Chelsea players ratings vs West Ham: Ben Chilwell the unlikely hero with Wesley Fofana solid on debut

·5-min read
Chelsea players ratings vs West Ham: Ben Chilwell the unlikely hero with Wesley Fofana solid on debut

Ben Chilwell proved Chelsea’s match-winner, scoring the equaliser and setting up Kai Havertz’s goal to secure all three points against West Ham at Stamford Bridge.

It came after Michail Antonio’s opener, but the match was mired in controversy after VAR ruled out Maxwel Cornet’s equaliser after Jarrod Bowen was adjudged to have fouled goalkeeper Edouard Mendy in the build up.

It seemed like there was minimal contact but after complaining about referees in the past, Thomas Tuchel will believe his side have deserved a slice of luck.

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

Edouard Mendy - 6

He didn’t make a save in the first half due to Chelsea’s dominance but had more to do in the second half. Took a few crosses with his usual dominant presence and made a save from a long-range Jarrod Bowen shot.

However, he flapped a little bit at the corner cross for the goal as Cucurella got in his way.

Wesley Fofana - 6

A solid debut from the 21-year-old defender who was thrown in with just three training sessions at his new club. He had also been training with the Under-21s for the last few weeks at Leicester show but proved his manager right to select him. It bodes well for the future.

Thiago Silva - 6

He was heavily involved, maybe too involved, in the build up play on Saturday afternoon. West Ham were content to see him on the ball as their game plan focused on frustrating Chelsea’s creators.

Ultimately though, his long ball created to goal, exposing a flaw in the Hammers’ plan.

Kalidou Koulibaly - 6

Kicked the ball out of play early on with a simple five-yard pass, which was a concern after a difficult start to life in west London. A great cross-field ball to Reece James soon followed to create an opening and find an attacking moment in the 23rd minute.

Headed over with a great chance in the 28th minute at Chelsea’s only successful attacking set piece.

Reece James - 7

On the verge of a new long-term contract, James was a threat again in a formation that pushes him far forward.

The 3-5-2 means the wing-backs must take advanced positions on the pitch and his crossing created the first shot of the game for Pulisic. He proved Chelsea’s best creator on a difficult day, almost putting Gallagher in the second half.

Mateo Kovacic - 5

Good long-range shot wide in the 32nd minute, the midfielder just needed to last with concerns still over the state of his knee. He didn’t look at his very best but has hardly played this season.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek - 5

A crunching tackle on Paqueta set the tone for his display as the deepest of the three in midfield. Loftus-Cheek’s height and power was an asset against West Ham but he copped an earful from his manager at times.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek was given a deeper role in midfield in the absence of Jorginho (AFP via Getty Images)
Ruben Loftus-Cheek was given a deeper role in midfield in the absence of Jorginho (AFP via Getty Images)

Conor Gallagher - 5

Tuchel was in Gallagher’s ear about his tactical work and moving the ball quicker, it is something he struggled with all game but his work ethic and honesty of his play was never in question.

These first few games have been a steep learning curve for him and this was a modest improvement on his last two appearances after getting sent off last time out.

Marc Cucurella - 5

Seeing Reece James performing so well at wing-back only exposed his lack of impact up the pitch. The formation used by the manager needed more creativity and attacking input from the Spain international but he struggled to provide it.

He was good defensively until he was involved in the mix up with Mendy for the goal. He was unlucky to be booked.

Raheem Sterling - 7

Amazing dribble weaved through the midfield early on to show what only he could do. His direct dribbling in the 12th minute led to a corner. His cute through ball almost gave Pulisic a shot on goal in the 34th-minute but a last-ditch tackle stopped him.

Inswinging cross to Havertz almost created the equaliser second before Chelsea scored and almost created a winner after the goal when Mount arrived onto one.

Christian Pulisic - 5

On his first start this season, a newly shaven Pulisic had the first shot of the game but it was a tame effort that was deflected wide in the 27th minute.

Won a corner early on with a bright dribble. However, found himself substituted early having produced few attacking actions. The US men’s national team captain can’t find it easy to perform having had so few minutes on the pitch this season.

Substitutes

Ben Chilwell - 8

It was a beautiful moment to see Chilwell become the unlikely hero in desperate circumstances. His touch and finish for the goal was a moment of real skill and quality. It was also just rewards for his ability to overcome the disappointment of both his serious knee injury and being left on the bench for the last few weeks.

Mason Mount - 6

Mount brought energy to the midfield without producing any specific. Moments of magic.

Armando Broja - 6

Broja has been effective as an impact player for Chelsea this season. He provided presence to the attack but wasn’t decisive.

Kai Havertz - 7

Proved a target to hit for crosses and was tidy, after losing his place following his inability to score or assist in the first five matches.

He proved the match winner after deftly tapping in Chilwell’s cross. It will be hoped that the goal can spark a better run of form after a run of no goals in the first five games.

Jorginho - NA

Unused: Kepa Arrizabalaga; Chalobah, Azpilicueta; Ziyech.