Chelsea turned in an abysmal performance, lacking belief, urgency and spirit at the Etihad Stadium. Here’s how we rated each Blues player in the 1-0 defeat against Manchester City.
Thibaut Courtois: 5
Courtois had no chance with the goal and was otherwise not tested. But he was distinctly average with the ball at his feet, rarely passing early enough and often resorting to hopeless punts up field as soon as he was put under any sort of pressure.
Cesar Azpilicueta: 6
The Spaniard, along with Antonio Rudiger, at least showed some occasional willingness to close down and did a solid defensive job. But the team’s startling negativity meant he spent nearly every moment chasing shadows and desperately trying to keep City at bay, even when Chelsea fell behind in the 46th minute.
Andreas Christensen: 5
Christensen’s lazy clearance 35 seconds into the second half led to the winner and his display will be remembered for that given his recent high-profile errors. The Dane did well apart from that in a woeful team performance.
Antonio Rudiger: 6
Showed some urgency and competed well as did all the back three, but the German was too tentative in possession and lacked true quality on the ball.
Victor Moses: 5
A shocking strike at goal when played in down the right was his chance to earn his side an undeserved point. Moses was bypassed too often by the team’s reluctance to try to win the ball back high up the pitch and like all his colleagues he spent vast periods of time failing to show any sort of urgency.
Danny Drinkwater: 4
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Drinkwater was poor and ponderous in possession, and showed an alarming inability to play one-touch football under pressure from City’s high-energy approach.
Cesc Fabregas: 4
His passing needed to be near perfect, but was in fact atrocious on the rare occasions that he had the ball at his feat. He had little chance to shine but was frighteningly far off his best.
Marcos Alonso: 5
Alonso’s main contribution, through no fault of his own, was to try to win headers from Courtois kicks but the schoolboy tactics never came close to coming off. Could have scored with a decent outside-of-the-foot strike in stoppage time.
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Several woeful passes in the final third characterised a dismal performance but at least, like Willian, he did show a little urgecy and tried to press City defensively, albeit pointlessly given the lack of interest in doing so by his team-mates.
See Pedro, although he showed a tad more quality on his very occasional surges forward bringing brief moments of hope.
Eden Hazard: 4
Hazard looked lost and frustrated throughout and had no influence on the match at all. He lacked support and had a thankless task in a role that simply doesn’t suit him.
Olivier Giroud: 5
Barely had a touch in his near 15-minute spell on the pitch. The game looked well and truly beyond his new side by the time he appeared – even at only 1-0 down.