Chelsea Player Ratings vs Arsenal (Boxing Day 2020)

Posted By Uttiyo Sarkar on December 26, 2020
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Chelsea are looking to get back into the Premier League top-3 as they face city rivals Arsenal, who last won a league game in early November! But they ended up failing miserably, going down to a 1-3 loss – falling further away from the title race. It was Arsenal who started the game in impressive fashion and took the lead in the 35th minute through Alexandre Lacazette’s penalty. 

Things went from bad to worse for Chelsea before half-time as Granit Xhaka’s terrific free-kick gave Arsenal a 2-0 lead at the 44th minute. Then against the run of play in the second half, Bukayo Saka scored a bizarre goal in the 56th minute when his attempted cross flew into the back of the net to make 3-0 to Arsenal!

Chelsea did pull one back in the 86th when Tammy Abraham scraped a clever finish from close. The Blues had a big chance to score another in added time, but Jorginho hit his penalty straight at Bernd Leno, perfectly summing up a horrible day for Frank Lampard’s side. 

Here are the Chelsea player ratings vs Arsenal

Chelsea Player Ratings vs Arsenal

Manager

Frank Lampard (4.0) –  

Lampard’s complacency came back to bite him today. His team selection itself was a bit questionable, as he opted not to play the in-form Giroud and Havertz. His set-up to play Werner and Pulisic out of position didn’t help either. Moreover, his tactics to just move the ball down the wings and constantly keep putting crosses in was predicted early, with Arsenal countering that style really well. 

Even his substitutions weren’t fully great, with Jorginho having a bad half and Havertz coming too late. Having lost 3 successive away wins in a row, Lampard must find a Plan B and make his side more clinical to properly battle for the top-4. 

Goalkeeper

Edouard Mendy (5.5) –

The in-form goalkeeper is aiming for another clean sheet. Saw those dreams crushed when Lacazette scored his penalty. He tried his best to save Xhaka’s screamer but it was just too quick for him. But he really should’ve done better to anticipate Saka’s cross/shot and attempted to save it rather than let it slide into his net. 

Makes a good save to deny Martinelli’s acrobatic effort in the 60th. Then denies the Arsenal man again with a great stop four minutes later. Despite making some great late saves to avert a humiliation, Mendy showed signs of vulnerabilities in the way he conceded the third goal. 

Defenders

Reece James (4.0) –

The young right-back seems a bit uncomfortable dealing with Martinelli early on. James buckled under the intense pressure put on him by Arsenal in the 34th minute and ended up conceding the penalty after being bamboozled by Tierney. He was run ragged by Martinelli & Tierney all game long and couldn’t do anything to stop their supply. Even his crossing was sloppy on the day. 

Kurt Zouma (6.0)-  

Zouma’s doing really well to deal with Arsenal’s persistent crossing because of his dominance in the aerial battles. To his credit, Zouma didn’t really make any errors and made some key challenges to avert danger for his side. Looked a threat in set-pieces too, but unable to get in the scoresheet on the day. 

Thiago Silva (5.0) –

Silva is in for a stern test against the pace of Arsenal’s young attack but seems well adept to it. He almost helped pull one back for Chelsea in the 75th, but his header grazed just over the bar. But fluffed an even bigger chance to score in the 89th, powering a free header wide. Silva seemed a bit sloppy today & could’ve closed down Saka better to deny his goal. 

Ben Chilwell (5.0) –

Chilwell isn’t being able to make the dangerous attacking runs he normally does and was put under severe pressure by Bellerin in the first half. It was a similar case in the second half where he looked shaky against the counter-attacks and couldn’t produce anything with his crosses. Didn’t look the fittest after coming off an injury. 

Midfielders

Mateo Kovacic (5.0) –

Kovacic is using his energy to press Arsenal’s midfielders early on and moving the ball forward well. But he lacked the necessary creativity and helped very little defensively, causing Chelsea’s midfield to get overrun on multiple occasions. Subbed out at the break. 

N’Golo Kante (5.0) –  

Kante’s started the game in a surprisingly sloppy fashion, giving away possession and allowing Arsenal to create easy chances.  It was his poor challenge on Saka resulting in the free-kick scored by Xhaka. Kante struggled against Arsenal’s fast-breaks and wasn’t the midfield engine he normally is. Couldn’t provide any threat in attack either and subbed off late on. 

Mason Mount (6.5) –  

Mount came agonizingly close to score a stunning free-kick in the 12th when his attempt grazed the bar and out. He was probably Chelsea’s most creative star with his impressive set-pieces and through balls and also earned his side the penalty  late on, which Jorginho missed. 

Forwards

Christian Pulisic (6.5) –

Starts in the unfamiliar right-wing role today. Makes a great dribble run in the 8th to open up space for his teammates, only to see nothing suffice. Moved to his natural left-wing position in the second half.

Pulisic’s blistering movement caused Arsenal big problems all game long and he almost set up a second for Chelsea with his perfect cross botched by Silva in the 89th. Worked extremely hard to get things done but just not supported by his teammates on the day. 

Tammy Abraham (6.0) –

Abraham starts over Giroud after his heroics last week against West Ham. After trying his absolute most and fluffing a number of chances, Abraham finally got a goal late on, tapping in Hudson-Odoi’s cross with his knee! But he still didn’t look the most convincing in the final third and was hassled by Pablo Mari on the day. 

Timo Werner (4.0) –  

Werner is looking to end his goal-drought today. Sprinted through on goal in the 20th to do so, but was denied by a solid last-ditch tackle from Holding. Had a disastrous half in which he couldn’t control simple passes, fluffed his lines multiple times in the final third and showed no goal-scoring threat at all. His problems continue. 

Substitutions

Callum Hudson-Odoi (7.0) –

Hudson-Odoi automatically adds a bigger attacking threat for Chelsea, putting in a great cross to create a half-chance in the 47th. Powered in a great pass to assist Abraham’s goal. He lighted up a spark in Chelsea’s attack with his movement and crosses but his teammates’ poor performances didn’t help his case. 

Jorginho (4.0) –

Jorginho was brought on to add more defensive stability to his side, but couldn’t do that at all. Looked shaky against Arsenal’s fast-breaks and couldn’t create anything at all. His poor performance was summed up by his penalty miss late on, with his soft attempt saved well. 

Kai Havertz (N/R) –

Havertz looked a bit taken aback by the pace of the game and couldn’t do much at all in the final few minutes. 

MAN OF THE MATCH

Hudson-Odoi made the biggest impact for Chelsea, but nobody from their team deserves this after that performance. Bukayo Saka gets the MOTM for that freaky, stunning goal and being a menace to Chelsea’s backline. 

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Uttiyo Sarkar

An unbiased Manchester United die-hard. Lover of the beautiful game. Addicted to the Premier League and beyond. Hopeful writer in the search for the greater good.

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