Chelsea’s title defence did not go the right direction today as the Blues stuttered against the league leaders to a 1:0 defeat at Stamford Bridge. Antonio Conte’s men weren’t up to the task against a confident lot of Manchester City. Kevin de Bruyne’s stunning strike proved to be the difference between the two sides at the end. With that defeat, Chelsea now drop to the fourth spot in the table with Liverpool potentially having the opportunity to pull one point clear of the defending champions with a win on Sunday.
Here are the Chelsea players rated in their loss to Manchester City.
Thibaut Courtois (6/10): Looked extremely unsure in the first stage of the game. He almost made a horrible error which could have cost a goal for his team. However, the Belgian redeemed himself with some great saves in the second half.
Antonio Rudiger (8/10): A dogged defensive display from the German International. Rudiger never stopped fighting for his team and defended the threat of Leroy Sane quite well.
Andreas Christensen (7/10): An average performance from the Danish defender. Deputizing for the suspended David Luiz, Christensen had the most number of clearances for Chelsea but was reluctant to make any notable tackles.
Gary Cahill (6.5/10): Chelsea’s record of not conceding a goal with Cahill in the team was finally broken thanks to Kevin de Bruyne’s effort. Cahill was largely overwhelmed by the relentless attacking force of Manchester City.
Azpilicueta (7/10): Was shifted to the right wingback spot, as Antonio Conte sought defensive stability rather than attacking influence. He did decent enough job but at the end, the quality which Manchester City possessed was just too much for him.
N’Golo Kante (6.5/10): Not one of the best nights for the French International. Though Kante fought bravely in the central areas, he was largely ineffective, especially when attacking. Although some of his attacking moments were quite influential.
Tiemoue Bakayoko (6/10): Was initially brought in to provide defensive cover for the backline but the new signing failed in doing so. Bakayoko was largely out-shadowed by the opposing midfielders and couldn’t make much of an impact.
Marcos Alonso (6.5/10): A decent performance from Alonso on the left flank, but unfortunately, he was void of support from his teammates. The marauding runs of Raheem Sterling didn’t help his cause either.
Cesc Fabregas (6/10): Just like any other Chelsea midfielders on the night, Fabregas also failed to make an impact and was overwhelmed by the dominating midfielders of Man City.
Eden Hazard (7/10): Looked lively for the most part of the game. However, the Belgian superstar was often isolated and lacked any clear support from his teammates in the final third.
Alvaro Morata (NA): Could have potentially made a difference but unfortunately, the former Real Madrid attacker felt a niggle inside the first 34 mins, which eventually forced him to leave the pitch.
Willian (7/10): Replaced lone striker Alvaro Morata ahead of Michy Batshuayi which seemed like an impractical decision by Antonio Conte. The Brazilian didn’t help himself either, getting isolated by the opposing defenders.
Pedro (7/10): Replaced Eden Hazard for the final phase of the game. Pedro provided some necessary cover from the wing positions but it was too little too late for the Spaniard to make any difference.
Michy Batshuayi (6.5/10): Came on for midfielder Bakayoko, in what seemed like a clear attacking move by Conte. But he failed to make a telling impact against City.