Player Ratings: Chelsea 3-0 Aston Villa | Premier League. The ratings are in.
Chelsea moved up to 2nd in the Premier League with an impressive and mature 3-0 win over Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues took the lead in the 15th minute through a trademark Romelu Lukaku finish, who was found by a beautiful Mateo Kovacic assist. Villa showed attacking intent throughout the half though, and some fine defending by Thiago Silva and goalkeeping by Edouard Mendy kept the score at 1-0.
Kovacic then scored a rare goal early in the second half to double Chelsea’s lead – by which point the Blues were totally in control of proceedings. Lukaku added a third late on to seal the victory – a well deserved three points and important clean sheet to gain confidence at this early stage of the season.
Edouard Mendy – 9/10
After being named UEFA Goalkeeper of the Season last month, Mendy had another superb game for the Blues, keeping his third clean sheet in four league games. The Senegalese keeper made a number of impressive saves in the first half – including a brilliant double save in the 32nd minute to preserve Chelsea’s lead at 1-0. Mendy was tested less in the second-half as the the Blues saw out their victory with relative ease, saving a Konsa header in the 73rd minute.
Trevoh Chalobah – 7/10
Chalobah made his second league start of the season, with Reece James suspended and Cesar Azpilicueta rested. The youngster had a solid first half, completing 26 of his 30 passes, and finding the midfield duo with a number of progressive passes. Chalobah was less busy in the second half, working well with Silva and Rudiger to hang on to Chelsea’s well-earned clean sheet.
Thiago Silva – 8/10
Despite speculation that the Brazilian footballing federation were set to suspend Premier League players for this weekend, a compromise between the authorities was reached, allowing Thiago Silva to make his second league start of the season. The veteran defender proved his quality and experience with an assured display, making a number of important blocks throughout the first half, including a goal saving intervention in the 25th minute, and another in the 83rd minute. Silva also evidenced his passing ability with a fine ball into Havertz early in the second half.
Antonio Rudiger – 8/10
Rudiger has become a stalwart in the Chelsea defence, benefiting greatly from Thomas Tuchel’s 3-4-3 system. The German had another solid display, making a number of clearances in the first half, and often venturing out of defence with the ball to force Chelsea up the field and continue the pressure in the Villa half. Rudiger is in talks with Chelsea for a new, improved contract, and performances like this justify those negotiations, with the defender rarely putting a foot wrong on the left of a back three.
Callum Hudson-Odoi – 7/10
Hudson-Odoi made his first league start of the season, and his first appearance since the Super Cup in August, his 100th in all competitions for the club – starting at right wing-back with Reece James suspended. The youngster showed his pace and dynamism in the first-half, although appeared somewhat hesitant to take on a Villa defender and attempt a direct dribble. After Azpilicueta’s introduction around the hour mark, Hudson-Odoi was reshuffled into the front three, allowing his attacking instincts to come to the fore, before he was replaced by Timo Werner with 10 minutes left on the clock. Hudson-Odoi will be pleased with his contribution but will be keen to increase his goals and assists tally within the squad this season.
Mateo Kovacic – 9/10
Kovacic had a fantastic game for the Blues, finding Lukaku with a perfectly weighted ball behind the Villa defence to set Chelsea away at 1-0 in the first half. Kovacic then scored his second ever league goal for Chelsea on the 49th minute, pressing high up and pouncing upon a Tyrone Mings error before finishing past Jed Steer. The Croatian was busy and productive in midfield throughout the game, happy to receive the ball from the three centre-halves before attempting a combination of dribbles and passes upfield.
Saul Niguez – 5/10
The Spaniard, making his full debut for Chelsea after signing on loan on deadline day, had an afternoon to forget, and was substituted at half-time for Jorginho, who was rested after a packed international schedule with Italy. Saul completed 31 of 37 attempted passes, but lost possession nine times and committed three fouls before he was withdrawn at the 45 minute mark.
Marcos Alonso – 7/10
Alonso captained Chelsea in his natural wing-back position, and had a relatively decent game, linking up nicely with Kai Havertz down the left flank. Alonso appeared to pick up a knock in the opening 10 minutes before recovering to contribute to the win, and could’ve ended the afternoon with a customary goal after a powerful shot was charged down late in the second half.
Kai Havertz – 7/10
Havertz started the game on the left of the attacking front three, seeking to develop an on field chemistry with Lukaku up top. The German had a relatively quiet game – struggling for space and time on the ball with Villa matching Chelsea’s formation with a 3-5-2 set up. As always, Havertz’s touch was deft and controlled, and he found himself in positions across the pitch, often chopping and changing with Hakim Ziyech in attack.
Romelu Lukaku – 9/10
Big Rom scored his first ever Chelsea goal at Stamford Bridge, his second in the league this season, with a finely taken finish on the 14th minute. The Belgian found space in behind Villa’s defence, courtesy of a fine Kovacic through ball, and made no mistake in finding the net. Big Rom was also active in the second goal – forcing a Tyrone Mings error before Kovacic netted. Lukaku then added the third and final goal, firing into the top corner after he was found by Azpilicueta near the edge of the box. Lukaku had a fine overall performance – asserting himself physically against Ezri Konza, and will be hopeful of creating more synergies with the likes of Ziyech and Havertz in the coming weeks.
Hakim Ziyech – 6/10
Ziyech made his first league start of the season, recovering from an injury picked up in the Super Cup, and also had a quiet and forgettable game. The Moroccon struggled to find room to operate in Villa’s half, and was effectively nullified by a combination of Mings and Konza. Ziyech will be keen to gather some form in the coming weeks, after a superb pre-season campaign and performance in the Super Cup win.
Jorginho – 7 
Jorginho had a confident and composed 45 minutes, linking up with goal scorer Mateo Kovacic to good effect. The Italian completed 29 of 31 attempted passes and keep things ticking in midfield.
Cesar Azpilicueta – 8 
Azpilicueta provided stability and experience in the final half an hour, operating at right wing-back, and picked up an assist with a fine pass for Lukaku to score his second and Chelsea’s third.
Timo Werner – 7 
Werner was fairly anonymous in the final 10 minutes after replacing Callum Hudson-Odoi, completing only one pass, albeit a successful one.