Chelsea were second best, lacking ideas and the ability to change things when behind as they bowed out of the FA Cup with a 2-0 defeat against Manchester United. Here’s how we rated each Blues player in the fifth-round tie at Stamford Bridge.
Kepa Arrizabalaga: 5
He made a couple of fine saves but could have done better for Paul Pogba’s header before the break, failing to keep it out despite making up his ground to get in a good position.
Cesar Azpilicueta: 6
The Spaniard got forward well on plenty of occasions in the first half and his commitment and work-rate was there for all to see.
Antonio Rudiger: 5
A mixed performance by the German, who was typically robust and powerful in the challenge but never looked comfortable against the pace of Marcus Rashford,
David Luiz: 5
Had a strong first period until the crucial second goal when diabolical defending saw an initial sloppy pass out from the back followed by a total failure to close down the cross for Pogba’s header. A brilliant recovery later thwarted a certain United goal on the break.
Marcus Alonso: 5
He was always available in attack but very poor with his crossing and his final ball in general. Alonso was caught out for United’s second when an overload at the far post saw him fail to clock the run of Ander Herrera behind him.
Played a couple of fine passes that could easily have led to goals, but was crowded out time after time. His role and the system favoured by Maurizio Sarri is simply not working and he has become the scapegoat as the man specifically bought in to lead the way for the new tactics on the pitch.
Mateo Kovacic: 5
Had a couple of nearly moments with some purposeful runs and was willing, neat and tidy but generally ineffective.
N’Golo Kante: 7
Last season he was often doing he work of two men, this season Kante needs to do the work of three men to make up for the lack of versatility and shortcomings in the system when Chelsea fall behind.
Made several darting runs from deep and showed more urgency than those around him for most of the hour he spent on the pitch, at which point he was surprisingly replaced in a like-for-like change for Willian that changed nothing about Chelsea’s approach.
Eden Hazard: 7
Chelsea’s main man was always looking to receive the ball and was prepared to run at the away defence, and came close to teeing up a goal on several occasions. The Belgian almost scored with a strong second-half run in what was just about the only noteworthy attempt on goal after the break.
Gonzalo Higuain: 5
He missed a great headed chance from a beauty of an Azpilicueta cross when the score was 0-0 and looked sharp before the break but barely had a kick in the second half.
Saw a decent amount of possession but against a massed defence he was unable to make an impact.
Ross Barkley: 5
Similar to Willian, Barkley made little impact but it was thankless task as the system had failed to give him a chance to shine.