Chelsea player ratings: Lewis Hall shines on bad night for Koulibaly

Chelsea player ratings: Lewis Hall shines on bad night for Koulibaly


ewis Hall impressed as Riyad Mahrez’s free-kick and long-range support from Julian Alvarez helped Manchester City overcome a dejected Chelsea side who cannot wait for the World Cup break.

The Blues had started well in a Carabao Cup tie at the Etihad Stadium, creating several openings but wasting their chances.

At the other end, they were error-prone after half-time with Edouard Mendy confused by his own wall failing to jump on Mahrez’s free-kick.

A standard counter-attack was then not well defended as Alvarez headed home against a tired Chelsea.

Nizaar Kinsella was at the Etihad Stadium to watch the action…

Edouard Mendy – 6

He looked shaky early on after Julian Alvarez took possession of him by clipping his long kick. Produced a fantastic save from Grealish in the 41st minute.

His shot save was outstanding with two big saves early in the second half on Grealish again. There was confusion over Mahrez’s free-kick as he blamed the wall for not jumping up to block the shot.

Trevoh Chalobah – 5

Chalobah has played every minute for Chelsea since Wesley Fofana’s injury on October 5. He looked a bit more on his legs than usual and struggled in a makeshift defense. Maybe something had to give after such an effort to play every week. He finally rested in the 68th minute.

Kalidou Koulibaly – 4

In only his second start since his recent injury, he was unconvincing in his early clearances and tackles. His mistake could have ended up in his own goal and his heavy tackle outside the box on Jack Grealish could have faced a tougher punishment. Played Alvarez with poor positioning for his effort in the 29th minute.

No doubt responsible for Mahrez’s free-kick goal after he failed to jump while inside the wall. He appeared to bamboozle his goalkeeper, who was left on his heels as he ducked into his net.

Action images via Reuters

Marc Cucurella – 6

After Man City chased Cucurella all summer, he showed them what they were missing with an assured display. His use of possession was key as Guardiola’s pressing targeted his left side. Made a life-saving tackle early in the second half on Mahrez, bailing Mateo Kovacic in the process.

He still found himself out of position for City’s second goal which came after an effort from Mahrez on his side.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek – 6

Back at right-back in the everlasting saga to cover Reece James’ absence. Loftus-Cheek produced an impressive dribble in the 13th minute that almost led to the first goal. He was busy defensively but carried out his duties with class and discipline.

Mateo Kovacic – 6

Wearing the captain’s armband, he led the team with his composure down the middle. Rarely gave it away and released Christian Pulisic for a major first-half chance.

Denis Zakaria – 6

He was solid but disappointing in the middle and couldn’t influence the game as deeply as he did on his debut last week against Dinamo Zagreb. Substituted in the 68th minute.

Lewis Room – 7

The 18-year-old was making just his second appearance for Chelsea and found himself in a battle with a player in his same age group, compatriot Rico Lewis, who was born in 2004. Performed an impressive dribble after 12 minutes to win a free kick. Unfortunately, he was taken into possession midway through the first half, but Man City missed their chance to punish Chelsea.

His incisive ball in the 34th minute was more typical of his distribution which was solid throughout. Almost did everything to score after coming late to a Pulisic counter-attack but the shot was saved well by Ortega.

Hakim Ziyesh – 6

The Moroccan has played fewer minutes than any senior member of Chelsea’s squad this season, but produced a 13th-minute cross that nearly netted Pulisic an opening goal.

He was generally mediocre throughout but produced the skill of the game, pivoting on the touchline to save a poor pass from Loftus-Cheek and provide a huge chance for Hall.

Armando Broja – 5

Hit a powerful shot both high and wide at the start of the first 10 minutes. His straight run was troubled at times, but that wasn’t enough to give Potter a reason to drop Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on Saturday.

Christian Pulisic – 5

Missed a first quality chance after Ziyech’s cross as a defender also had a throw-in. He produced a much better effort with his second shot after dribbling almost 40 yards before his effort was saved well by Stefan Ortega. His speed at the break nearly broke the deadlock through Hall at the end of the first half. Finished the match at left-back.

Getty Images


Cesar Azpilicueta – 6

He produced an outstanding cross in the 85th minute but neither Kai Havertz nor Pulisic could finish it. He did this while playing as a centre-back, trying to score goals late.

Conor Gallagher – 6

A more attacking option than Zakaria, he helped Chelsea to late goals but was not transformative.

Mason mount – 7

His ability between the lines helped Chelsea’s fast runners overlap and create chances. It worked to some extent, but it wasn’t enough. Almost scored in the 88th minute after an excellent first touch that saved Gallagher’s shot. He had the ball in the net late after a flurry of effort but was flagged offside.

Rahim Sterling – 6

Sterling won acclaim in his first appearance for the North West since leaving in the summer. It was a hero’s welcome for a player who has always been a winner on this pitch. He was tidy in possession and desperate to help his current club, but failed to read the one big chance created by Havertz.

Kai Havertz – 7

Shanked his shot from 25 yards entering as a final replacement. He produced a killer cross in the final minutes that Man City’s Sterling would have brought home, but Chelsea couldn’t. Given his influence in the last 10 minutes, he probably should have intervened earlier.

Unused substitutes: Marcus Bettinelli; Thiago Silva; Hutchinson, Aubameyang

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