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Winners & Losers

Cool Havertz calms Chelsea and Zakaria shines in surprise start: Winners, losers and ratings from victory vs Bournemouth

22:50 EAT 27/12/2022
Kai Havertz Chelsea Bournemouth 2022-23
The Germany international was involved in both goals as Graham Potter's team got a vital three points on Tuesday

After losing three straight games before the World Cup break, the pressure was on Graham Potter's Chelsea to get back to winning ways upon their return to Premier League action. They entered Tuesday's match in ninth place in the table.

Who better to calm the team than the ever-cool, always smooth Kai Havertz? The German was key in a 2-0 win against Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge that offered promising signs for the second half of the campaign.

Havertz and Mason Mount were the decisive figures with their first-half goals against the Cherries, but they were not the only performers Potter will be proud of after that match.

Denis Zakaria, making his first Premier League appearance since joining on loan from Juventus, put in an excellent display. He restored balance to the Chelsea midfield and brought out the best in Jorginho.

Blues fans were delighted to see Reece James back in the starting XI for the first time since early-October but sadly for the 23-year-old he had to go off injured - an issue that will leave his coach worried given how well he performed.

Despite the injury worry, it was still a positive evening for Chelsea as they try to work their way back up the table.

  • Mason Mount Chelsea Bournemouth 2022-23

    The Winners

    Denis Zakaria:

    The 26-year-old was made to wait for his first Premier League appearance but Chelsea fans will be asking why it has taken so long after that display. He was excellent sitting beside Jorginho in the midfield. The Switzerland international put in good tackles to mop up the ball with his defensive style but was always pushing forward to support the attack, too. His influence on Chelsea's style overall was uplifting and he has surely shown he deserves more chances under Graham Potter.

    Kai Havertz:

    The Germany star was utilised as a false nine once again and was a lively threat throughout the match. His movement was incredible and vital to both goals as he scored one and set up another. He may drop back and drift out wide a lot but he is always ready to rush into the box and act as a direct threat. His consistency can be questioned, but this was the right side of the coin for the player.

    Mason Mount:

    Mount popped up everywhere for the home side and was one of the main architects of this victory. He was key for the second goal as he struck a lay-off from Havertz without hesitation and sent it curling into the net to double his team's lead.

  • Reece James sad Chelsea Bournemouth 2022-23

    The Losers

    Dominic Solanke:

    The Bournemouth striker had a painfully quiet performance. Chelsea's dominance meant that he had few opportunities to threaten the home team's goal but any time he did get on the ball he looked sloppy and was quickly dispossessed. His team had no chance of beating Kepa Arrizabalaga with him leading the line.

    Ruben Loftus-Cheek:

    Injury kept the midfielder out of this game and it may be a turning point in his fortunes at Chelsea this season. Loftus-Cheek has started 12 of his 14 Premier League appearances so far but Denis Zakaria's display at Stamford Bridge may move the England international down the pecking order. Zakaria looked so much more comfortable and brought more balance to the Chelsea midfield than they have had with Loftus-Cheek in the starting XI that coach Potter will have plenty to think about over the future.

    Reece James:

    He showed why Chelsea have missed him so much during his time out injured as he put in a fine display for the Blues. Sadly for the England star, however, his return was cut short as he went off with an injury early in the second half. James, the Chelsea manager and the club's fans will be hoping that the issue is nothing serious as they cannot afford to miss him for much longer. Seeing him injured again so soon after his return was devastating for the Blues.

  • Kalidou Koulibaly Thiago Silva Chelsea Bournemouth 2022-23

    Chelsea Ratings: Defence

    Kepa Arrizabalaga (6/10):

    Had a quiet first half with only one long range shot to take care of. The second period was busier for the goalkeeper but Bournemouth still had a hard time giving him a proper test.

    Reece James (7/10):

    Making his first appearance since October 11, the Blues really missed the England international. They struggled without him and he did not need any time to settle back into the starting XI. James was always available on the right side and eager to get forward to combine with Sterling and Mount. The Blues will be worried, however, as he went off injured just seven minutes into the second half with an injury.

    Kalidou Koulibaly (5/10):

    Put his team under pressure at times and almost gave away a penalty late in the first half.

    Thiago Silva (6/10):

    Appeared to suffer a knock early in the game and looked a bit uncomfortable at times. He took a strange and unnecessary risk with a dodgy ball across the face of goal in the first half. Otherwise, he was careful with his passing, often going forward to try to create something for his side.

    Marc Cucurella (7/10):

    Got forward a lot as he tried to create some danger, looked comfortable at left-back and was lively overall.

  • Mason Mount Chelsea 2022-23

    Midfield

    Jorginho (7/10):

    Enjoyed some freedom to dictate from the middle of the field thanks to Zakaria taking on defensive duties. He has had some poor performances in the Premier League this season but this display showed that he can offer a lot to Potter's team if the balance in midfield is right.

    Denis Zakaria (8/10):

    The Switzerland man put in a strong display in his first Premier League appearance. He did well to pick up on loose balls in the Chelsea midfield, made some good tackles and was always rushing forward to support the attack.

    Mason Mount (8/10):

    Looked good on the ball and picked out Raheem Sterling with a nice pass in the build up to the first goal and then, after an attempt to set up Zakaria failed, he regained possession and lashed into the net with a lovely shot from the edge of the box.

  • Kai Havertz action Chelsea Bournemouth 2022-23

    Attack

    Raheem Sterling (7/10):

    His perfectly placed low cross found Havertz in the box for his team's first goal and had a good performance over the 90 minutes.

    Kai Havertz (8/10):

    Drifted into an excellent position in the box to slide towards the back post and slot in the opening goal of the game. His pass to Mount for the second goal was at the ideal speed and position for the midfielder to curl it home with his first touch.

    Christian Pulisic (6/10):

    Made his first Premier League start since the 4-1 loss to Brighton in late-October. He felt he should have had a penalty and saw a goal disallowed in the first half. Not a terrible performance from the USMNT star but he was overshadowed by his more decisive team-mates.

  • Graham Potter Chelsea Bournemouth 2022-23

    Subs & Manager

    Cesar Azpilicueta (6/10):

    Came on for Reece James early in the second half and put in a good enough performance.

    Conor Gallagher (6/10):

    Had a chance shortly after coming off the bench but his shot was tame and made a strong challenge in the 90th minute outside the Chelsea box.

    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (N/A):

    Came off the bench late on and did not have time to influence the game.

    Trevoh Chalobah (N/A):

    Came on for Raheem Sterling for the final minutes of the match.

    Graham Potter (7/10):

    He set his team up well for this match as they dominated from early on. His midfield was well structured thanks to the inclusion of Denis Zakaria and they looked good on the flanks with Reece James and Marc Cucurella on as full-backs. The coach will take this as a big boost after losing three straight games before the World Cup.