On a misty afternoon in the Black Country another below par performance from Covid-19 hit Chelsea saw them drop points again as their hosts Wolves held them to a 0-0 draw.
It was a game of very few chances as both sides midfields enjoyed themselves with Christian Pulisic and Leander Dendoncker both spurning very presentable opportunities.
Edouard Mendy – 7.5
It was a somewhat quiet afternoon in goal for the Senegalese international as he picked up his first clean sheet in a while. He was called into action to deny a Dendoncker header from close range at the end of the first half and then rushed well off his line in the second period to prevent the ball reaching Podence.
Cesar Azpilicueta – 6.5
The Spanish defender put in one of his usual solid but not flashy displays. A regular in possession he tried to move Chelsea up the pitch in a slow game but gave the ball away on the counter in one of the more threatening approaches.
Defensively he struggled with the space Reece James left initially but dealt with any problems that came his way.
Thiago Silva – 9
It isn’t even worth thinking where Chelsea would be without veteran Silva. His ability to read the game is his best skill and helped to break up Wolves attacks on numerous occasions with important interceptions. Also, in the first half he made a crucial block from a Daniel Podence shot.
Antonio Rüdiger – 7.5
The German continued his revitalisation under compatriot Thomas Tuchel with another dominant display down the left hand side of defence. He wasn’t required to do much defensively apart from outrunning Adama Traore to a ball but what impressed most was his passing. This included one in added time where he picked out Azpilicueta on the far side of the box with a precise curling delivery.
Reece James – 7
In recent weeks, James‘ goal contributions have slowed down but he still remains a crucial piece of this Chelsea jigsaw. Most of Chelsea’s attacks today were down his side and his impressive linkup with Mason Mount threatened the Wolves defence on numerous occasions. His defensive positioning caused his teammates problems early on as Marcal capitalised on the space behind him including a disallowed goal.
N’golo Kante – 8.5
It is has been clear to see that the Blues have missed Kante’s efforts in recent weeks and despite only returning to training Tuesday, he made himself felt on the game. Characteristic battling and driving runs forward were combined with accurate passing and energetic off the ball work. He even had a chance to win it at the death, but Conor Coady made a fantastic block.
Trevoh Chalobah – 6
The Englishman made his return from injury against Wolves and did so in the slightly unfamiliar position of central midfield. His passing throughout was solid and he worked hard off the ball making a couple of interceptions before injury prevented him from appearing after half time.
Marcos Alonso – 6.5
Since Ben Chilwell picked up his ACL injury, Alonso has come under a lot of criticism from Chelsea fans for his performances but today was one of his better ones. Whilst his defensive fragilities, in particular tracking runners, remained, he more than played his role offensively, including his precise pass that put Pulisic in on goal.
Mason Mount – 7.5
Chelsea’s star player couldn’t make it five consecutive Premier League games with a goal today, but it wasn’t through a lack of trying. In what was a relatively dull game, he stood out by being his usual bright self and being determined to keep the ball moving and trouble the Wolves defence, but the execution wasn’t quite there. Moreover, his work closing players down and winning the ball back allowed Chelsea to control the game more in the second half.
Christian Pulisic – 6.5
The American has struggled for a consistent run of form for a while now and being played in the unfamiliar position of a false nine doesn’t help. However, after a quiet first half he grew into the game and arguably should’ve been the matchwinner when he went through one on one with Jose Sa. Away from that he was a bit complacent on the ball but seemed to find confidence dribbling with the ball at his feet again.
Hakim Ziyech – 6.5
The Moroccan has been impressive in recent weeks but was slightly off colour in Sunday’s performance. He went relatively unnoticed early on before trying to work his magic with his left foot and creating one chance but complacency with his execution stopped him from having his desired effect upon proceedings.
Saul Niguez – 7
Saul’s difficulties in adapting to the Premier League have been well documented but this was his best effort yet since joining on deadline day. A pass accuracy of 90.7% included a lovely sweeping left footed ball forward for the Pulisic chance. He also dictated the tempo well after coming on at half time but nearly became the villain after giving the ball away in the middle of the park before his defenders saved him.
Mateo Kovacic – 6.5
The second substitute of the afternoon saw the experienced Croatian make his long awaited return. He was his usual tidy self on the ball without being too adventurous and tried to make a difference with runs forward from midfield.
Written by Harrison Burridge (@indepthfandc)
Edited by Tom Coley (@tomcoley49)
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