he worked hard and put a few good tackles in.

Mason Mount on for Ziyech (72 mins) – 6

Tried to inject some energy and gain some control, but Chelsea continued to struggle.

Malang Sarr for Alonso (86 mins) – N/A

Photo Credit: ChelseaFC/Twitter

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Jurgen Klopp discovers Mohamed Salah’s post-AFCON problem during Liverpool training ahead of Leicester clash

February 9th, 2022 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Mo Salah still has the devastating Afcon final shootout loss ‘on his mind’, says Jurgen Klopp.

Egypt captain Salah, 29, missed out on an Afcon title as Reds team-mate Sadio Mane and Senegal took home the trophy.

The Liverpool winger was due to take the fifth and final penalty in the shootout, but unfortunately for Egypt, it didn’t get that far.

Mane buried the winning penalty to help Senegalese win the trophy for the first time.

Klopp told Sky Sports that Salah was back training with his club on Tuesday ahead of Thursday’s clash with Leicester.

The Reds boss said: “Yesterday everyone could see he has the final on his mind.

“He’s very disappointed, it was a massive thing.

“Losing a final is always really hard, I can sing that song, but losing the way they did was especially hard.

“He is happy to be back but is disappointed as well, massively so.”

Photo Credit: LFC/Twitter

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(Watch Video) Watford fans boo Kurt Zouma during West Ham clash, chant “that’s how your cat feels” when he’s fouled

February 9th, 2022 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Watford fans booed and chanted at shamed Kurt Zouma after he was fouled during the Premier League clash at the London Stadium.

The West Ham defender was surprisingly picked to start just 24 hours after shocking video emerged of him KICKING and HITTING his cat at home.

Zouma, 27, received widespread criticism for his vile actions in the video and was booed by BOTH sets of fans as he warmed up.

Hornets fans also aimed a barrage of insults at the France international as they labelled him a ‘w***er’ and chanted ‘RSPCA’ when he was in possession.

After he went down holding his ankle in the box after a collision with Josh King, Zouma was the target of more chants.

Travelling fans sang ‘that’s how your cat feels!’ as the French centre-back lay on the ground.

Watford fans chanting: “Kurt Zouma, woe-oh, he went and kicked his cat, he is a fucking twat.”

Essex Police have now revealed they are making ‘urgent enquiries’ into the footage.

They confirmed: “We are aware of a video circulating on social media relating to an incident involving a cat which members of our communities may find distressing.

“We have recently been made aware that this incident may have taken place in Essex and we are liaising with the RSPCA and urgent enquiries are ongoing.”

Surrey Police also added that they carried out a number of enquiries with the RSPCA before realising that the ordeal was not in their force area.

Zouma was forced to issue a grovelling apology and his club condemned his actions after the sick footage emerged.

West Ham officials said the matter would be dealt with internally before manager David Moyes made the surprise call to keep him in the squad.

Asked if the video had any bearing on his decision to start Zouma, Moyes said ahead of kick-off: “No because he’s one of our better players, but it’s certainly ongoing and the club are dealing with it.”

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