Chelsea Player Ratings vs Liverpool: Azpilicueta, Mendy, others shine in pulsating Premier League cracker at Anfield

August 28th, 2021 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Edouard Mendy

Since the appointment of Thomas Tuchel in January, there have been several games in which the Senegal international has been a virtual bystander. This wasn’t one of those games.

Throughout the 90 minutes, Mendy was kept busy but he stood up to most of what Liverpool had to offer. He had no chance with the penalty converted by Mohamed Salah, however. 8

Cesar Azpilicueta

Chelsea’s most experienced defender was needed throughout the first half; one clearance denied Sadio Mane an easy finish. Azpilicueta also led the rage towards Anthony Taylor after Reece James’ red card.

The Spaniard played at right wing-back in the second period and defended well against Mane and closed off any space between himself and Andreas Christensen. 8

In the middle of the back three or on its right, Christensen didn’t put a foot wrong. He stepped in when required, got his body in the way when needed, and was composed on the ball. He’s become vital. 9

Antonio Rudiger

There were times in the opening period that Rudiger was slack with his passing. Defensively, though, he was switched on against the threat of former Roma teammate Salah.

The backs-to-the-wall approach Chelsea inevitably played with in the second half meant Rudiger’s strengths came to the fore. He handled Salah well and didn’t let any Liverpool attacker get beyond him. 8

Reece James

It’s not easy to judge the academy graduate’s display. He had trouble in the early stages keeping track of Mane but delivered the corner from which Kai Havertz headed home. Then came his red card.

There was no intention on the part of James to handle the ball on the line from Mane’s shot, but it resulted in his dismissal and a Liverpool penalty that swung the balance of the game. 5

N’Golo Kante

The consistency of the French midfielder’s performances are astounding. For 45 minutes at Anfield, he closed off passing avenues, reclaimed the ball several times, and started Chelsea attacks.

Unfortunately, Kante’s ankle was landed on by Sadio Mane shortly before the half-time interval and the 30-year-old didn’t return for the second period. 8

Jorginho

The frantic nature of the game didn’t lend itself to the Italian’s talents.

Jorginho attempted to control Chelsea’s possession game but was often harassed by Liverpool’s midfielders. And in the second period, he barely got onto the ball.

He did, however, work very hard to close off space in front of the Blues’ back in the second 45 minutes. 7

Marcos Alonso

Many expected the game at Anfield to be one for Ben Chilwell, yet Thomas Tuchel kept faith in Alonso.

In the opening half, Alonso was given problems by the movement of Salah, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Harvey Elliott. But he showed several neat touches on the ball.

Yet had he not jumped alongside Mendy just before half-time in an attempt to clear a Liverpool corner, perhaps the incident that led to James’ dismissal doesn’t take place. 7

Mason Mount

The England international started on the left of the Chelsea attack and was a constant threat in the first half. One touch, in particular, to ease beyond Joel Matip was sublime.

Mount played a more reserved role in the second period with the Blues down to ten men, dropping into central midfield alongside Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho. 7

Kai Havertz

The German was caught out by the pace of the game in the opening minutes but made up for that in a big way in the 22nd minute as he looped a header from a Reece James corner over Alisson and into the corner.

Started then to have a bigger influence on Chelsea’s attacking play but was brought off at half-time as Tuchel reshuffled his pack. 7

Romelu Lukaku

The Belgian would’ve been hopeful of building on his debut goal. That didn’t happen, partly due to circumstance, of course.

Lukaku, however, wasn’t as sharp with his passing as at the Emirates last week. There was one instance he should’ve slipped in Kai Havertz on goal but instead played his pass to Mount.

The 28-year-old had very little of the ball in the second period but did have a rare Chelsea shot, which was blocked. 7

Chelsea substitutes

Thiago Silva (for N’Golo Kante, 45)

Brought on to add another experienced head to the backline, Silva was assured and showed no sign that this was his first competitive action of the season. An excellent display. 8

Mateo Kovacic (for Kai Havertz, 45)

His fresh legs were needed in the second period to help Chelsea contain Liverpool. Forced Alisson into his own save of the second period. 7

Trevoh Chalobah (for Jorginho, 85)

Given the final five minutes to help Chelsea get over the line. N/A

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