Tomori And Pulisic Both Pick Up 9 | Chelsea Players Rated In Smash And Grab Win Vs Ajax
Chelsea and Ajax played out what was a thrilling encounter between two young and dynamic sides. The tie ended 1-0 to the Blues, as Frank Lampard’s men were able to grab the late winner, thanks to some excellent work from the frontmen. Second-half substitutes Christian Pulisic and Michy Batshuayi combined to create the winner in the 87th minute of the fixture. Although Ajax actually had the ball in the net in the first half, the decision was overturned by VAR for offside. The win takes Chelsea level on points with Ajax at the top of Group H, with the Dutch champions leading by the mere virtue of a better goal difference.
Here are the Chelsea player ratings from what was an enthralling encounter.
Kepa Arizzabalaga – 7
The Spanish keeper wasn’t overly troubled at any point during the game, except when Quincy Promes put the ball into the net, only to then be ruled offside by VAR.
Cesar Azpilicueta – 7
The Spaniard put up a solid defensive display down Chelsea’s right-side and kept the threat of Promes, and then Neres, at bay for the most part. Wasn’t allowed too much space going forward.
Kurt Zouma – 7.5
Another solid showing by the big Frenchman who did his defensive duties well, and ensured that Ajax didn’t get a sniff of the Blues goal. Was a constant threat from set-pieces too.
Fikayo Tomori – 9
The youngster is repaying Lampard’s trust game after game, as he ran the defence against a young Ajax side. Although he had some issues in the opening period, he simply pocketed the deadly Dusan Tadic in the second.
Marcos Alonso – 7
Another standard Marcos Alonso performance as the Spaniard provided good support to Hudson-Odoi on the flank. His ability to run with the ball came in handy on multiple occasions, as Ajax tried to peg the Blues back with tight pressing.
Mateo Kovacic – 7
The Croatian wasn’t at his best tonight but still managed to keep the Blues moving with his mazy runs. His short passing was on point again, and he did well to take control of midfield in the 2nd half.
Jorginho – 7.5
The Italian is further proving his worth with every game he plays. Controlled Chelsea’s movement by maintaining a good tempo in the second half and ensured their defensive shape with some excellent leadership from the middle.
Mason Mount – 6.5
Struggled to get into the game and went missing for long periods in the match. He played one special pass to free substitute Pulisic, which eventually led to the goal.
Willian – 6
The Brazilian didn’t have his best outing in Amsterdam tonight as the defensive work-rate of Tagliafico kept his forward running in check all night. Came off in the 65th minute to be replaced by Pulisic.
Tammy Abraham – 6
Didn’t have his best outing on the night as he struggled to make the ball stick in the first half. Although things got a little better in the 2nd, he was replaced by Batshuayi with 20 minutes to spare.
Callum Hudson-Odoi – 7
Posed the Ajax defence all kinds of problems in the first 20 minutes of the game, and even had a multitude of chances to open the scoring. Could’ve been more clinical with his passing and finishing.
Christian Pulisic (66’) – 9
The American was a second-half substitute but had a bigger impact than anyone on the pitch. He came on and turned up the pace of the Blues’ play with some sharp forward running. Picked up the all-important assist for Chelsea’s winner as well.
Michy Batshuayi (70’) – 8
Came on in the final 20 minutes of the fixture and gave a tiring Ajax defence all kinds of problems. They just couldn’t seem to deal with his athleticism. Was at the right place at the right time to score the only goal of the tie.
Reece James (90’) – NA
Didn’t have the time to make an impact.
Nikhil has been an avid Chelsea fan for as long as the concept of time has existed and rumours say that he even bleeds blue.
Having lived in the UK for 3 years, Nikhil is said to have an excellent understanding of the atmosphere surrounding the English game. His role model is the greatest manager of all time – Jose Mourinho.