Chelsea Player Ratings vs Luton Town: 7/10 Werner finds form; Malang Sarr struggles

Chelsea came back from behind twice to beat Championship side Luton Town 3-2 in their FA Cup fifth-round fixture on Wednesday night.

Coming into the game on the back of their Carabao Cup heartbreak, Chelsea were in for a shock start as Luton Town took a surprise lead less than two minutes into the game as Reece Oxford headed in a corner-kick to get the ball rolling at Kenilworth Road. The Blues grew into the game and were able to reinstate parity when Saul Niguez scored his first goal for the club after a cheap turnover in a dangerous area.

Chelsea pressed in search of another goal after being buoyed by their equaliser. But goalkeeper Harry Isted pulled off a string of impressive saves to keep the reigning European champions at bay before Harry Cornick made it 2-1 in favour of the Hatters in the closing stages of the first period.

Chelsea were more successful in stifling their opponents after the break and kept them pinned back in their half but were unable to find a breakthrough. However, that changed in the 68th minute when a lofted pass from Ruben Loftus-Cheek found Timo Werner, who did not let the chance slip away and found the back of the net to pull his team back on level terms.

Ten minutes later, the turnaround was complete as Werner turned provider to set up his strike partner Romelu Lukaku who scored from close-range to make it 3-2 and win it for Chelsea and earn safe passage through to the quarter-finals. Here are our player ratings for Thomas Tuchel’s players.

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Kepa Arrizabalaga: 6/10

Tuchel gave a vote of confidence to the Spaniard by starting him on Wednesday despite his failings against Liverpool at the weekend. But, Kepa could not do anything to stop either of Luton’s goals on the night as his defence let him down. Not called into action much but did make a good save in the second half.

Antonio Rudiger: 6.5/10

Strong and aggressive as usual, Rudiger relished the physical battle against Luton but was not always able to come out on top in his duels. His distribution at times was also a bit dodgy on the night.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek: 7/10

Shunted into an unnatural position at the heart of Chelsea’s three-person backline, Loftus-Cheek did not look comfortable at all while defending, which was to be expected given how he has never played in that role throughout his career. But the academy graduate was in his elements when on the ball and created the second equaliser for Werner and then played a crucial pass in the lead-up to the winner after moving into midfield for the final 15 minutes.

Malang Sarr: 4/10

A poor display by all accounts from the Frenchman as he was all over the place at Kenilworth Road. Sarr failed to track Oxford for the opening goal and then played Cornick onside for the second. He almost gifted Luton a third with a poor pass which Danny Hylton could not capitalise on.

Callum Hudson-Odoi: 5/10

Starting at right wing-back, the 21-year-old was not at all effective on the night. Hudson-Odoi did not show enough desire to get forward when in possession and often opted to play it safe. He also gave away the ball cheaply at times, including in the build-up to the hosts’ second goal.

Jorginho: 5/10

Another Chelsea player who was very lacklustre at Kenilworth Road. The Italian international was reinstated to the starting XI but could not cope with Luton’s aggressive pressing in the middle of the park and, as a result, failed to exert Chelsea’s control in the region. His passing was not as accurate as it can be, while he did not do enough to shield the defence either.

Saul Niguez: 7/10

One of the very few Chelsea players who looked positive and dangerous in the first period. Saul was willing to drive forward each time he got on the ball, and one such run led to the first equaliser – his first goal for Chelsea, which he took very well. The Atletico Madrid loanee continued to work hard and did a job for the team from left wing-back in the final stages of the contest.

Kenedy: 5/10

The Brazilian, recalled from his loan spell in January, played for the first time for Chelsea since 2018 and looked rusty and out of place. Kenedy had a few sloppy touches and passes early on and never looked like he was in the game, barring a moment when he forced Isted into a save.

Mason Mount: 6.5/10

Along with Saul, Mount was another Chelsea player who looked like making things happen in the first half. He dropped into spaces to get on the ball and drove at the Luton defence, causing them problems while he was good with his off-the-ball duties as well. Did fade a bit in the second half, however.

Romelu Lukaku: 6/10

Back into the starting XI after his lively cameo against Liverpool, Lukaku was enduring a largely frustrating night on Wednesday as he was not presented with any clear-cut opportunities until it all changed late in the game. Found himself in the right place to turn Werner’s cross into the back of the net to make it 3-2 and win it for his team.

Timo Werner: 7/10

The German international failed to inspire much confidence in the early stages of the game with poor touches and dodgy passes, although he did play a role in the first goal. However, the forward turned things around in the latter stages of the contest. Werner controlled Loftus-Cheek’s pass and finished past Isted to make it 2-2 before teeing up Lukaku for the match-winner with a cross.


Christian Pulisic: 6/10

On for Kenedy just after the hour mark. Nothing standout from the USMNT ace, but he did his job.

Harvey Vale: 6/10

Another senior appearance for the teenager, who showed some neat touches after replacing Hudson-Odoi in the 61st minute.

Reece James: 6/10

He played the last 15 minutes after coming on for Jorginho. Chelsea looked much better with him on the pitch.

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