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Aston Villa 1-2 Chelsea, Player Ratings: Pulisic saves the day

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Community player ratings from Chelsea’s first game of Project Restart

Aston Villa v Chelsea FC - Premier League Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

1. CHRISTIAN PULISIC (7.9, sub)

It took Pulisic just five minutes to find the back of the net, making a perfect third-man run at the far post to direct the ball into the roof of the net and get Chelsea back on level terms. It was a welcome goal in every respect, including for the fact that Pulisic hadn’t played since New Year’s Day (that was his only start in our last 17 games in fact). Hopefully he’s now well past the adductor injury that had been bothering him since December.

This is Pulisic’s fourth Man of the Match from the WAGNH community, level with three others (Kanté, Abraham, James) for second most on the team behind Mateo Kovačić’s five. Pulisic also joins the aforementioned players in double digits in terms of overall podium finishes (4 MoM, 3 seconds, 3 thirds).

Pulisic also has the highest average rating for the season so far of any player with at least 10 appearances (6.8).

2. CÉSAR AZPILICUETA (7.8)

In direct contrast with Pulisic, Azpilicueta has barely missed any minutes let alone games this season. Nothing unusual with that of course, nor with his ability to slot in wherever required. This time he was in his “natural” right back position, and despite some rather wayward crossing at times, he still managed to pick up the assists on both goals. He also made some great moves on the right flank, combining smoothly with Willian and Mount.

3. N’GOLO KANTÉ (7.6)

Many things have changed in the world these past few months, but one thing has remained constant. When in doubt, pick N’Golo! Thus, he just beats out Mason Mount and Olivier Giroud.

That said, his third place finish is far from unwarranted as he showed little sign of rust, or his previous injuries for that matter, and effectively locked down the midfield in what was a fairly fluid setup in a hybrid 2/3-man look. Kanté was the one constant in the center with others shifting around him, and it worked quite well albeit against rather poor opposition.

Welcome back, N’Golo! Welcome back, football!


vs. ASTON VILLA (PL, A, W 2-1)

EXCEPTIONAL (9.0+): —

EXCELLENT (8.0-8.9): —

GOOD (7.0-7.9): Pulisic (7.9, sub), Azpilicueta (7.8), Kanté (7.6), Mount (7.5), Giroud (7.4)

AVERAGE (6.0-6.9): Arrizabalaga (6.7), Willian (6.6), Barkley (6.5, sub), Kovačić (6.4), Alonso (6.2), Abraham (6.0, sub)

POOR (5.0-5.9): Rüdiger (5.7), Christensen (5.5), Loftus-Cheek (5.2)

BAD (4.0-4.9): James (4.7, sub)

TERRIBLE (3.0-3.9): —


OVERALL