Chelsea player ratings vs Man City: Azpilicueta, Kovacic and Pulisic not good enough as title hopes ended

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Mateo Kovacic reacts to Kevin De Bruyne’s match-winning goal for Manchester City against Chelsea  (REUTERS)
Mateo Kovacic reacts to Kevin De Bruyne’s match-winning goal for Manchester City against Chelsea (REUTERS)

Chelsea had to beat Manchester City to keep their slim title hopes alive, but fell to a 1-0 defeat to the reigning champions after Kevin de Bruyne’s stunning winner.

The result means City go 13 points clear at the Premier League summit with just 16 matches left to play this term.

Surely Pep Guardiola’s men are now guaranteed to retain their trophy - no team has ever let such a commanding lead slip at this point in the season.

James Robson was at the Etihad Stadium to assess Thomas Tuchel’s players...

Kepa Arrizabalaga 7

Brilliantly denied Grealish in the first half, but could do nothing to prevent De Bruyne’s wonderful winner.

Malang Sarr 7

Important interception cut out an early City chance and denied Raheem Sterling with a perfectly-timed challenge in the box.

Thiago Silva 7

Forced to go long with percentage passes in a bid to bypass midfield. Organised the defence well in the face of pressure from City.

Antonio Rudiger 7

Definitely up for this one and snapped into tackles to disrupt City. Distribution could have been better.

Cesar Azpilicueta 5

Did not offer enough of an attacking outlet for Chelsea, but that was down to service and City’s dominance of the ball.

N’Golo Kante 6

Not at his vintage best, struggled to break City control in midfield and passing let him down. Still did as much as anyone to try to keep them at bay,

Mateo Kovacic 5

Nearly gifted City a goal when dispossessed by De Bruyne to leave Grealish one-on-one. Put himself about, but forced to chase for the majority.

Marcos Alonso 5

Walking a tightrope after an early booking, but kept his discipline well enough after that. Use of the ball was not good enough.

Christian Pulisic 5

Really struggled to get into the game with very little service coming his way. Too often wasted possession with final ball.

Romelu Lukaku 6

Questionable whether this was the right game for him given how little of the ball Chelsea had. But was involved in their two best chances and probably should have taken one of them.

Hakim Ziyech 5

Has been a thorn in City’s side in recent meetings – but not today. Never got in dangerous enough positions to hurt them.

Subs

Timo Werner (Pulisic, 69’) 5

Saw City take the lead no sooner than he entered the pitch. Had one decent chance, but little more.

Callum Hudson-Odoi (Ziyech, 69’) 5

In a game when Chelsea relied on individual sparks, he could not provide one.

Mason Mount (Alonso, 81’) 4

Should he have been left on the bench for a game of this magnitude? Have to think he would have helped Chelsea get hold of the ball.

Subs not used: Bettinelli, Jorginho, Saul, Loftus-Cheek, Barkley, Havertz

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