Chelsea player ratings vs RB Salzburg: Raheem Sterling continues strong form while Mason Mount is back

·4-min read
Chelsea player ratings vs RB Salzburg: Raheem Sterling continues strong form while Mason Mount is back

Noah Okafor’s 75th minute equaliser has left Graham Potter’s Chelsea bottom of Group E in the Champions League after a 1-1 draw against RB Salzburg.

It came after the Potter era look set for a wonderful start after Raheem Sterling’s curled finish gave his Blues a perfect start to the second half.

However, they are left disappointed and desperately needing points from their double header with AC Milan after the international break.

Potter is under pressure to avoid just a second group stage exit in their 19 appearances in Europe’s elite competition.

Here’s how Nizaar Kinsella at Stamford Bridge rated the Chelsea players...

Kepa Arrizabalaga - 7

Kepa was back in with Edouard Mendy out due to a minor knee injury and put Jorginho in danger with his first action.

He produced a great piece of goalkeeping minutes later acting as a sweeper keeper to cut out a counter attack. Also made a brilliant save from Benjamin Sesko’s curling shot late in the first half.

Reece James - 8

Playing as a very advanced right wing-back, James was his usual assured self producing a wonderful dribble and cross which should have been scored in the 19th minute.

The 22-year-old looked like a winger when he turned Strahinja Pavlovic in the 28th minute. His wonderful turn and dribble helped set Mount on his way to provide the opening goal.

Cesar Azpilicueta - 6

In a centre-back role, he looked solid playing against one of the youngest teams in the Champions League. Not exceptional but not bad either.

Thiago Silva - 5

At times, Thiago Silva was the only deep player in Graham Potter’s attacking shape. An outstanding slide tackle in the 68th minute was his moment of the match but was once again the glue that kept his defensive unit solid.

Marc Cucurella - 7

Playing in a fluid central defender and wing back role, Cucurella handled the tactical demands placed on him by his former manager.

He often performed these duties towards the end of his time on the South Coast before moving to west London.

Mateo Kovacic - 5

Wonderful defensive recovery in the 40th minute. Almost won a penalty after his bursting run led to a good header on goal but it was blocked by a defender’s hand. Unfortunately, the officials deemed it not deliberate.

He mostly played within himself creatively but was solid enough.

Jorginho - 6

Caught in possession by Salzburg’s press in the fifth minute but their big chance was luckily flagged offside. It was one of the few mistakes he made in a tempo-setting midfield display.

Kai Havertz - 6

Havertz’s 11th minute header hit the Slovenian wonderkid Sesko as he started bright and creatively as a roaming forward. He gradually faded as the match went on.

Mason Mount - 8

The midfielder put a shift in often deeper than he had been under Thomas Tuchel. He came closest with a shot in the 40th minute.

Mount’s assist for Sterling’s goal was his first goal involvement of the season which will come as a relief ahead of the England selection tomorrow.

He made several great recovery runs. Mount is back.

Mason Mount impressed playing in a deeper midfield role (Chelsea FC via Getty Images)
Mason Mount impressed playing in a deeper midfield role (Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Raheem Sterling - 8

Produced his trademark cut inside and shot action early on. The England international played in Aubameyang with a wonderful through ball in the 23rd minute but his shot was blocked. Had a shot blocked in the 40th minute.

Sterling produced a brilliant curling in the 48th minute. It is his fourth goal of the season, marking him out as the club’s top scorer by some distance.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang - 6

After his indifferent start under Thomas Tuchel last week, Aubameyang linked up well early on. He looked fit and lively in attack, almost scoring early in the first half but seeing his shot blocked.

However, he doesn’t quite have that chemistry with his teammates just yet.

Substitutes:

Ruben Loftus-Cheek - 6

The 26-year-old played in an advanced midfield role after coming on for Havertz. He wasn’t too heavily involved in the game.

Armando Broja - 6

The 20-year-old was a bit hesitant running through on goal almost immediately after coming on, allowing a recovery tackle to stop him. He created a huge chance for Hakim Ziyech but his shot was saved a point blank range.

Broja volleyed high and wide in the 92nd minute when he should have hit the target.

Hakim Ziyech - 6

29-year-old had three chances to win the match but all his shots were saved. One was a far post header after a brilliant Pulisic cross which was a difficult chance and the other was saved from point blank range by Phillipp Kohn.

With the last chance of the game, he volleyed into Kohn’s arms.

Conor Gallagher - N/A

Christian Pulisic - N/A

Unused subs: Bettinelli; Chalobah, Chilwell, Fofana, Koulibaly; Zakaria, Chukwuemeka.