Chelsea were made to sweat late on as they closed out a 2-1 win over Lille in their final Champions League game of the group stages to progress into the knockout phase. Here’s how we rated each Blues player in the victory at Stamford Bridge.`
Kepa Arrizabalaga: 6
The keeper had almost nothing to do and had no chance to prevent Loic Remy’s fierce strike, so was given little chance to atone for some shaky displays in recent weeks.
Cesar Azpilicueta: 9
Mightily impressive. The Spaniard has his work cut out to oust Reece James but his experience was perhaps surprisingly preferred to the young right-back and he shone even without the goal, which was the result of a smart run from a corner. He was a consistent attacking threat, sending in several teasing crosses, creating many a chance and combining excellently with Willian throughout.
Antonio Rudiger: 7
A welcome return for the formidable German, whose presence lifted those around him. His influence was as much about his leadership and organisational skills as his performance, impressive as it was given his lengthy injury lay-off. He looked a little rusty on occasions, notably right at the end when his poor control gifted former Blues striker Remy a great chance.
Kurt Zouma: 7
The Frenchman was able to stroll through the majority of the match, playing with virtually no pressure and given plenty of time to play out from the back.
Twice Emerson had decent strikes on goal in the first half, a product of his adventurous nature and instinct to get to the edge of the box when play developed down Azpilicueta’s side. He was rarely called upon but dependable when tested.
Covered a tremendous amount of ground – and covered many a team-mate as Chelsea completely controlled the match until the final 10 minutes. Excellent from start to finish.
Mateo Kovacic: 8
Another dominant midfield showing from Kovacic, who excelled in the middle and final thirds. The Croatian was strong in possession, always looking to instigate attacks and barely wasted the ball.
N’Golo Kante: 9
The best of a splendid midfield trio, Kante’s work-rate defies belief and meant he was a vital presence all over the pitch. It’s difficult to find fault in anything he did.
Christian Pulisic: 8
Just about the pick of a bright attacking bunch in the first half, Pulisic was pacy, direct and made inroads pretty much every time he tried to attack the Lille defence. The American was also calm in possession and always seemed to select the right option before making way for Callum Hudson-Odoi soon after the hour.
His fine pull-back after a great run set up the opening goal and crucially settled the nerves. Willian looks far more dangerous when he plays without over-thinking and looks for the percentages with his crossing. A typically bustling performance, littered with a staggering work-rate, fine defensive work as well as couple of misplaced passes in promising situations and a predictable shocking miss when presented with a great chance after the break.
Tammy Abraham: 7
He scored a simple goal on an otherwise quiet night. Abraham’s touch looked assured, he did not overplay and did everything expected of him in a mature display.
Callum Hudson-Odoi: 5
Hudson-Odoi saw very little of the ball in an attacking sense until the final 10 minutes when he did not look convincing and also dallied in possession when trying to play in a silly area as Chelsea were finally put under pressure.
Michy Batshuayi: 5
The Belgian striker had 20 minutes to impress, but, one astute through-ball to Willian and a brilliant late turn and volley just over, aside, he did not make the most of several opportunities.