Koulibaly limited as Chelsea’s aging defence exploited


Chelsea began 2023 with a disappointing 1-1 draw towards Nottingham Forest on the City Ground on Sunday.

Raheem Sterling opened the scoring within the sixteenth minute, after a ball contested by Willy Boly and Kai Havertz got here again off the woodwork and fell to the ft of the England worldwide to faucet in, though the Blues had been unable to construct on that momentum. Serge Aurier equalised shortly after the hour mark, and the guests had been pressured to accept a degree, which leaves them eighth within the Premier League desk.


Chelsea constructed up some beautiful passages of play from the very starting, even when they did not all the time result in goal-scoring alternatives. Sterling’s objective got here from the Blues’ first massive likelihood of the sport, displaying a welcomed scientific edge.


Despite the guests’ optimistic play within the early phases, it was Forest attacker Brennan Johnson who created the primary notable alternative. There had been durations when it was far too simple for the hosts to interrupt ahead and get behind Chelsea’s defence, with the second half being particularly regarding as Forest ultimately received stage.

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Manager score out of 10

Graham Potter, 6 — The supervisor caught with the gamers who had impressed towards Bournemouth, and initially noticed a optimistic show from his staff, however he did not do a lot to vary the sport as it slipped away from Chelsea with an underwhelming second half. His triple change shifted the momentum once more, however it wasn’t sufficient to earn a winner.

Player scores (1-10; 10 = finest; gamers launched after 70 minutes get no score)

GK Kepa Arrizabalaga, 7 — Stood up effectively to save lots of Johnson’s shot after the Wales worldwide had damaged by way of. Made a reasonably comfy save to disclaim Taiwo Awoniyi, then denied Johnson once more moments later. Was given no likelihood when he was ultimately crushed.

DF Cesar Azpilicueta, 5 — Put in an important block to disclaim Morgan Gibbs-White and had a shot of his personal from vary deflected extensive. Struggled within the second half as he could not sustain with Johnson when he ran behind, then received booked for a foul on Renan Lodi. Couldn’t get shut sufficient to Aurier to disclaim the equaliser.

DF Kalidou Koulibaly, 4 — Moved the ball impressively within the first half, organising probabilities for Mason Mount and Christian Pulisic. However, he actually struggled to take care of Awoniyi, particularly when he was pressured into wider areas.

DF Thiago Silva, 7 — Showed his expertise by expertly reducing out Awoniyi’s cross and halting Gibbs-White’s burst ahead. Also performed some formidable passes to make life awkward for Forest’s defenders.

DF Marc Cucurella, 6 — Did effectively to maintain Johnson from navigating into the channels in a reasonably strong defensive show, and was additionally concerned in some good link-up play with Pulisic.

MF Denis Zakaria, 6 — Had his endurance examined by Ryan Yates however continued to place in a formidable first-half show in the course of the pitch, particularly when holding off the opposition. However, he could not have the identical impression after the break.

MF Jorginho, 6 — Played some good passes, together with one to Sterling within the build-up to an opportunity for Mount, however there have been occasions the place he was too simply taken out of the sport.

MF Mason Mount, 7 — The former Derby County loanee wasn’t afraid to become involved within the combative facet of the sport, though he additionally confirmed high quality with a superbly weighted cross to Pulisic within the build-up to the opener. Made an important block to disclaim Gibbs-White.

FW Raheem Sterling, 7 — Wasn’t all the time on the identical wavelength as his teammates within the early phases however picked out Mount effectively within the field, then scored the opener with a scientific end. Was dispossessed by Boly then gave away a free kick on the sting of his personal field as he pale out of the sport.

FW Kai Havertz, 5 — Dropped deep to hyperlink play properly and confirmed good presence at occasions, however he was responsible of offering a unfastened contact within the field on a few events to waste promising openings. His unconvincing header made issues troublesome for Forest’s equaliser.

FW Christian Pulisic, 6 — Often gave Forest’s defenders actual issues every time he received them right into a one-on-one scenario, beating Joe Worrall with ease and delivering the cross that led to the opener, whereas Aurier additionally struggled towards him. Hit a weak shot from a promising place and was outjumped by Boly for the equaliser.


MF Mateo Kovacic, 5 — Replaced Zakaria within the 61st minute and wasn’t in a position to do something to maintain Forest from equalising simply two minutes later.

FW Hakim Ziyech, N/R — Looked most probably to make issues occur, delivering an exquisite cross that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang did not convert.

MF Conor Gallagher, N/R — Immediately regarded to get on the ball upon his introduction, taking part in some good passes ahead, however to no avail.

FW Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, N/R — Tried to make issues occur however did not hit the goal together with his header from Ziyech’s beautiful cross.

FW Carney Chukwuemeka, N/R — Couldn’t discover a approach to assist Chelsea to a winner after his late introduction.


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