Watford v Chelsea player ratings

Hakim Ziyech’s winner kept Chelsea top of the Premier League. Here’s how we rated each Blues player in the 2-1 victory at Watford.

Edouard Mendy: 6

Nearly gifted Josh King an early goal when he tried and failed to beat the forward with a body swerve, turning into trouble before clearing the ball. Could do nothing about Watford’s equaliser, which deflected off Antonio Rudiger into his net. Did make a good save to deny Danny Rose and tipped over a vicious Juraj Kucka free-kick in the 93rd minute.

Trevoh Chalobah: 7

Made an important clearance early on to stop Joao Pedro’s goal-bound effort and looked comfortable in the first half as part of a back three and was then moved into midfield. Was sacrificed on the hour mark as Thomas Tuchel made attacking substitutions.

Andreas Christensen: 7

The Dane’s position shifted more towards the right flank when Tuchel changed his tactics in the second half, but he was comfortable. He was, though, bailed out after the break by Mendy, who came rushing out of his box to deny Tom Cleverley after a pass split Christensen and Rudiger.

Antonio Rudiger: 7

Was unfortunate to see the ball deflect off him for Watford’s equaliser, but made an important clearance at the back post at 1-1. Led by example – as usual – after he took the captain’s armband in the second half.

Cesar Azpilicueta: 6

Chelsea felt the absence of Reece James as Azpilicueta didn’t offer as much going forward as his teammate does. Like Chalobah, the Spaniard was sacrificed for firepower – making way for Romelu Lukaku – as Tuchel shifted his tactics.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek: 6

Was at fault for the Watford goal, dispossessed in midfield by Moussa Sissoko, who slipped in Emmanuel Dennis to score. Did catch the eye both before and after his mistake with a number of threatening passes, but his good work was overshadowed by that error.

Saul: 5

Failed to impress on a rare Premier League start and was substituted at half-time again. Saul only completed a total of eight passes in the first 45 minutes.

Marcos Alonso: 7

Involved in the build-up to both Chelsea goals. He cut back a pass for Kai Havertz for the first, later cushioning a deft header into the path of Mount to assist the second. Also delivered a number of dangerous crosses and was solid in defence as he looked to show boss Thomas Tuchel he can fill the gap Ben Chilwell has left.

Christian Pulisic: 6

Put in a tireless performance but struggled against a physical Watford defence and was perhaps lucky to avoid injury after being barged into an advertising board by William Troost-Ekong. Might have had a first-half assist if he had played in Havertz a split-second quicker.

Mason Mount: 9

Was the most energetic Chelsea player and got his deserved goal before the half-hour mark, picking out the bottom corner after Havertz squared him the ball. Also provided the assist for Ziyech’s winner, teeing up his teammate to smash home.

Kai Havertz: 8

Didn’t catch the eye early on as he led the line, but was as composed as ever when cutting the ball back for Mount’s opener. Also had the ball in the net moments after assisting, but was flagged offside after Pulisic delayed the pass.

Thiago Silva: 7

Came on at half-time to steady Chelsea’s defence, which had been rocked by a goal minutes before the break. Was calm and composed in a gritty second half which could easily have slipped away from the visitors.

Hakim Ziyech: 8

Featured for the final 30 minutes and scored the winner, sweeping home Mount’s clever cross. Ziyech nearly bagged a brace, but couldn’t direct a glancing header past keeper Daniel Bachmann after scoring his first.

Romelu Lukaku: 6

Was eased back into action from injury with another appearance from the bench. Offered a more physical presence up front for the final 20 minutes, but didn’t get much more than half a sight at goal.