1. RAHEEM STERLING (7.3)
Thomas Tuchel converting everyone into a wing-back was a running joke during the previous regime, which made Sterling’s (first) deployment as a wing-back in the very first game after Tuchel’s acking amusingly ironic.
That said, Sterling was really much more of a winger in Potter’s 3-5-2 than a wing-back, with Marc Cucurella providing support behind him and taking the defensive responsibilities when needed by dropping and shifted to a back-four with Reece James on the other side.
“We wanted to get some dangerous width, and Reece and Raheem were that. They were more full-backs in the lateral positions and then midfield players. I thought we got Raheem into some good situations and Reece as well down that side. Mason, too and we scored a good goal.”
“[Bu] you don’t want Raheem really defending in his box too often, and I don’t think he did. I think Marc Cucurella managed the situation quite well. I can’t remember too many opportunities they had down that side.
“Whatever you do, there’s always a plus and a minus, but we were at home, and we wanted to be on the front foot and get some attacking ideas in those positions. Raheem is really good at attacking a backline and scored a fantastic goal. I thought he was really good in the game. Reece balances it off a little bit, and we can still defend in a four if we need to, so that was the thinking.”
-Graham Potter; source: Metro
2. REECE JAMES (6.8)
3. THIAGO SILVA (6.5)
When in doubt, vote Thiago Silva — even given his rare crucial mistake in this one, somehow failing to cut out the ball after appearing to have won it, which directly led to Salzburg’s equalizer.
vs. RB SALZBURG (CL, H, D 1-1)
EXCEPTIONAL (9.0+): —
EXCELLENT (8.0-8.9): —
GOOD (7.0-7.9): Sterling (7.3)
AVERAGE (6.0-6.9): James (6.8), Silva (6.5), Cucurella (6.4), Kovacić (6.4), Arrizabalaga (6.2), Mount (6.2), Broja (6.0, sub)
POOR (5.0-5.9): Jorginho (5.9), Loftus-Cheek (5.8, sub), Azpilicueta (5.3), Gallagher (5.1, sub)
BAD (4.0-4.9): Pulisic (4.9, sub), Aubameyang (4.9), Havertz (4.9)
TERRIBLE (3.0-3.9): Ziyech (3.9, sub)