Soccer

Porto vs. Chelsea player ratings: Mason Mount inspires Blues to first leg win in Champions League quarters

Mason Mount was once again Chelsea’s star man as Thomas Tuchel’s side earned a 2-0 away win against Porto in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final.

In a match where Porto saw more of the half-chances and nearly dangerous moments it was Mason Mount who provided the first half’s moment of enduring class, taking Jorginho’s through ball in his stride and firing low past Agustin Marchesin. The same was no less true in the second period as Chelsea soaked up pressure without facing many truly dangerous moments before Ben Chilwell burst through in the 85th minute, rounding the goalkeeper and slotting into an empty net.

Here is how the individual players rated in Seville.

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Porto ratings

Agustin Marchesin — Goalkeeper

Not a lot of help from his backline though questionable decision making throughout the match and poor positioning nearly led to more goals. Rating: 5

Wilson Manafa — Defender

Strong opening half providing defensive coverage and pickling out passing lanes. Did well to combine with Corona and Uribe through the middle before being subbed late as Porto chased a goal. Rating: 6

Chancel Mbemba — Defender

Tasked with more physical play on the backline, mostly a clean game till issued a yellow just past the hour mark. Rating: 5

Pepe — Defender

Heavily involved in connecting with the midfield and on set pieces for the team, his attempt on target forced a save from Mendy. Rating: 6

Zaidu Sanusi — Defender

Active on the backline for the team, but got out played in the box by Mount on the opening goal for Chelsea. Rating: 5

Jesus Corona — Midfielder

Active on the ball and in dangerous spaces in the final third and tried to draw calls. Had a poor error on Chelsea’s go-ahead goal. Rating: 5

Marko Grujic — Midfielder

Strong hold up play during the match but transformed into more of an enforcer role as Chelsea began to establish their attack. Rating: 5.5

Matheus Uribe — Midfielder

Strong in the midfield early in the match. Both facilitated and disrupted play when needed, and attempted to generate attack with attempts of his own. Rating: 6

Otavio — Midfielder

Provided the build up and good combination play in the middle with Corona during the first half but was subbed out late as Porto chased the match. Rating: 6

Moussa Marega — Forward

Active in attack, going head to head with Azpilicueta, but struggled to connect on goal for the club despite his efforts. Subbed out late for fresh legs. Rating: 6

Luis Diaz — Forward

Good movement on and off the ball during the first half, involved in the build up on runs up the middle and strong maneuvering against the opposition during the second half, but no goals to show. Rating: 6

Toni Martínez — Sub 

Subbed on for Silva in the 83rd for Marenga. Rating: N/A

Francisco Conceição — Sub

Was subbed on for Firmino in the 83rd minute for Manafa. Rating: N/A

Fábio Vieira — Sub

Subbed in the 83rd minute for Otavio. Rating: N/A

Sergio Conceicao – Manager

Team was strong in formation despite getting out worked early defensively. Starting lineup played well together, which is presumably why he failed to make subs until after 80 minutes. Issued a yellow during the second half for dissent. Rating: 5

Chelsea ratings

Edouard Mendy — Goalkeeper

A smart save at his near post saved Mendy from embarrassment when it looked like Otavio’s corner was sneaking in and he also did well to get across quickly enough to deny Pepe’s header in a challenging first half. Rating: 7

Cesar Azpilicueta — Defender

Usually Azpilicueta seemed to be the man in the way of any goal bound shots on a night where he was forced to do a lot more defending than many might have expected from him. Rating: 7

Andreas Christensen — Defender

Against what was a Porto side with plenty of aerial weapons Christensen coped admirably, justifying Tuchel’s decision to pick him over Thiago Silva. Rating: 7

Antonio Rudiger — Defender

The Germany international was very nearly punished early in the second half when he let Marega run in behind and he looked the relative weak link in the Chelsea backline as the game wore on. Equally he was the one prepared to make the assertive plays, stepping forward one minute and clearing in his own box the next. Rating: 7

Reece James — Defender/Midfielder

For a right-back who is often viewed as doing his best work in possession James was impressively diligent without the ball, leading his team in tackles, clearances and ball recoveries at the interval. Rating: 8

Ben Chilwell — Defender/Midfielder (⚽ ’85)

A perfectly solid display from Chilwell, whose key task was to aid in the suppression of Corona and Zaidu down the Porto right. He did so quite impressively even if he and Werner struggled to strike up an understanding. It was just reward for his hard running throughout the night when he scored Chelsea’s second, an excellent run through the heart of the Porto defense before rounding Marchesin. Rating: 7

Jorginho — Midfielder

The Italian judged his pass to perfection to tee up Mount for the opener, waiting for Porto’s defense to come towards him before slipping the ball through with perfect precision. Rating: 7

Mateo Kovacic — Midfielder

The sort of defensive midfield performance you want in the away leg of a European tie, Kovacic was solid in possession, covered every yard he could to win the ball back but was usually some way from the spotlight. Rating: 7

Mason Mount — Forward (⚽ 32′)

His first Champions League goal was a sign of the outstanding steps Mount has taken in his development this year, a brilliant flick with his left heel before driving the ball into just the right spot. It was the stand out moment of another superb performance by the youngster, who at just 22 looks the man who Chelsea can always rely on in the biggest moments. Rating: 8

Kai Havertz — Forward

He started well enough, varying his movement and looking to dart in behind. But he did not seem to know whether he was supposed to be dropping back alongside Kovacic and Jorginho or using his height to battle the Porto defense. His performance reflected that confusion and he was lucky that the moment his pocket was picked by Pepe for an open goal would have been ruled out for offside. Rating: 4

Timo Werner — Forward

From the outset this always seemed like being a challenging game for Werner against a team that would sit deep and deny him the space he craved in behind. He did quite well to shut off Porto’s passing lanes early on but as an attacking threat he was non-existent. Rating: 4

Christian Pulisic — Forward (sub, Havertz, 65′)

Chelsea were forced further back during his 25 minute cameo and although he was often showing for the quick pass in behind it rarely came his way, his one chance seeing a powerful effort crack back off the bar. Rating: 5

Olivier Giroud — Forward (sub, Werner, 65′)

At least he proved it was not only Werner who struggled to get on the ball early on. Rating: 5

N’Golo Kante — Midfielder (sub, Mount, 80′)

He was not the defensive-minded substitute he might have seemed, instead pushing high to pressure a tiring Porto side and force the mistakes that won this game for Chelsea. Rating: 6

Thiago Silva — Defender (sub, James, 80′)

The Brazilian veteran was introduced to add ballast to the defense but was scarcely needed as Chelsea hit Porto on the counter late on. Rating: 5

Thomas Tuchel — Manager

Tuchel’s approach to his work at Chelsea is hardly all that easy on the eye but it certainly is effective. The Blues look like they could grind their way to the final moments of this competition. Rating: 7



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