Chelsea progressed into the last 16 of the Europa League with a 5-1 aggregate win over Malmo thanks to a 3-0 victory in the second leg. Here’s how we rated each Blues player at Stamford Bridge.
Willy Caballero: 6
Had almost nothing to do in the first half, with Malmo’s only two efforts on goal missing the target. And had even less to do after the interval, with the match played exclusively in opposition territory.
Cesar Azpilicueta: 7
Should have scored with a good first-half chance at the front post but it was otherwise a performance without fault. Although he lacks the technical ability of many of his team-mates, he continues to show more urgency and purpose in attack than most.
Antonio Rudiger: 7
He was rarely tested despite Malmo’s impressive start and constant high-press in the early stages and the German always looked alert and capable of raising his game if needed.
Andreas Christensen: 7
Like his centre-back partner, Christensen had a smooth evening, coping well with some early pressure and showing good composure and control.
Solid in defence and increasingly influential. He demonstrated his pace and a willingness to surge forward when the chance arose, one such run winning the free-kick that led to Ross Barkley’s fine strike.
Mateo Kovacic: 6
The Croatian was twice guilty of giving the ball away in dangerous areas early on but settled into the holding role and looked increasingly confident in a steady but unspectacular performance.
N’Golo Kante: 9
Chelsea’s standout player. Kante sparked a marked team improvement with his interception and surge forward which led to Olivier Giroud’s goal and was excellent at both ends of the pitch. He consistently earned possession, retained possession and made things happen.
Ross Barkley: 7
He was always willing to run in behind, often without reward and never shied away from demanding the ball. Like many around him, he struggled to find space in the first half but impressed after the interval and scored with a divine free-kick.
Callum Hudson-Odoi: 8
He gave a display showcasing his undoubted talent, running both from deep and in the final third, and lifting the crowd every time he got on the ball. Hudson-Odoi took his goal in wonderful style, with a fine low finish after an impeccable touch and rapid run into the box. He was guilty of some sloppy defensive moments early on but was never affected by those nerves.
The Brazilian’s cross for the opening goal was stunning, as was his cross-field ball for Hudson Odoi’s goal, and he was lively and dangerous throughout,
Olivier Giroud: 7
Scored a simple goal, but his astute run to enable him to tap in his sixth Europa League goal of the season was delightful. Giroud impressed with his hold-up play and a typical deftness of touch.
Brought control and looked unflustered in his 20 minutes on the pitch.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek: 7
Dynamic and bursting with energy, Loftus-Cheek looked desperate to impress and certainly did.
Ethan Ampadu: 6
Neat, composed and full of confidence, Ampadu also showed his versatility after coming on at right-back in the closing stages.