Chelsea faced off against Cardiff City at the Cardiff City Stadium earlier today looking to close the gap to Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United and Arsenal in the race for the top 4. The Pensioners were lacklustre in the first half and couldn’t make the breakthrough in the first 45 minutes. However, it was the home team that took the lead in the 46th minute courtesy of Victor Camarasa’s goal.
Maurizio Sarri’s men refused to give up without a fight and found the equaliser via Cesar Azpilicueta’s header from close range. However, the goal should have been ruled out as the right-back was clearly offside. Ruben Loftus-Cheek came off the bench to net the winner in injury-time which secured maximum points for Chelsea. The match ended with the final scoreline of 2-1 in favour of the visitors.
Let’s take a look at how each Chelsea player performed during the game against the Bluebirds.
GK: Kepa Arrizabalaga – 5/10
The Spanish keeper was hardly tested in the first half. However, he could have done far better by attempting a dive for Camarasa’s goal.
RB: César Azpilicueta – 6/10
The Chelsea right-back got a fortunate break when he scored with his header while standing clearly in an offside position. However, it all counts so he would be happy with his efforts today.
CB: Antonio Rüdiger – 3/10
He was wasteful with his passing in the first half. The German centre-half could have and probably should have been sent off towards the latter stages of the contest.
CB: David Luiz – 4/10
The Brazilian never found his passing range going and struggled to feed balls to the front players. It was a tough afternoon for the ex-PSG defender.
LB: Marcos Alonso – 4/10
Another dismal performance from him defensively. However, the Spaniard got an assist for Azpilicueta’s equaliser which shows his attacking potential.
CM: Mateo Kovacic – 3/10
The Croat was a passenger throughout most of the contest as he was not able to get himself into the game. Kovacic was caught ball-watching quite a few times and didn’t even make an effort to get back and help his teammates in defence.
CM: Jorginho – 5/10
His effect was wholly neutralised as Camarasa man-marked him out of the game. He was subbed after the hour mark after a lacklustre display in the first half.
CM: Ross Barkley – 4/10
The English midfielder struggled to make an impact in the opposition half. It’s baffling to see him do so well with England yet fail to show any creative spark in midfield for Chelsea.
RM: Pedro – 4/10
Not the best display from the Spanish playmaker. He struggled to link up play and was not his usual self inside the opposition penalty area.
ST: Gonzalo Higuaín – 3/10
The Argentine forward hardly got a touch inside the Cardiff penalty area. Another pathetic display from him wearing a Chelsea shirt.
LM: Willian – 6.5/10
The Brazilian was by far Sarri’s biggest weapon going forward. He played his part in the lead up to both of Chelsea’s goals during the game.
LM: Eden Hazard – 7.5/10
The Belgian winger came on to completely transform the game for the Pensioners in the opposition half.
CM: Ruben Loftus-Cheek – 8/10
The English midfielder came off the bench to score the winner in injury-time. Sarri should consider starting him more often in place of Kovacic or Barkley.
ST: Olivier Giroud – 6/10
The Frenchman provided a bit of bite to the Chelsea attack and offered more on the pitch than Higuain.