Skip to main content

Player Ratings: Chelsea 2-0 LOSC Lille | Champions League

Chelsea established a 2-0 lead in their Last 16 tie against LOSC Lille in the Champions League at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday evening.

Goals from the dynamic duo of Kai Havertz and Christian Pulisic were enough to put distance between the world champions and their foes for the fixture - a Lille side languishing in mid-table domestically and not at the races here despite their spirited determination.

After leaving it late against Crystal Palace in Premier League action on Saturday, the Blues faithful in attendance were treated to the gift of an early goal - rather a novelty of late - by way of Havertz stealing a march on a drilled Hakim Ziyech corner to head home in the 8th minute.

imago1010075126h

All the pre-match discussion centred around the conspicuous absence of Romelu Lukaku from the starting lineup, dropping to the bench after an abysmal run of form came to a head with a horror show at Crystal Palace. Yet all the talk at half-time was about his replacement Havertz stepping up to the mark, with the Pensioners in cruise control.

The sense of celebration quickly soured, however, following the loss of Ziyech and Mateo Kovacic to injury in quick succession. Christian Pulisic's fine finish in the 63rd minute was exactly what the doctor ordered, alleviating the sense of deflation around Stamford Bridge.

It wasn't a flawless display from the nonetheless much improved Kings of the King's Road, but they will take a comfortable two goal lead across the Channel for the second leg and fancying their chances of progressing to the quarter finals. Next on the agenda for Thomas Tuchel and his men is the small matter of the Carabao Cup final at Wembley up against Jürgen Klopp's Liverpool. Until then, Here is how Absolute Chelsea rated the Blues’ performance against Lille:


Edouard Mendy - 7/10

Not the hardest trials and tribulations he has had to face between the sticks as a Blues player, but 'The Best' goalkeeper was nonetheless alert to any danger with some smart sweeping and solid distribution.

Andreas Christensen - 7/10

Meat and drink for the Dane on the night, snuffing out attacking endeavour from the visitors with the minimum of fuss. Looks to be back in his groove following an unsettled period in the side.

Thiago Silva - 8/10

This was a ludicrous performance from O Monstro, in the positive sense of the word. An absolute fortress at the back. Seemed to block anything even remotely in the vicinity of the Chelsea net. 

imago1010075580h

Antonio Rüdiger - 7/10

Kept himself out of the wars and didn't venture forward as much as he is usually prone to, but this was nonetheless a disciplined and classy showing with the German keeping Lille young with the threat of his direct long balls.

César Azpilicueta - 7/10

Busted a gut to get up and down the right flank, offering up some decent service in the process. It will be interesting to see what minutes he gets with Reece James back in contention very soon, but he has been a good deputy in the interim.

N'Golo Kanté - 8/10

It's been said the Frenchman is a different animal under the lights on a European evening, and that much was true here. After a spell of concerningly indifferent form, he was on top of every loose ball and Lille spell of possession like a rash. His surging run and set-up for Pulisic to install a two goal cushion was vintage Kanté.

Scroll to Continue

Read More

imago1010075753h

Mateo Kovacic - 6/10 [50]

Floated with trademark elegance beyond the Lille press a couple of times but found himself in a real battle of rhythm in the engine room. Worryingly withdrawn through injury just five minutes into the second period and that will be a massive loss for the Blues ahead of the aforementioned final against rivals Liverpool, against whom the Croatian enjoyed a fine game earlier this season.

Marcos Alonso - 7/10 [80]

Marauded down the wing with plenty of attacking intent and found himself taking up some more than handy positions on more than one occasion, but wasn't able to get the on the scoresheet in spite of his best efforts.

Hakim Ziyech - 7/10 [58]

Chelsea's man of the moment is currently enjoying a fine fettle of form, although it is noteworthy the Moroccan magician and skipper Azpilicueta seem to lack chemistry and cohesive comprehension of each other, often leading to promising attacks breaking down by way of miscommunication. Still, that he notched an assist when it didn't all go his way on the night is to be commended and he remains one of the first names on Thomas Tuchel's teamsheet at this juncture. The German will hope he will have that luxury come Sunday, although the sight of him limping off unable to continue means that looks bleak.

imago1010075452h

Christian Pulisic - 8/10 [80]

Used his low centre of gravity to great effect all evening, terrorising the backline of the Ligue 1 champions. His dribbling and composure was excellent, to the point where it was evocative of his finest form in a Chelsea shirt at the business end of the 2019/20 season, and his finishing was up to snuff too as evidenced by a delicious dink over the onrushing Leo Jardim. Even did his bit tracking back, including a pitch perfect tackle on Renato Sanches during a dangerous counter. This is exactly what the American is capable of on song.

Kai Havertz - 8/10

Back up front and back amongst the goals, nodding home not long after firing just over following superb movement to get in behind the Lille centre-backs. It was vintage centre forward play in the absence of Chelsea's first choice centre-forward and record transfer signing Lukaku. His game intelligence for a man of his tender years is superb, and the option he brings as a refreshingly fluid outlet makes the world champions a better side for it.


Bench:

Ruben Loftus-Cheek - 6/10 [50]

Still shaking off some rust after his injury, and it showed. Still some tidy footwork on display, although not a wealth of urgency in his play.

Saul Niguez - 6/10 [58]

The Spaniard brought some experience and steel to proceedings after Ziyech departed, his European pedigree well documented.

Timo Werner - N/A [80]

Malang Sarr - N/A [80]


Follow Absolute Chelsea on: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube