Player Ratings: Chelsea 7-0 Norwich City | Premier League – Sports Illustrated

Chelsea hosted Norwich City in the Premier League early kickoff, with hopes of extending their league at the top of the table before Man City travel to Brighton, and Liverpool face Man Utd on Sunday. 

With Timo Werner, Romelu Lukaku, Christian Pulisic and N’Golo Kante unavailable, the Blues deployed a rotated starting XI, sticking with the 3-4-3 shape. 

The Blues totally dominated proceedings, a huge boost to team confidence ahead of a busy period – going 3-0 up at half-time with goals from three different Cobham graduates, and 63% possession. Chelsea then added the fourth and fifth within 20 minutes of the second half from similar positions – with Ben Gibson’s dismissal for two bookable offences in the 65th minute compounding the visitor’s misery, before adding another two through Mason Mount.

Chelsea dominated the game from start to finish – and the 7-0 score did not flatter the Blues, with 23 shots to Norwich’s three, 13 on target to their one. The Blues now sit four points clear at the top of the league with 22 points from nine games, and this performance will increase confidence and momentum moving forward. 


Edouard Mendy – 8/10

Mendy, after a world-class display away at Brentford last week, was tested far less against fellow Premier League newcomers Norwich. The Senegalese keeper was forced into a last-ditch slide tackle in the 53rd minute to prevent Milot Rashica and preserve his clean sheet, but, other than this, he had a quiet afternoon. Mendy has now kept 21 clean sheets in his last 39 Premier League games, the best record of any keeper in the division with over 10 starts – illustrating his immense importance to the team’s defensive element. 

Antonio Rudiger – 8/10

Rudiger returned to the starting XI after his absence against Brentford, and was characteristically adventurous with his runs forward out of defence, roaming into the opposition half, and winning another penalty in the 80th minute after his shot was blocked with an illegal handball. With speculation increasing regarding Rudiger’s contract situation, the club will be keen to tie up a new deal sooner rather than later, given the unique contribution Rudiger can provide in both defence and attack. 

Thiago Silva – 8/10

The Brazilian veteran was composed and assured in the middle of the back three, completing 49/52 passes in the first half to build up play from the defensive areas into midfield and attack. The defence was tested less after Norwich went down to ten men, and saw out the afternoon without any real challenge from the opponents attackers. 

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Trevoh Chalobah – 7.5/10

The 22-year-old made his fifth league start of the season on the right of the back three, and had a relatively quiet game, untested by the Norwich attackers in their 3-5-2 approach. Chalobah kept his fourth clean sheet in five games, and has established a solid partnership with Rudiger in defence. 

Ben Chilwell – 8.5/10

After featuring as an unused substitute in the first six game weeks, Chilwell has dislodged Marcos Alonso in the starting XI in the left wing-back role, after excellent goals against Southampton and Brentford in recent weeks. Chilly justified his inclusion with a brilliant goal on in the 56th minute to make it 4-0, his fourth goal in as many games for club and country, and almost got another in the 71st minute after hitting the crossbar. Chilwell is a man on fire right now, and is loving his football for both Chelsea and England

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Mateo Kovacic – 8.5/10

Kova was lively in midfield throughout – and provided a lovely assist for the second goal, a similar pass to the one that set Lukaku free versus Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge last month, as well as the assist for Chilwell in the second-half. The Croatian now has five assists in the league, the highest tally in the Chelsea squad, and appears to be enjoying some of his best football in West London since joining in the summer of 2018. 

Jorginho – 8.5/10

Jorginho returned to the starting XI after being rested for the Brentford clash, starting in the ‘Jovacic’ midfield pivot. The Italian kept things ticking in the middle of the park, playing 54 accurate passes in the first half, including the assist for Mount’s opener. Jorginho had the most touches (68), most passes in the final third (20) and won the most duels (5) in the opening 45 minutes to assert Chelsea’s dominance in the game. The midfielder was replaced in the 63rd minute by Ruben Loftus-Cheek, with one eye on the packed schedule ahead. 

Reece James – 8/10

James made his first league start since the Liverpool game at Anfield in game week three, and scored his second goal of the season with a beautiful chip over Tim Krul in the 42nd minute to make it 3-0, after bagging away at Arsenal in August. James was not particularly tested defensively, and was instead able to focus on attacking runs, such as the one from which he scored. 

Callum Hudson-Odoi – 9/10

Hudson-Odoi started his third league game of the season, on the left of the attacking three in Timo Werner’s absence. The youngster scored his first goal since January with a powerful finish past Tim Krul in the 18th minute, becoming Chelsea’s 17th different scorer this season – capitalizing on his opportunity in the starting 11. The attacker was energetic and proactive throughout, and forced the fifth goal on the 62nd minute after some poor goalkeeping from Tim Krul, who failed to parry his shot – Max Aarons the unlucky own goal scorer. Hudson-Odoi was replaced by Hakim Ziyech with just over 20 minutes left – Tuchel will surely be impressed by this display, central to Chelsea’s victory, which came with relative ease. 

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Kai Havertz – 6/10

Havertz, in the centre-forward role, struggled to find space in behind Norwich’s defence in the first half, frustrated by the physicality of the Canary’s three centre-backs. The German lost possession 10 times, and was subbed off for Ross Barkley in the 69th minute. Havertz will surely be afforded another chance in next week’s Carabao Cup tie versus Southampton, and will be eager to impact that game with goals and/or assists. 

Mason Mount – 9.5/10

Mount started on the right of the offensive line, and opened the scoring in the 7th minute with a low right-footed drive from outside the box – his first goal in all competitions this season. Mount then provided the assist for compatriot Reece James in the 42nd minute to make it 3-0, a superbly weighted through ball in behind the Norwich backline. After missing a penalty in the 82nd minute, Mount retook the penalty after Krul lurched off his line, and converted to double his tally, and secured his first ever hattrick for the club in the final minute – an easy finish from a Loftus-Cheek pass. A world-class performance from Chelsea’s Player of the Year. 


Bench

Ruben Loftus-Cheek (63) – 8/10

Loftus-Cheek was unlucky not to start after a fabulous performance away at Brentford, and was given just over 20 minutes with the Blues already 5-0 up. The midfielder played in Mount for Chelsea’s seventh goal, his second assist of the season, and looked powerful and confident in the centre of the park. 

Hakim Ziyech (69) – 6/10

After Tuchel revealed Ziyech hadn’t 100% recovered from a shoulder injury sustained in August, the Moroccan was subbed on for Callum Hudson-Odoi with Chelsea cruising in the game. The attacker was keen to get on the scoresheet, but was denied by a series of Krul saves. With Werner and Lukaku out, Ziyech could get another chance in the starting Xi next week versus Southampton 

Ross Barkley (69) – 7/10 

Barkley evidenced his ability to impact a game off the bench in the 3-1 win over Southampton, playing in the pre-assist for Timo Werner’s goal to make it 2-1, and was given some minutes in the second half, replacing Havertz. The midfielder was unlucky not to score in the 79th minute, after finding himself in a great position to test Krul, and appears to have overtaken loanee Saul in the midfield pecking order. 


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