The group stage encounter between Chelsea and Atletico turned out to be a cracker of a contest with the Blues emerging as the deserving winners in injury time. This was the first Champions League game for the Rojiblancos in their new stadium and Conte’s Blues spoiled the party winning 2-1.
Conte slightly altered his preferred 3-4-3 formation playing the third midfielder in the form of Fabregas while a free role was given to Hazard to play behind and link up with striker Morata. Here are the Chelsea individual ratings –
Thibaut Courtois (GK) – 7
The Belgian shotstopper had to make certain crucial saves from shots fired by Koke. He was calm and composed throughout the game and distributed the ball very well from the back. He couldn’t save the penalty but with Griezmann taking the shot, he can hardly be blamed for that.
Cesar Azpiliqueta (RCB) – 8
The Blues vice-captain was his reliant self in the game making forward runs when required and taking one on one efforts against the Atletico attackers when they came forward.
David Luiz (CB) – 5
The Brazilian was sent off against Arsenal and it was expected that he would’ve learned his lesson but his shirt pull leading to a penalty proved otherwise. Defensively he was decent but he needs to control his antics.
Gary Cahill (LCB) – 7
Made decent clearances and vital blocks throughout the game. The captain had a good match.
Victor Moses (RWB) – 7
The Nigerian international was beaten quite a few times defensively by Correa and Carrasco but he was a threat going forward.
N’Golo Kante (CDM) – 8
The little Frenchman was a constant worry up the nose of the of the Atletico midfield. The powerhouse midfielder has added to his gameplay, an attacking aspect and that has made him an even bigger threat.
Tiemoue Bakayako (CDM) – 7
N’Golo Kante’s fellow countrymen was a more than able partner in intercepting play. He was dominating in the centre of the park and made some crucial passes. He did make of a couple of silly mistakes like tripping over Torres in the penalty box which could have lost the match for Chelsea.
Marcus Alonso (LWB) – 7
The Spaniard combined well with Eden Hazard on the left side of the pitch. He was a threat going forward but often left the back door open for Atletico’s wide wingers to take advantage.
Cesc Fabregas (CM) – 6
The genius passer had somewhat of an off day. Having been given a Pirlo like role, the30-year-old Spaniard was expected to make some of his trademark passes but he couldn’t succeed. He even missed the easiest of opportunities in front of the goal which would have given the Blues a lead in the 63rd minute.
Eden Hazard (Free role) – 9
The Belgian superstar had an amazing day and was the best Blues player on the pitch. He made encouraging runs and also assisted the opener. He looked very sharp and showed no signs that this was his first major start. He was very unlucky to hit the post and probably deserved a goal for his performance.
Alvaro Morata (Striker) – 8
The Blues number nine had an amazing day in Madrid. He looked sharp and hungry from the word go and scored a delightful header from an Eden Hazard cross. He completely bossed the Atletico defence which is regarded as one of the best in Europe.
Willian – 6
Came in the 82nd minute for Eden Hazard and was instrumental in the winning goal.
Michy Batshuayi – 7
The Belgian is making a habit of scoring late winners after that title-winning effort against West Brom. His winner in the 93rd minute will be remembered fondly.
Andreas Christensen – 6
The young Dane was calm and composed in the dying minutes of the match keeping the Atletico attack at bay.