A stunning bicycle kick by Olivier Giroud earned Chelsea an impressive win over Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their last-16 tie. Here’s how we rated each of Thomas Tuchel’s players in the 1-0 victory in Bucharest.
Edouard Mendy: 5
He was extraordinarily lucky to get away with a poor touch from a back-pass in the first half but was otherwise untroubled.
Cesar Azpilicueta: 7
Perfectly unspectacular stuff the from captain, who organised, filled in and snuffed out danger.
Andreas Christensen: 8
The Dane was strong in the air and, crucially, composed and confident on the ball – a much-needed quality given the lack of ability his fellow centre-backs show in possession.
Antonio Rudiger: 7
Had an imposing and sturdy game, aside from one dreadful mix-up with Marcos Alonso that almost saw Luis Suarez set up a goal before the break.
Callum Hudson-Odoi: 8
Restored to the starting line-up after rapidly making up with Tuchel after the weekend’s substituting-the-substitute controversy. The England winger was bright throughout, making numerous dangerous runs and sending over a couple of excellent crosses. There was no doubting Hudson-Odoi’s work-rate.
Brought control and made the most of often having a bit more time against a selective press by the home side.
he so nearly teed up a goal with some astute diagonal passes, particularly to the ever-willing Hudson-Odoi. A necessary yellow card, taken with the team in mind, means he is, however, banned for the second leg.
Mateo Kovacic: 7
Effective, busy and full of running, Kovacic was a key man in an ultra-solid defensive performance and was quick to support the attack but almost never ran beyond the ball to minimise the risk of a counter-attack.
Marcos Alonso: 6
The Spaniard is often heavily criticised for his lack of defensive awareness but did a solid job running back towards his own goal, apart from the moment of indecision with Rudiger which so nearly cost a goal. Alonso hogged the touchline well and was often found in space but too often lacked the pace to fully exploit some promising situations.
Mason Mount: 8
Once again, to the point of endless repetition, a wonderful display by Chelsea’s standout player this season. Mount’s vision, work-rate and awareness sets the standard. His final pass was off on a couple of occasions – notably one very difficult cushioned volley to Giroud – but the only real blemish was a yellow card that rules him out of the second leg.
Timo Werner: 7
Another nearly night for the German, who came closest to scoring before the break with a fierce near-post shot and was always threatening to create a chance with some intelligent and relentless running that unfortunately almost always ended with an unconvincing or sloppy final pass.
Olivier Giroud: 8
Giroud was his usual neat and effective self as a target man, but was difficult to find because of the back three, who recognised the danger and were quick to starve his supply line. His quality shone through though with an outrageously brilliant overhead kick.
N’Golo Kante: 7
Perhaps surprisingly omitted from the starting line-up given his impressive efforts against Southampton, Kante still managed to more than play his part with an energetic 22-minute cameo.
Hakim Ziyech: 6
Had a couple of classy moments and, more importantly, did not shirk his defensive duties.
Reece James: 6
He helped see the job out with a solid appearance late in proceedings as Hudson-Odoi’s replacement.