Chelsea Player Ratings vs Newcastle: Reece James, Jorginho, others shine in Blues away win

October 30th, 2021 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Edouard Mendy

Chelsea’s goalkeeper was barely tested in the opening 45 minutes; a Callum Wilson header that fell at the Senegal international’s feet was his only meaningful moment of action.

It was a similar story after the interval as the Blues remained in total control. Mendy has been made to work hard in several games this term, but today at St James’ Park was as easy an afternoon as he will have. 6

Andreas Christensen

Drafted into the starting XI late on due concern over Cesar Azpilicueta’s fitness, Christensen’s main duty was to help Chelsea progress the ball, which he largely did well.

When called upon to deal with Wilson, the Dane did so with a combination of subtly and physicality. 7

Thiago Silva

There’s not much else left to say about the 37-year-old. Whenever called upon, Silva produces. Although let’s face it, Newcastle offered very little in the way of a sustained threat.

Silva’s main role was to keep the ball moving in the Newcastle half. He had very little in the way of defending to but was calm when required, even amid rare pressure from the hosts. 7

Antonio Rudiger

The German defender produced a trademark performance. There was a surge forward, a shot that comfortably cleared the crossbar, a couple of inch-perfect crossfield passes, and plenty of excellent defending.

Rudiger’s consistency is one of the pillars of Chelsea’s excellent defensive record. He simply does not have a bad game. 7

Reece James

The 21-year-old is having some season. Started at right wing-back, James was a constant outlet for Chelsea during the contest, although his crossing was unusually poor in the opening period.

After the interval, though, he improved in the final third and made two telling contributions. It was James who broke the deadlock midway through the second period; a Callum Hudson-Odoi cross fell at the feet of the academy graduate and he lashed home from a tight angle.

Minutes later, he repeated the trick. Only this time off his right foot. It was a quickfire brace that altered the outcome of the contest.

James also defended well, which has become the norm. It’s no exaggeration to state James has blossomed into one of the Blues’ most important players. 9

N’Golo Kante

This wasn’t a game for Kante’s talent. Back in the starting XI after a couple of games out due to injury, the French international had very little in the way of defensive work to do and spent much of his hour on the pitch trying to unlock Newcastle’s defence.

That isn’t Kante’s forte and it wasn’t a huge surprise that, with Chelsea still searching for an opener, he was replaced by Ruben Loftus-Cheek midway through the second half. 6

Jorginho

Given Chelsea dominated possession, the Italian was able to showcase the full array of passes in his armoury.

There were short, attack-progressing passes, incisive balls into the feet of attackers, and one crisp, defence-splitting ball that resulted in Hakim Ziyech finding the net. But the goal was ruled out due to offside. Jorginho also pressed effectively throughout as the Blues tried to sustain attacks in the final third.

Jorginho was given an opportunity to get on the scoresheet with ten minutes remaining after Kai Havertz was felled in the penalty area. He did the necessary from the spot to give the scoreline extra sheen. 8

Ben Chilwell

Chelsea’s left-wing back came into this game having scored four times in his last four outings in the Premier League. He was, though, unable to maintain that record.

Chilwell was largely snuffed out of the game by the Newcastle defence. Even when he drifted into central areas, a Newcastle player was in close proximity. 6

Hakim Ziyech

With Mason Mount ruled out due to an illness, Ziyech was drafted into the starting XI. It was an opportunity for the 28-year-old to prove a point, to lay down a marker as to why he should be starting more high-profile games.

His opening 45 minutes was a mixed bag. There were loose passes and poor touches, but he did curl home an excellent finish only for the goal to be ruled out for offside.

After the break, Ziyech saw a deflected effort strike the post. Yet too often Chelsea attacks passed him by. Was no great surprise he was replaced shortly after the hour mark. 6

Kai Havertz

Newcastle’s deep block meant it was very difficult for the German star to have a huge influence on the contest. No matter if he stayed central or drifted wide, Havertz was largely restricted.

He did, however, make an impact when space emerged following James’ double. It was Havertz who managed to nip beyond Darlow only to be brought down by the goalkeeper. Jorginho did his duty from the spot. 7

Callum Hudson-Odoi

The academy graduate was given another chance to impress on the left of the Chelsea attack but struggled to open up Newcastle’s low block.

There were a couple of nice runs forward from Hudson-Odoi and he showed a willingness to play forward when possible. However, far too often he was crowded out by the Newcastle backline.

Did start to have more joy and it was his run to the byline and cross that resulted in James’ opening goal. 7

Substitutes

Ruben Loftus-Cheek (for N’Golo Kante, 64)

Gave Chelsea greater presence in the final third but didn’t have a huge impact. 6

Ross Barkley (for Hakim Ziyech, 64)

Added impetus to Chelsea’s possession game. Likely to get a start against Malmo in midweek. 6

Saul Niguez (for Callum Hudson-Odoi, 88)

No time to make an impact. N/A

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