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Player Ratings: Chelsea 2-4 Arsenal | Premier League

Chelsea were the architects of their own downfall in a 2-4 loss against arch-rivals Arsenal at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League on Wednesday evening.

It was an inexplicably bizarre end to end affair, with both sides conspiring to defend like kids in a playground in interchangeable intervals - perhaps to little surprise, given the personnel involved from the off. But as so often in this fixture, the World Champions delivered the fatal shot to their own foot with an unforgivably complacent and frankly disgraceful showing. 

A frantic first period kicked off with an erroneous backpass from the hapless Andreas Christensen gifting Eddie Nketiah the mercy of Edouard Mendy's goal in the 13th minute. That lead would last just four minutes with a deflected Timo Werner drive finding its way home. Emilie Smith-Rowe would restore the lead for the visitors in minute 27 but again a swift Chelsea reply arrived through fox in the box Cesar Azpilicueta.

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It would probably be a fair assessment to say both dugouts welcomed the half-time whistle - and both sets of fans, in all honesty. It was welcome respite from the chaos that had come before, and Thomas Tuchel no doubt had some choice words for a number of his men.

Any prospect of the Blues bucking their ideas up at the back however quickly dissipated when three defenders somehow failed to deal with one determined attacker in Nketiah again in minute 57. Bukayo Saka would then finish the game off with a penalty in the dying embers.

Yet again at a crucial stage of the season, Chelsea have been charitable to their noisy but less able neighbours. The action continues to come thick and fast for the Pensioners with the small matter of hosting David Moyes' Hammers at the Bridge on Sunday.

Until then, here is how Absolute Chelsea rated the Blues’ embarrassing performance against Arsenal:


Edouard Mendy - 4/10

Only faced three shots between his sticks and failed to deal with all of them, although much of the blame very much lies at the calamity occurring in front of the Senegalese giant. A good finish from Nketiah was followed by being unsighted for the Gunners' second. But a 'keeper of his calibre perhaps could have kept out the third 

Reece James - 5/10

The gaffer may like him in either a centre-back role or on the wing, but it's pretty obvious his talents are shackled in the former. Never looked truly settled and not given the licence to bomb on until it was too late, when Lukaku as an obvious target was already withdrawn.

Andreas Christensen - 2/10 [45]

His head seems to be in Catalunya and a great deal many Chelsea fans will want his body to follow sooner rather than later with atrocious efforts like this. Pinpoint assist for the opener, albeit to a Arsenal player. Aimless and lax in being alert to any danger. Between him, Malang Sarr's general play, and Marcos Alonso being cooked by Bukayo Saka on the flank, it was like the Blues were playing with one hand - or leg - tied behind their backs in the first half. Truly merciful he did not emerge for the second, with Thomas Tuchel having seen enough.

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Malang Sarr - 2/10

Inability to make a tackle despite that being his job would be almost impressive, if he didn't leave the viewer on edge with every time he leaves a dangling leg in. Seriously out of his depth, as evidenced by his baffling defending for Arsenal's third, and nowhere near of the prerequisite quality to be a rotation option with one of Chelsea's best assets (or indeed, the first option if the ownership process doesn't go through swiftly). Questions have to be raised around the club's squad planning and recruitment - the Frenchman arrived on a free and some supporters could still feel short-changed by performances like this.

César Azpilicueta - 5/10

Captain fantastic and Mr. Reliable arrived at the near post when called upon to prod home a finish former teammate Olivier Giroud has made a career of. Opened his account for the club nine years ago against the same opposition and kissed the badge after what may well transpire to be his final goal for the club he has served for the better part of a decade, if rumours are to be believed. Let himself down at the end with some rather silly defending - he must have caught the bug from those around him.

N'Golo Kanté - 4/10

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Another turgid performance for a man who has been putting up his fair share of late. Midfield was a non-entity, as has so often been the case this season when he is one of the two in the 'double six'. Played his part in the comedy of errors to gift Arsenal the win. His swashbuckling style is clearly catching up to him and it's something for the club to seriously chew over as he enters the final year of his contract.

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Ruben Loftus-Cheek - 6/10

The best compliment that could be afforded to the Englishman is that it was he who looked like the first choice in the centre of the park tonight. Not the blockbuster performance like that which he put up against Crystal Palace in the FA Cup semi-final, but it was neat, tidy and he was not detrimental to his team, unlike his illustrious midfield partner.

Marcos Alonso - 6/10 [81]

A threat at both ends, to be fair to the Spaniard. His availability and movement in the attacking phase always seems a viable asset, but his pace and general vulnerability in the defensive phase is the clear trade-off. Genuine struggle up against Saka's enthusiasm and trickery.

Mason Mount - 7/10

One of the few players you can genuinely trust will get themselves up for a London derby like this, even in spite of the gulf in class that has emerged between the two sworn enemies in recent years. Wore his heart on his sleeve as per usual and showed his brilliant best to win possession high up and deliver a sumptuous cross for Chelsea's second equaliser.

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Timo Werner - 7/10

Talk about turning a corner. The German is surging with confidence and he's got the goals to show for it. Looks an entirely different player to that which, while playing a huge contribution in bringing the Champions League back to London last year, arrived from RB Leipzig promising dynamite every game but struggling to find his top level. Completely different presence in possession and deserves his flowers for his commendable attitude - just a real shame it isn't shared by some others in royal blue.

Romelu Lukaku - 4/10 [60]

Big opportunity for the Belgian tonight with first choice Kai Havertz rested. Consider it opportunity squandered. Failed to make himself available and offer an outlet for his peers. Tuchel's words about him not being fully fit were readily apparent, as he never hit top gear. Feels like Groundhog Day to repeat the fact that this is the club's much heralded record signing, to the tune of nearly £100m, and yet there's no sign of a discernible upgrade from the much maligned now AS Roma man Tammy Abraham.


Bench

Thiago Silva - 6/10 [45]

Could have telegraphed his introduction at the break from a mile off, with his experience sorely needed to settle a Chelsea backline that was leaking like a colander. Try as he might, not even he could prevent the continued self-implosion.

Kai Havertz - 5/10 [60]

Shouldn't have even been needed if those on the pitch were being serious, but alas the German now has further minutes on his legs he can ill-afford after being run into the ground in recent weeks. That was clear as day here, struggling in the physical duels and not extracting inches of space like he so often does.

Hakim Ziyech - N/A [81]


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