Chelsea were pushed all the way by Brentford in an exciting derby. Here’s how we rated the players in the Blues’ 1-0 win.
David Raya: 7
Had no chance of stopping Ben Chilwell’s marvellous strike to put Chelsea ahead in the 44th minute. The Spaniard was otherwise generally comfortable.
Ethan Pinnock: 6
Had a busy first half, along with Pontus Jansson, in stemming the flow of Chelsea’s drive, especially on the right side. Pushed forward as Brentford pushed at Chelsea for an elusive equaliser.
Pontus Jansson: 7
Was occasionally slack in picking up roving Chelsea forward Timo Werner when the Blues were threatening to break the deadlock. However, the Bees captain kept a close watch on Romelu Lukaku. Roamed forward on occasion as Brentford utilised some high balls.
The Dane – still settling into his Brentford career – had a tough time keeping up with Lukaku as well as tracking the deep runs by Mateo Kovacic. Did well with his pace against Timo Werner as the game progressed.
Sergi Canos: 6
Needlessly booked for dissent in a tetchy first half, with Brentford struggling to pierce the Chelsea defensive lines. Failed to make his customary, incisive impact and faded as the game wore on. No surprise when he was replaced by Saman Ghoddos.
Mathias Jensen: 7
Always willing to create whenever possible to try and open up the visitors. Covered a tremendous amount of ground for Thomas Frank’s men.
Christian Norgaard: 7
Customary neat interceptions to restrict Chelsea’s attacking threat early on. Did a good job to prevent N’Golo Kante moving freely with intent through the middle. Terrific acrobatic effort in injury time, saved by keeper Edouard Mendy.
Frank Onyeka: 6
Took an early knock and had to battle to keep Chelsea’s Ruben Loftus-Cheek from marauding forward. Tough evening for the popular player who was replaced by Marcus Forss.
Rico Henry: 6
Was stretched at times but coped well. Occasionally ran into a robustly-organised Blues defence in his enthusiasm to get forward.
Ivan Toney: 6
Made his presence felt, particularly against Chelsea stopper Trevoh Chalobah. Toney was hard-working and willing to help out defensively when Chelsea threatened at set pieces. Will have more productive days this season.
Bryan Mbeumo: 7
Caused Chelsea some problems on the right. Unlucky to see an instinctive, left-foot volley come off the post in the first half when the Bees were showing real aggression. Should have got closer to Chilwell for Chelsea’s goal. Hit the woodwork again on 74 minutes, Also shot straight at Mendy when presented with a great opening.
Marcus Forss: 6
Came on for Onyeka on 66 minutes to add freshness with Brentford seeking an equaliser. Worked hard but to no avail.
Saman Ghoddos: 6
Replaced Canos on 72 minutes with the Bees going for broke. Drove a shot which was saved at point-blank range by Mendy during a late pile on.
Edouard Mendy: 10
Mendy was incredible as Brentford peppered the Chelsea goal in the second half. He made a good save at his near post to stop Toney’s volley in the 72nd minute, before smothering later chances and even blocking one goal-bound effort with his head. Superbly tipped over Norgaard’s bicycle kick in extra time. Chilwell scored the goal, but Mendy was in many ways the match-winner.
Trevoh Chalobah: 8
Looked at home in Chelsea’s makeshift back three. Ensured Antonio Rudiger’s presence at the back wasn’t missed, with some slick passing and a general air of confidence. Made an incredible clearance off the line to deny Norgaard a certain goal.
Andreas Christensen: 8
The most senior member of the back three, Christensen made a couple of last-ditch interceptions in the first half to stop Brentford breaking into the box. He dealt with the threat of Toney well.
Malang Sarr: 8
Slotted into the back three very comfortably on his Premier League debut and showed an impressive range of passing. The 22-year-old also made a brilliant recovery tackle to stop Brentford breaking forward and matched Mbeumo for pace. With the home side dominating much of the final 30 minutes, Sarr and his defensive partners did exceptionally well to keep a clean sheet.
Cesar Azpilicueta: 7
The Chelsea captain spent much of the first half camped inside the opposition half, offering support to Werner playing ahead of him. It was Azpilicueta’s cross that was controlled well by Lukaku to set-up Chilwell’s goal. He put in a real defensive shift in the second half before being replaced in the final moments.
N’Golo Kante: 8
Kante was the deepest man in Chelsea’s midfield and did his job to perfection once again, breaking up play and turning the ball over. While everyone else was tiring, Kante was still going from box-to-box in the later stages, easing the pressure on his defenders.
Mateo Kovacic: 6
Played a more advanced role than Kante and looked to provide the killer ball to get Werner and Lukaku in behind, but found himself often over-hitting passes. Was replaced by Mason Mount after 65 minutes.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek: 8
Played well once again as he looks to force his way into Thomas Tuchel’s plans for good. Found pockets of space in midfield early on and was key to building attacks across the 90 minutes. Also showed he possesses the skill and confidence to dance through midfield, beating players with tricky footwork.
Ben Chilwell: 9
Scored a goal worthy of winning any match. The ball fell to Chilwell on the edge of the box and he unloaded a vicious left-foot volley into the back of the net. The defensive side of his game was faultless too, as he dealt well with any threat coming from the right side.
Timo Werner: 6
Started very brightly, pulling down the right to combine well with Azpilicueta. Werner broke into the box a number of times, but tried to cut the ball back for his strike partner when it looked easier to shoot.
Romelu Lukaku: 7
No goal in five games for Lukaku, but he did use his strength well to pin a defender and lay the ball off for Chilwell’s goal. He did also have the ball in the net after 22 minutes but his tap-in was ruled offside on a night where he looked quite isolated up front.
Mason Mount: 6
Played the final 25 minutes, but struggled to create much as Brentford dominated much of the latter stages.
Kai Havertz: 6
Much like Mount, Havertz spent much of his time on the pitch defending around his own box.