Chelsea Player Ratings vs Zenit Petersburg: Lukaku, Rudiger steal show as Ziyech, Azpilicueta falter

Romelu Lukaku’s goal was the difference between the sides while Hakim Ziyech flattered to deceive once again.
Zenit defended well in the first half with the Blues too sluggish to cut through.

But they improved after the break and Lukaku got on the end of Cesar Azpilicueta’s inch-perfect cross to head home a sublime winner in the 70th minute.

Here’s what The Sun thought of the Blues’ individual performances.

EDOUARD MENDY – 6
Hardly had much to do as Zenit were happy to defend rather than attack.

But did save well from Sardar Azmoun when called upon.

CESAR AZPILICUETA – 5
Twice exposed by jumping into early challenges and then had to be bailed out by Reece James after losing Claudinho bursting into the area.

Looked off the pace, though at least cross led to goal.

ANDREAS CHRISTENSEN – 6
Looking so assured in the middle of the back three, mopped up as Azpilicueta to his right struggled for form.

Will have tougher nights but can be happy with display.

ANTONIO RUDIGER – 7
Doing everything asked of him defensively, and brought the game to life with a 50-yard run forward which ended in a shot just wide.

Then made a vital last-ditch tackle to deny Azmoun who was clean through on goal.

MARCOS ALONSO – 6
Tried to effect the game down the left but was unable to collect the ball in dangerous areas as play broke down too often.

Fine defensively but lacked that burst of pace needed to beat his man.

REECE JAMES – 7
Provided much needed width up and down the right and looked an obvious outlet against a Zenit team defending narrow in numbers.

JORGINHO – 6
Uncharacteristically wayward with some passes in the opening quarter of the game. Found his rhythm but lacked real penetration with his play.

MATEO KOVACIC – 7
Picked up from his impressive display at the weekend to drive the Chelsea midfield.

The fact Chelsea were not missing N’Golo Kante is testament to how well he works in the middle of the pitch.

MASON MOUNT – 7
Full of ideas right from the off, the most creative player as Chelsea pressed forward. Final ball not quite on it despite getting into good positions.

HAKIM ZIYECH – 5
Struggled to get up to speed with the pace of the game in the early stages, to the frustration of Thomas Tuchel on the bench.

Subbed after an hour of little reward.

ROMELU LUKAKU – 8
Wasted little time marking his territory, dominating his defenders and providing excellent hold–up play despite close attention of markers.

Supply was not the best, but stayed alert and made the difference with fine header.

Subs
KAI HAVERTZ – 7
Made more of an impact in first five minutes that Ziyech did in an hour with his direct running. Lifted the pace of the game.

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