Several lacklustre performances meant Chelsea earned just a solitary point against Sevilla in what was a cagey affair at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday.
Chelsea are unable to get the best out of both worlds as a resolute defensive performance led to a dull performance in the attacking phase. Both teams failed to create any clear chances and test the goalkeepers with conviction. Sevilla would be happy with a point away at Stamford Bridge, while Chelsea had higher expectations, but should take positives from the game.
The first half saw Chelsea sit in a disciplined and compact 4-4-2 shape without the ball, as they chased Sevilla. The visitors played a classic Spanish style of possession football and ended the first half with 57% of the ball, but failed to create any chances through open play. Chelsea had a couple of half-chances through Timo Werner, but failed to capitalise.
Chelsea improved in the second half, showing more intent with the ball and as a result hit the target four times. A clean sheet to go with an organised defensive performance spells positive signs for the Blues as they kick off their Champions League campaign. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Frank Lampard’s men.
Edouard Mendy: 7/10
A second clean sheet in three appearances shows positive signs as Chelsea look to put their poor defensive form behind them and improve as a unit. Mendy did fairly well to claim the crosses, as Chelsea forced Sevilla wide.
The Senegalese international made a crucial save from close range, but did not have much else to do throughout the game. Overall, a convincing performance and Chelsea would look forward to having him in goal against Manchester United.
Reece James: 8/10
Reece James vs Sevilla (H):
6 tackles (dribbled past once)
1 blocked shot
8/11 ground duels won
A solid defensive performance. pic.twitter.com/TH6LmPX4qn
— ExpectedChelsea (@ExpectedChelsea) October 20, 2020
Had a difficult task of dealing with both Lucas Ocampos and Marcos Acuna, but the 20-year old stepped up to the challenge. James won the most duels in the game and contributed to a resolute defensive performance by the Blues. A little more conviction from him while going forward could have seen Chelsea create more chances. Nonetheless, one of the best players on the pitch.
Thiago Silva: 7/10
Thiago Silva showed exactly how much Chelsea missed his commanding presence at the back versus Southampton. Silva kept the backline organised throughout the game, won crucial headers from crosses and was calm and composed while building up with the ball. A proper leader-like performance from the Brazilian.
Kurt Zouma: 7/10
Did very well to put a bad game on the weekend behind himself and build on what has been a solid start to the season for the Frenchman. Zouma was as always dominant in the air. Was slightly nervy at times, courtesy a sliced clearance, and could have played better long balls. The defender did well to keep Sevilla at bay.
Ben Chilwell: 8/10
Chilwell has been a terrific signing for Chelsea and has certainly hit the ground running. Did extremely well to shut Suso out of the game, in an imposing performance overall. Chilwell was also fabulous going forward, completing 2 key passes and 2 accurate crosses. The left-back spot has certainly become a lot more convincing at Stamford Bridge and the fans are loving it.
Look at the state of Ben Chilwell. He put blood, sweat and tears into that performance. Our best player on the pitch by far. Take a bow? pic.twitter.com/hhIxO61mPs
— Vakho (@Vakho_t) October 20, 2020
Captain for the night, Jorginho failed to set the tempo of the game as he would have liked. He was marginally better than his midfield partner. The Italian was seen to be pressing deep in the opponents half on a couple of occasions and even made some crucial interceptions. The lack of key passes from Jorginho was worrying and he is unlikely to play versus Manchester United, especially if Chelsea play a midfield two.
N’Golo Kante: 5/10
While Kante is a difficult player to drop in this Chelsea team, he was as poor as he was last time out and certainly needs to step up his game. Despite showing a good amount of aggression and work rate, Kante needs to perform better with the ball at this feet. A high passing rate notwithstanding, Kante seems to lose control at times and always goes with the safer passing option. Also conceded a 5 fouls.
Christian Pulisic: 6/10
Played away from his preferred left-wing berth again, Pulisic failed to make an impact in the first half. Although shifted to the left in the second half, Pulisic’s performance did not seem to improve. Despite a lacklustre display from the speedster, he completed the most dribbles on the pitch and showed good signs of recovery after an injury spell.
Kai Havertz: 7/10
Havertz completely another full ninety in a Chelsea shirt and seemed the most threatening of the lot while going forward. His sheer elegance while playing effortlessly in tight situations is a joy to watch. Havertz failed to inspire Chelsea to score a goal, but made valuable defensive contributions and pressed a lot. Seems to be the focal point for Chelsea.
Mason Mount: 5/10
Another day passes and Lampard fields Mount as a winger yet again. While the decision has its perks, it does take out a lot of sting from Chelsea’s attack. Mount’s role in the first half saw Sevilla target the opposite wing, which worked well in Chelsea’s favour. It seems obvious that Mount is much more effective in a central role like we saw in the comeback against West Bromwich Albion.
But the continuous starts seem to get Mount a lot of slander and criticism. Mount was substituted first for the second game running and perhaps it is time that Lampard realises that it won’t be that easy to accommodate Mount and Havertz in the same system. We could potentially see the ideal front four versus Manchester United.
Timo Werner: 5/10
Timo Werner failed to get any clear-cut goalscoring chances but was unable to take advantage of the half-chances that he did have. The German did not get involved in the game. The cagey affair prevented him from finding the space to run in behind the defense, and by the end of the game he looked spent.
Lampard could perhaps have taken him off for the likes of Olivier Giroud or Tammy Abraham earlier in the game as Chelsea often resorted to long balls while playing out from the back.
Hakim Ziyech: 6/10
Got another valuable 30 minutes under his belt and showed glimpses of what he can bring to the team. We saw a scintillating pass to Werner in the second half, which the German failed to get under his control. Ziyech also contributed defensively to good effect and would be raring to go on the weekend against Manchester United.
Mateo Kovacic: 7/10
The incredibly press-resistant Croat brought a different element to the Chelsea team. Kovacic played some incisive forward passes, won all six of his ground duels and only lost the ball twice in his twenty five-minute spell. Glimpses of his player of the season performances came back, and if fully fit, he should certainly continue this rich vein of form at Manchester United
Tammy Abraham: N/A
Not on the pitch long enough to warrant a rating.
Callum Hudson-Odoi: N/A
Much like Abraham, he hardly had time to make an impact.
Our midfielder should learn how to tackle hard in that midfield