Chelsea 2 Arsenal 0: Player ratings as Cazorla and Gabriel see red

Player ratings as Chelsea beat nine-man Arsenal at Stamford Bridge

By Steven Prince

Chelsea

Asmir Begovic An easy afternoon for the Bosnian, which was made even easier once Arsenal were reduced to 10 and then nine men. 7/10

Branislav Ivanovic The stand-in skipper looks miles away from his former powerful self but the right-back defended admirably while still looking to commit himself further forward to aid attacks. 7

Kurt Zouma (Man of the match) The young French defender was head and shoulders above his partner at the heart of the Chelsea backline. A stellar performance which included speculative long-range strikes, great challenges on the visitors’ attackers and the opening goal in the game. 9

Gary Cahill The masked centre-back was overshadowed by the impressive Zouma. He was not as commanding was he usually is, but that could be due to his facial injury as he almost let Sanchez grab an equaliser. 7

Cesar Azpilicueta While looking far more comfortable at right back in midweek, the Spanish international attacked brightly in the first half while keeping the frame of mind to maintain a strong defensive shape with his other three defenders. 7

Nemanja Matic The imposing figure of the giant midfielder rarely featured during the game as he maintained his controlled position in front of the back four. Calm on the ball while strong in the tackle. 7

Cesc Fabregas The former Arsenal captain flighted a beautiful ball onto the onrushing Zouma to give Chelsea the lead. He may not be at the heady heights of last season yet, but the midfielder looks on course to return to a similar level. 7

Pedro Rodriguez The new recruit in the transfer window wasted the best chance of the first half but struggled to get into the game. 6

Oscar A strong all-round performance from the midfielder who showed that he is able to fuse the guile of an attacking-minded player with steeliness and graft. However, he did pick up an avoidable yellow card. 7

Eden Hazard The Belgian was heavily involved in the second goal, as it hangs in the balance of the dubious goals panel’s decision to whether he is credited with it or not. More pleasing for the Chelsea faithful will be the flashes of last season’s player of the year on display, ready to get his season underway. 8

Diego Costa An industrious opening 40 minutes was ruined by his clear anger issues. He should have been sent off for lashing out at Laurent Koscielny. He ruined the game and he is a cancer in English football which requires immediate chemotherapy. 0

Substitutes

Ramires The regular hustle and bustle from the Brazilian, but very little substance on the ball. 5

John Obi Mikel No time to make an impact. N/A

Loic Remy The substitute had one key involvement in the match after coming on with 10 minutes to go which was the set up Hazard for the second goal. 7

Arsenal

Petr Cech The goalkeeper who spent 10 seasons at Chelsea made a number of vital saves from Pedro and was faultless for both Chelsea goals. 7

Hector Bellerin The 20-year-old full-back is a greater attacking threat. But he needs to remember that he is also a defensive player. A number of stray passes put his side in danger over the course of the game. 5

Gabriel Until his bizarre decision to get involved in the Koscielny and Costa fracas, the central defender was playing well, standing up well to the attacking threat of the hosts. But you cannot be so petulant at the highest level and he cost his side the game. 2

Laurent Koscielny The senior figure of Arsenal’s back four played well but the rash challenges of yesteryear which were synonymous with his game were at times still visible. He gains the more from playing alongside Mertesacker. 6

Nacho Monreal A mixed display from the Spaniard who showed some great touches but then would get caught in possession running the ball out in dangerous positions. 6

Francis Coquelin An injury sustained midway through the first half cut short the defensive midfielder’s game. 6

Santi Cazorla Rash challenges while on a yellow card are never a sensible idea. Arsene Wenger needs to understand that this midfielder cannot play as a defensive or holding midfielder. 4

Aaron Ramsey A standard performance from the Welsh midfielder with the runs into the box and clever, intricate passes but faded into obscurity after Arsenal’s reduction in players. 6

Mesut Özil A strong start was curtailed on the stroke of half-time with the first red card. A player who costs £42m cannot be so peripheral. 5

Alexis Sanchez The Chilean let Zouma run unchallenged into the box to score the opener while missing a golden opportunity at 1-0 to equalise. He is unrecognisable from the player of last term. 5

Theo Walcott The forward carried Arsenal’s greatest attacking threat, putting Chelsea’s defence under pressure with his blistering pace. After the sending off, he lacked the physical presence to hold the ball up and allow his side to get out from defensive positions. 7

Substitutes

Olivier Giroud The Frenchman struggled to get into the game and had very little to feed off of. 6

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain The midfielder tried to get into the game but unfortunately his side were down to nine men for the majority of his time on the pitch. 6

Calum Chambers The defender came on for the injured Coquelin and looked strong at centre-half. He was not afraid to stand up to Costa and was unlucky to deflect the second goal passed Cech. 7

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