Chelsea moved up to fifth place in the Premier League with an unconvincing win over Sheffield United. Here’s how we rated each Blues player in the 2-1 victory at Bramall Lane.
Edouard Mendy: 6
He was denied a fourth successive clean sheet by Antonio Rudiger’s moment of stupidity, with only a couple of routine saves keeping his hands warm on a bitterly cold evening in south Yorkshire.
Cesar Azpilicueta: 6
There was an inauspicious start by the Spaniard, whose sloppy pass almost led to a first-minute goal for Oliver Burke. That was his only defensive lapse as he helped Chelsea to a second successive away win under Thomas Tuchel.
Andreas Christensen: 7
The Dane started just his second league game since October and was excellent on the ball. He retained possession and used it with typical composure, but the presence, authority and composure of Thiago Silva was still clearly missed.
Antonio Rudiger: 5
A truly diabolical error gifted the equaliser, but the German did recover to make some important blocks and interventions thereafter – including a wonderful headed clearance from a free-kick.
Reece James: 7
James retained his place following an impressive display in the win over Tottenham, looking unflappable in his defensive work and showing great energy and a mature head in attack.
His role alongside Mateo Kovacic in the “double six”, which had worked so well against Spurs, saw Chelsea ponderous and lacking in movement and unable to build from the back against the brave Sheffield United press. But he dealt with the pressure to score a second penalty winner in a week.
Mateo Kovacic: 6
Provided more intent than Jorginho but again seemed to struggle in the system. He became increasingly influential in the second half and finished the game well.
Ben Chilwell: 6
A recall for the England defender, who got away with a foul that led to a penalty being awarded before VAR intervened, but was otherwise solid in defence and a regular and lively attacking option on the left – particularly before the interval when he laid on Mount’s opener.
Mason Mount: 8
Once again, and predictably so, he was as good as anyone in a Chelsea shirt. Mount constantly took up smart positions in between the home side’s defence and midfield, was always aware of what was around him and provided almost all the midfield energy in a system that too often saw the team laboured and predictable in possession.
Timo Werner: 8
A bustling performance from Werner, who had one goal-bound effort cleared, made the first goal with a great run and cross and won the penalty for the winner. The confidence is clearly returning despite his goalless run now extending to 14 league matches.
Olivier Giroud: 5
The Frenchman returned to the starting line-up and put in a decent shift but lacked support, did not have a sight of goal and was therefore largely ineffective.
Marcos Alonso: 6
He got forward well in the final quarter, bringing good energy and forcing the hosts onto the back foot when they needed to chase the game.
Callum Hudson-Odoi: 7
A late cameo that displayed his new-found confidence, Hudson-Odoi lifted the team and helped relieve what little pressure was being exerted.
N’Golo Kante: 6
His late introduction changed the midfield dynamic and enabled Chelsea to see out the win with the minimum of fuss.