Mason Mount was outstanding as Chelsea beat FC Porto 2-0 in the UEFA Champions League quarter-final first leg on Wednesday.
FC Porto were the stronger of the two sides in the early exchanges and fashioned a number of openings, only to be thwarted time and again, either by strong defending or some fantastic work in goal by Edouard Mendy. Their inability to breach the Chelsea goal would ultimately haunt the “hosts” as the Blues went ahead just past the half-hour mark.
The goal came courtesy a fantastic turn and finish by Mason Mount, who scored his maiden UEFA Champions League goal. Porto continued to push for a goal thereafter, only to be left dismayed time and again while on the opposite end, Chelsea also had their chances to extend their lead.
The second and final goal of the game came late on, as Ben Chilwell pounced on a stray pass by Jesus Corona before rounding off Agustin Marchesin and complete a big win. The two away goals in their kitty give Chelsea a major advantage ahead of the return leg, once again at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Thomas Tuchel’s men.
Edouard Mendy: 8/10
After conceding five goals on the weekend, this was Mendy being back to his best to earn a very important clean sheet, not just for him, but also for Chelsea. The Senegalese goalkeeper made five saves in the game, with the ones to deny Moussa Marega and Pepe standing out. Did not lose the ball cheaply either. Needs to keep this up.
Edouard Mendy vs Porto (A):
5 saves from inside the box
2 high claims
28 completed passes (84.8%)
4/9 completed long balls
A very good all-round display. pic.twitter.com/IE4x4yWx6r
— ExpectedChelsea (@ExpectedChelsea) April 7, 2021
Cesar Azpilicueta: 7/10
Azpilicueta, too, needed to step up in the midweek fixture and that is exactly what he did. The leader in him was back to his very best, as the Chelsea captain galvanized those around him and remained disciplined all throughout. Played a big role in ensuring Mendy was not overly busy in the goal. An all action performance saw him make 3 blocks, 2 clearances, 2 tackles and 1 interception.
Andreas Christensen: 7/10
A solid showing by Christensen, who looked up for the physical battle with Marega. Made 5 clearances while winning as many duels in the air, where he was particularly dominant. On the ball, though, there were some sloppy moments, although Chelsea were not hurt by those. Decent enough hence.
Antonio Rudiger: 7/10
Back in the side after being involved in a training ground bust-up, Rudiger produced a purposeful performance at the back, making some important interventions as well as producing 5 clearances. Progressed Chelsea forward smartly, although there were some moments of wastefulness. Bailed out by Mendy after losing Marega on one instance.
Reece James: 7/10
There were a few negatives to go with the positives for Reece James against Porto, but the latter far outweighed the poor moments. The English international did have his fair share of nervy moments against Luis Diaz, but he soon started holding his own defensively. Carried a threat going forward and sent some dangerous crosses into the box, only for them to not be met by a teammate.
Jorginho made a slow start to the game, perhaps continuing his hangover from the match this past weekend. However, after finding his feet around the half-hour mark, the Italian international did well to assert Chelsea’s control on the game and played the pass to Mason Mount before the brilliance was unleashed by the Chelsea academy graduate. Completed 93 percent of his passes.
Mateo Kovacic: 7/10
A solid performance by Kovacic, who worked his socks off in the defensive phases to help out the defence, winning 3 duels. Saw a lot of the ball and utilised it quite well, playing a team-high 2 key passes while linking up superbly with Mount. Also had a role to play in the build-up to the goal that Ben Chilwell scored.
Ben Chilwell: 8/10
A memorable evening for Chilwell, who scored in the UEFA Champions League for the first time in his career. The English international was a major outlet down the left flank, although there were a few sloppy moments on the ball. Put in a shift defensively however, winning 8 duels while making 4 clearances, 3 tackles and 2 interceptions. Did well for his goal, rounding off Agustin Marchesin before scoring.
Mason Mount: 9/10
Those in front of him faltered for the most part, but Mount stood out once again for Chelsea. The Englishman opened his account in the Champions League, just like Chilwell did later on in the game and the moment leading up to the goal was simply brilliant, with his excellent pirouette opening up a world of space for him to shoot and beat Marchesin.
22 – Mason Mount has become @ChelseaFC‘s youngest ever goalscorer in a UEFA Champions League knockout match (22y 87d). His goal was from the Blues’ first shot of the evening. Emergence. pic.twitter.com/9Ejz4sr2Is
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 7, 2021
Timo Werner: 5/10
Yet another unconvincing showing by Werner, who hardly managed to get a look-in in the final third. Yes, Porto were in control for several parts of the game and that meant the ball did not reach Werner all that much, but the German international did not show the urgency either by dropping deep. Managed to attempt just seven passes and his only shot was off target.
Kai Havertz: 5/10
A sub-par display by Havertz, who could not manage to get himself into the game at all. Despite leading the line for Chelsea, the German international could not muster up a single shot and did not create a chance either. Has to step up if he is to keep his place in the side.
Christian Pulisic: 6/10
A livewire after replacing Werner, Pulisic came close to scoring late on, but could only smash the woodwork. Might just be in for a start this weekend.
Olivier Giroud: 5/10
On for Havertz, Giroud hardly saw the ball in the final 25 minutes, managing just 5 touches. Unsurprisingly managed no shot at goal.
N’Golo Kante: N/A
On for Mount, Kante got some valuable minutes to get his sharpness back after returning from an injury.
Thiago Silva: N/A
On for James with 10 minutes to go, Silva cleaned up well late on to help see the game out.
Emerson Palmieri: N/A
A late introduction, Emerson helped see the game out.