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Chelsea 2-0 Nottingham Forest: Rating the Blues in comfortable victory at the Bridge | FA Cup 2019-20

SENIOR ANALYST
Feature
Published Jan 05, 2020
Jan 05, 2020 IST

Chelsea FC are into the hat, courtesy a smooth victory over the Tricky Trees
Chelsea FC are into the hat, courtesy a smooth victory over the Tricky Trees

Goals from Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ross Barkley were enough to see Chelsea through to the fourth round of the FA Cup, as they outclassed Nottingham Forest for the second season running.

They won the game and were essentially in cruise control, holding a strong foothold with the ball for the majority of it. The defence was barely called upon, and most of the blue shirts spent time venturing forward.

The goals, however, were surrounded by a couple of crucial VAR interventions; once when young Alex Mighten was fouled in the penalty area by Fikayo Tomori, only to be deemed offside after the spot-kick was awarded. The Blues were rescued by technology once again, as Ryan Yates' goal was chalked off for the same reason.

It was not a victory many would cherish as another in the Premier League or Europe, but Chelsea got the job done and ultimately, recorded their first win at Stamford Bridge since December 10.

On that note, let's rate the Chelsea players based on their masterful display against Nottingham Forest.


Willy Caballero - 6/10

Caballero, much like the defenders in front of him, had very little to do as Chelsea spent most of the time in the opposition half. All he had to do was gobble up one effort straight at him.

Reece James - 9/10

Reece James at times today, was simply unplayable Jorginho
Reece James at times today, was simply unplayable Jorginho

It is no exaggeration that Reece James has got some of the deadliest deliveries in the division. As many as five times, he perfectly picked the run of Batshuayi, be it in between the Forest centre-halves or towards a daunting path inside the penalty area.

He played fearlessly, also applying all his skill on both ends of the pitch. Physically, he was simply unbeatable, as he was against Brighton and Hove Albion last weekend.

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Fikayo Tomori - 6/10

Tomori, in his breakthrough season, has shown a lot of promise in all aspects of his defensive game. But at times, his passing and decision-making ask more questions than answers of himself.

The rough nudge was simply abysmal, and luckily for him, it was not awarded a penalty. He will definitely learn with time, but as of now, it's understandable why Antonio Rudiger and Kurt Zouma are Lampard's preferred centre-back choices.

Andreas Christensen - 7/10

Andreas Christensen put in a peerless, neat and tidy display at the heart of the defence. There was little fuss about the way he went on, as he had very little to do. The youngster was aggressive and tight on the opposition forwards, rewarding his midfielders with early and clean tackles.

Emerson - 6/10

Emerson hardly spent any time in his own half, and amid a difficult phase in his career, applied himself smartly while linking up with Pedro and the midfielders. He occupied some fantastic positions, but squandered a few crossing opportunities.

Clearly, though, there was a difference in the standards of supply from the full-backs.

Mateo Kovacic - 7/10

Kovacic had yet another sound game in midfield, as he most importantly, manned key positions to make himself available and spray passes all across the pitch. He kept it close to his teammates and acted as a cohesive force in the middle.

Jorginho - 7/10

Jorginho
Jorginho

Yet another day, yet another spectacle of bossing the midfield from Jorginho. He was there to mop up danger time and time again, churn out the ball from end to end throughout and run the game all on his own.

Ross Barkley - 7.5/10

It was great to see a player of his potential get on the scoresheet on his first start since mid-October. Barkley was strong in possession, but not industrious.

Could have handled the press better or picked passes earlier. He kept hold of it for too long, while also failing to bring the others around him into play. His defensive and technical contribution, however, was brilliant.

Callum Hudson-Odoi - 9/10

Callum Hudson-Odoi was simply electric. The winger ran at the opposition full-backs at will, injected pace into proceedings and cut inside decisively.

He was ever-so-lively, and while there are purists criticising him for his recent run of form, Hudson-Odoi responded brilliantly. The control he had for his goal was simply sublime as well.

Pedro - 5/10

Pedro was safe in possession, but here we're speaking of a player who can't leave defenders in their wake anymore. The Spaniard had a lot of green grass ahead of him many a time, but often failed to carve open the opposition backline.

Michy Batshuayi - 3/10

Batshuayi did everything a hungry striker should, apart from putting the ball into the back of the net. And he should have no complaints either, with the likes of James, Mount and Pedro providing a host of delightful balls into his path.

The Belgian should really have slotted one or two against a second division outfit, given the service he received.


Substitutes

Mason Mount - 5.5/10

Mason Mount got into the thick of action straightaway, linking up with all the forward players and bringing in a unique vein of energy with and without the ball. However, you just get a feeling the midfielder's distribution, sharpness and direct contributions, therefore, have deteriorated.

Tariq Lamptey - NA

Played too little to be rated. Not too flashy, not too bad.

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