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Player Ratings: Brentford 0-1 Chelsea | Premier League

Chelsea saw off a spirited Brentford side 1-0 at Brentford Community Stadium in the Premier League on Saturday evening.

A post international break visit to a venue where Arsenal and Liverpool had felt the full force of a gifted newcomer to the top division promised a stern test, and that promise was fulfilled as the league leaders were probed and run ragged for large stints.

The first 45 minutes was mostly a game of half-chances, with two of the best defences in the Premier League this season thus far showing great grit and solidity. Step forth Ben Chilwell, who thundered home a half-volley that was a carbon copy of his magnificent effort against Southampton last time out, to open the scoring on the stroke of half time.

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It would have been a kick in the stomach for Thomas Frank and his men, who were more than value for the stalemate beforehand. For the other Thomas in the dugout, however, it'll have been a welcome development irrespective of the relatively toothless performance to that point.

With full credit to the hosts, the second half was almost like the Alamo for the Blues. The Bees laid siege to the visitors, who had the woodwork to thank a couple of times, Trevoh Chalobah's presence on the line to thank once, and Edouard Mendy to thank when they go to sleep tonight for a string of superb saves.

In the end, it very well may have been Chelsea's most hard-earned three points of the season but three points was all they needed to take back to Cobham. Up next is a midweek European night against Swedish side Malmo. In the meantime, here are today's player ratings...


Edouard Mendy - 9/10

When called upon, the Senegalese giant delivered - particularly pivotal and immense in a period of late pressure. When beaten, his post was there to deny the lively Bryan Mbeumo twice.

César Azpilicueta - 6/10 [88]

A quiet, fairly non-descript day for the skipper. Did not offer a great deal going forward, but tidy enough in a disciplined defensive unit.

Trevoh Chalobah - 7/10

A decent showing from the Sierra Leonean centre-back, characterised by a tussle between two titans when tangling with Toney on a number of occasions. He did, however, often come off second best in those tussles, and perhaps demonstrated a lack of experience in often getting too caught up in those battles. That included one incident in which his blushes were spared by the offside flag after a potential penalty concession.

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Andreas Christensen - 8/10

A performance emblematic of his progression as a footballer, and force of nature, over the past 18 months. No understatement to say it was like watching a certain senior teammate of his in the same position, who is clearly having an influence on the Dane's efficiency and reading of the game.

Malang Sarr - 8/10

The most noteworthy inclusion in the starting XI, given it was the young Frenchman's rather unexpected Premier League debut for the Pensioners - and it was one he should be pretty proud of to boot. Did not look out of place alongside distinguished company and indeed pitched in with multiple important - and fairly full-blooded - tackles.

Ben Chilwell - 8/10

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Made it '3 in 3' on the goals front for club and country with what's becoming somewhat of a trademark finish for the England left-back. Very much letting his football doing the talking, after a start to the season playing second fiddle to an in-form Marcos Alonso.

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Ruben Loftus-Cheek - 7/10

Full of grace and poise in the way he glided as if he was in his own gravity whilst dribbling past opposition players, and yet served up a reminder of the sheer physical specimen he is when Frank Onyeka came off worse in a stiff collision just ten minutes into proceedings. Great to see a version of him full of confidence and trust in his own abilities again.

N'Golo Kanté - 7/10

Rejuvenated after an international break in which his services were not called upon, and given the intensity of the fixture this evening, it will have been welcome - for his club as much as for the industrious midfielder.

Mateo Kovacic - 6/10 [65]

Excellent resistance against the press of a dogged Brentford midfield, but the Croat's passing was noticeably poor on the evening with a particular repeated failure to find the final killer ball.

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Timo Werner - 5/10

Spurned some decent chances in the first half, including one with a lot of unguarded netting to aim at from a distance the German is not known for. Worked exceptionally hard as was required given the system Thomas Tuchel set out with.

Romelu Lukaku - 5/10 [77]

Save for a neat finish ruled out for offside, the Belgian again was deprived of a truly clear-cut chance. In truth, there were occasions where he was unselfish to a fault, and travelling fans would have no doubt liked to have seen Chelsea's record signing take matters into his own hands.


Bench

Mason Mount [65] - 6/10

Did not really have the chance to show his stuff up the top end of the field, given it was all hands on deck in defence after his introduction. Played his part in that regard, bringing much needed energy.

Kai Havertz [77] - N/A

Reece James [88] - N/A


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