Chelsea player ratings: Kovacic and Barkley offer little but Hazard and Loftus-Cheek produce energy off the bench to turn the game around

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CHELSEA snatched all three points at Cardiff thanks to late goals from Cesar Azpilicueta and Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

However the 2-1 win covered an otherwise lacklustre performance by Maurizio Sarri’s side as they offered little creativity or energy in Wales.

Chelsea snatched all three points thanks to late goals from Cesar Azpilicueta and Ruben Loftus-Cheek
Chelsea snatched all three points thanks to late goals from Cesar Azpilicueta and Ruben Loftus-Cheek
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Here’s how SunSport rated the performances of Sarri’s players.

KEPA ARRIZABALAGA

Was quick off his line when needed but was not troubled before the goal, which was unsaveable. Flapped at a corner on the hour mark but got away with it.

MARCOS ALONSO

Had a golden chance to put Chelsea one up just before half-time as Willian fizzed the ball in but the left-back failed to adjust his body and his right-footed effort whizzed past. Carelessly held onto Sean Morrison’s shirt on 32 minutes and got away with conceding a penalty, but set up Chelsea’s equaliser with a flick on header.

ANTONIO RUDIGER

Saw a speculative effort drift way wide in the first 15 minutes, looking to start attacks with balls down the middle. Was more than fortunate not to be sent off after taking down Kenneth Zohore who was racing through on goal.

Rudigier was more than fortunate not to be sent off after taking down Kenneth Zohore who was racing through on goal.
Rudigier was more than fortunate not to be sent off after taking down Kenneth Zohore who was racing through on goal.
Rex Features

DAVID LUIZ

Commanding in the air but shy of the creative passing that has seen him become a favourite of Maurizio Sarri.

CESAR AZPILICUETA

One on one battle with Junior Hoilett all game and saw his right hand side exposed at times after drifting into the middle too often. Reacted well to head home an equaliser after Alonso flicked the ball on.

JORGINHO

Kept the ball well enough but rarely found a killer pass from deep. Failed to track the run of Victor Camarasa in behind too often.

Midfielder Mateo Kovacic offered little all game
Midfielder Mateo Kovacic offered little all game
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MATEO KOVACIC

String of misplaced passes, caught on the ball at times and looked one or two steps off the mark. Made no attempts to get forward into the box and create an attack bar one wild effort.

ROSS BARKLEY

Lacked creativity on and off the ball, and a shadow of the player that shone for England in Montenegro at the start on the week.

WILLIAN

Looked positive on the ball cutting in from the left and came close with a free kick that just sailed wide in the first-half. Came close with a left-footed drilled effort that grazed past the post on 74 minutes and saw his performance rewarded after setting up Loftus-Cheek to score the winner.

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Willain was arguably Chelsea’s most creative player all game[/caption]

GONZALO HIGUAIN

Looked slow to react when the ball was fed to his feet, lacked the creative runs off the ball otherwise his best asset of recent games. Replaced by Olivier Giroud on 77 minutes after a frustrating game.

PEDRO

The closest player to Camarassa when he volleyed the opener, but could not react to get across to pick the scorer up. After a quiet 50 minutes was replaced by Eden Hazard.

SUBS

EDEN HAZARD

Replaced Pedro on 52 minutes and instantly looked to make an impact with runs on and off the ball.

Sub Hazard was full of life when he came on in replace of Perdo
Sub Hazard was full of life when he came on in replace of Perdo
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RUBEN LOFTUS-CHEEK

Came on for Jorginho on 63 minutes and charged into the box but picking up the ball Hazard failed to get a shot off. Headed home the winner from a Willian cross to snatch all three points.

OLIVIER GIROUD

Came on for Higuain on 77 minutes but did not have too much impact.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek came off the bench to score the winner
Ruben Loftus-Cheek came off the bench to score the winner
Reuters

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