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Player Ratings: Chelsea 3-0 AC Milan | Champions League

Joel Middleton

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Player Ratings: Chelsea 3-0 AC Milan | Champions League

Chelsea's Champions League campaign sparked into life after a 3-0 rout over AC Milan at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday evening.

The Blues blew away the Italian champions, making an emphatic statement and getting their first win of the group stage.

A succession of Chelsea corners midway through the first period saw Romanian goalkeeper Ciprian Tătăruşanu deny the indomitable Thiago Silva on a number of occasions before Wesley Fofana pounced on a rebound for his first goal for the Blues in the 24th minute.

Chelsea manager Graham Potter on the touchline during the UEFA Champions League Group E match at Stamford Bridge, London (PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo)
Chelsea manager Graham Potter on the touchline during the UEFA Champions League Group E match at Stamford Bridge, London (PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo)

Graham Potter will have been fairly pleased at the interval having seen his side dominate in the main after a slow start, although there really should have been a larger gulf in the scoreline. The loss of goalscorer Fofana to injury too was a blight on a positive first 45.

If Potter was pleased at the break, he will have been over the moon when all was said and done. Reece James put it on a dime for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the 56th minute before rifling home himself no more than five minutes later.

Such a victory in dominating fashion will be a huge confidence boost ahead of the visit of Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday. In the meantime, here is how Absolute Chelsea rated the performance on Wednesday night.

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Kepa Arrizabalaga - 7/10

His save on the stroke of half-time was anything but straight-forward, with the Spaniard showing a strong hand and catlike reflexes from point blank range. While scarcely troubled otherwise, that moment felt decisive in the final analysis. His confidence and command of the area is night and day from that seen before Edouard Mendy was brought into the club.

Wesley Fofana - 7/10 [37]

Stern test up against the Chelsea-linked Rafael Leao and he met that test for the most part in his short time on the pitch, save for one or two lapses in judgment. At the other end, however, he showed great composure to carve out space in a crowded Milan penalty area to fire the Blues into the lead. Fans will be hoping his knee injury is not serious and wishing the Frenchman a speedy recovery.

Thiago Silva - 8/10

Captain for the evening against his former club and he showed the Italians he is every bit as superb as he was back then, if not markedly better. Excellent at mopping up at the back, particularly at times when his peers were making mistakes and they needed bailing out. There was a five minute period in the first half where he played like a character with a power-up in a video game, with the Brazilian proving pivotal in the Pensioners' opener.

Reece James of Chelsea during the UEFA Champions League group stage match between Chelsea and AC Milan at Stamford Bridge, London (UK Sports Pics Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo)
Reece James of Chelsea during the UEFA Champions League group stage match between Chelsea and AC Milan at Stamford Bridge, London (UK Sports Pics Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo)

Kalidou Koulibaly - 6/10

Very aggressive - to a fault more often than not, conceding unnecessary fouls. While his passing was generally okay, it is hard to shake the uneasy feeling when the Senegalese giant is in possession at the back. A certain German used to make Blues fans feel that way too once, before he stepped his game up a level. One hopes the same will apply here.

Reece James - 9/10

This was box office Reece James. Sharp and incisive, the young Englishman effectively owned the right flank for the night. He used that licence to bomb forward, putting it on a plate for Aubameyang before crashing home a trademark thunderbolt of his own. Fofana and then Trevoh Chalobah were left to nullify Leao's menace without a great deal of help, but his devastating talents are clearly better served at the top end of the field.

Mateo Kovacic - 7/10 [67]

The Croat has not been at the races as of late, but this was much more what Blues fans are accustomed to. Demonstrated plenty of battle and fleet-footedness.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek - 8/10

The Lewisham lad was the standout performer in the middle of the park. His sheer physicality and steel made his inclusion entirely merited. Il Diavolo could not live with him as the match wore on. Provided some much-needed reinforcement to a Blues' midfield which has been more permeable than a bag of gravel thus far this campaign.

uben Loftus-Cheek of Chelsea and Charles De Ketelaere of AC Milan during the UEFA Champions League group stage match between Chelsea and AC Milan at Stamford Bridge, London (UK Sports Pics Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo)
uben Loftus-Cheek of Chelsea and Charles De Ketelaere of AC Milan during the UEFA Champions League group stage match between Chelsea and AC Milan at Stamford Bridge, London (UK Sports Pics Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo)

Ben Chilwell - 7/10

A really disciplined and quietly classy performance from a man continuing to go from strength to strength as he returns from a long-term lay-off. His denigrators will say he is risk-averse, but he showed plenty of intent to drive at the Milan defence tonight.

Mason Mount - 7/10 [75]

Much more direct on the evening than he has been in recent times, and it was a better performance for it. An early sight of goal from distance drew a good save before he was unlucky to see his impressive finish at an acute angle ruled out for offside.

Raheem Sterling - 6/10 [75]

While he kept Fodé Ballo-Touré honest, his decision-making was questionable at best. Far too guilty of carrying the ball for too long on a multitude of occasions and far too guilty of being the reason for Chelsea offensives grinding to a shuddering halt. His composure to find colleague James for the Blues' third is an obvious exception to the rule, although it only adds gloss to what was a tough night at the races by his lofty standards.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang - 7/10 [65]

Cut an isolated and lonely figure for the most part, yet his willingness to work hard, commit to duels and drop deep to link-up the play was readily apparent throughout the match. The effort and commitment will help the Gabonese endear himself to the Stamford Bridge faithful in short order - and keeping the goals ticking over as he has will help, too.

Chelsea's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrates scoring their side's second goal of the game during the UEFA Champions League Group E match at Stamford Bridge, London (PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo)
Chelsea's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrates scoring their side's second goal of the game during the UEFA Champions League Group E match at Stamford Bridge, London (PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo)

Bench

Trevoh Chalobah - 6/10 [37]

Not an easy task to come in cold early in a game on any given night, but certainly no mean feat up against Leao, either. In that respect, he performed admirably all told.

Conor Gallagher - 6/10 [65]

Brought plenty of vim, vigour and energy to proceedings as the Pensioners eased to the win.

Jorginho - 6/10 [67]

The Italian kept it neat and tidy, impressing control upon the tie and helping to manage a coast to the finish for Graham Potter's men.

Kai Havertz - N/A [75]

Armando Broja - N/A [75]

Featured Image Credit: Paul Terry / Sportimage (Alamy)

Topics: Chelsea, AC Milan, Champions League, Football

Joel Middleton
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