Kepa Arrizabalaga was the shining light as Chelsea played out a goalless draw with Brentford on Wednesday.
Brentford started the game strongly, taking the game to Chelsea from the get-go. The hosts created a chance in the second minute when Ivan Toney had beaten Kepa Arrizabalaga, only to see Marc Cucurella clearing his shot. Kepa did not let the Brentford striker get past him next time, producing a sharp close-range save.
Toney then saw a point-blank header failing to loop over Kepa, who was alert and parried it away. Chelsea started growing into the game closer to half-time. But David Raya was just as sharp as his compatriot in the Chelsea goal, denying Cesar Azpilicueta.
Kepa and Raya continued to keep their wits about them after the interval. While the former denied Bryan Mbuemo, the Brentford goalkeeper thwarted Kai Havertz. Chelsea’s late efforts were rather hopeful instead of end products of plays that had clear ideas.
In the end, Kepa and Raya were the heroes on the night as Chelsea and Brentford played out a goalless stalemate. Thus ended Chelsea’s five-game winning run, with the Bees producing another impressive performance in the Premier League. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Graham Potter’s men.
Kepa Arrizabalaga: 8/10
Kepa produced another performance that should help him remain Chelsea’s first-choice goalkeeper. Time and again, the Spaniard thwarted the player to watch in our preview, Ivan Toney. And he also kept out a rasping effort by Bryan Mbuemo. Kepa was the reason why Chelsea managed even a point from the game.
Kepa today 👏 pic.twitter.com/8uMWDShQc3
— B/R Football (@brfootball) October 19, 2022
Cesar Azpilicueta: 7/10
Azpilicueta manned the right side of the central defensive unit, and his lack of pace was visible at times. But the Chelsea captain read the game well to neutralise the Brentford attackers, making five clearances. He also tested David Raya with an effort in the first half.
Trevoh Chalobah: 7/10
Apart from one instance when he misjudged the ball’s trajectory and left Kepa exposed, Chalobah was solid at the back. The youngster made five clearances while completing 95 per cent of his attempted passes. He is slowly carving out a regular spot for himself.
Kalidou Koulibaly: 6/10
Koulibaly endured a few hairy moments against Mbuemo but withstood the challenge well after a few initial hiccups. He made a few crucial defensive interventions, including a block, while winning two duels. But his output on the ball was sub-par.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek: 5/10
Loftus-Cheek endured a difficult evening as he failed to carve out the openings, showing a midfielder’s instincts instead of a wing-back’s. But he was mostly solid defensively, winning six duels. Chelsea will sorely miss Reece James for the next couple of months.
Conor Gallagher: N/A
Gallagher did not last long on the night, going off inside the opening 15 minutes. Potter later revealed that the Englishman was feeling unwell.
Conor Gallagher felt unwell hence why he was subbed off early said Graham Potter. pic.twitter.com/sMn5vfeYIq
— Frank Khalid (@FrankKhalidUK) October 19, 2022
Jorginho was the orchestrator for Chelsea in the middle of the park and moved the ball smartly. But he faced some nervy moments off the ball, with Brentford overrunning him on a few occasions. However, all in all, it was a decent showing by the Chelsea vice-captain.
Marc Cucurella: 6/10
Cucurella was a busy customer on Wednesday as he produced some crunching tackles and crucial clearances. But the Spaniard lacked the imagination to make things happen in the final third, playing it safe for the most part.
Kai Havertz: 4/10
Havertz had a golden opportunity to stake his claim for becoming a regular for Chelsea. But the German international squandered his chance, lacking the cutting edge and quality to trouble David Raya. The only positive from his performance is that he completed most of his attempted passes.
Mason Mount: 5/10
Mount has been the in-form player for Chelsea this month, but he produced a lacklustre display on Wednesday. The English international did not create a single chance or muster an effort on goal. While Mount was involved in some promising passages, he failed to do enough to help Chelsea break the deadlock.
Armando Broja: 6/10
Broja is a bit raw but his tools are IMMENSE. It is not often that a player so young goes blow-for-blow with a physical team like Brentford.
Potter is going to have a lot of fun with him.
— ExpectedChelsea (@ExpectedChelsea) October 19, 2022
Broja was one of the positives for Chelsea on the night as he showed the desire to take on the Brentford defenders. But he was wasteful with the ball at his feet and missed a decent opening to break the deadlock. He should take the positives and run with them.
Mateo Kovacic: 6/10
Kovacic showed his usual swagger on the pitch after replacing Conor Gallagher. But while the Croat helped Chelsea wrest control of the proceedings, he, too, fizzled out as the game progressed.
Christian Pulisic: 6/10
Pulisic showed some more positive signs, just like his outing against Wolverhampton Wanderers. The USMNT international played three key passes while forcing Raya into a smart save. But he struggled to carve Brentford open in the game’s dying embers.
Carney Chukwuemeka: 7/10
With Kanté and now Conor Gallagher out, Carney Chukwuemeka really took his chance today. An impressive display from the 18 year old. 👏 pic.twitter.com/IKwps8GKaw
— London Is Blue Podcast ⭐️⭐️ (@LondonBluePod) October 19, 2022
Chukwuemeka was one of the better performers for Chelsea on the night, and he looked lively in his cameo. But he could have done more had he seen the ball coming his way more often.
Raheem Sterling: 6/10
Sterling was a bundle of energy after replacing Broja and created a couple of half-chances. But he failed to test Raya when he forayed into the final third.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: N/A
Aubamayeng barely did anything apart from managing one hopeful shot.
Leave a Reply