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  • By Yann Tear at Wembley Stadium

As Kepa calamity hands Liverpool the cup, we rate those Chelsea players - and they were good

It was a final which thrilled and had everyone remarking on how great a 0-0 draw can sometimes be.

The Blues missed out on a third piece of silverware for the season when Kepa Arrizabalaga, brought on in place of the outstanding Edouard Mendy for the penalty shoot-out at the end of extra-time, skied the decisive 11th kick to hand Liverpool the Carabao Cup.

There was so little in it. Here is how Capital Football assessed the Chelsea players.

CHELSEA: (3-4-2-1)

Edouard Mendy 9

Great decision to play him rather than Kepa. It was a real Jim Montgomery (73 FA Cup Final) moment from the Senegal stopper on the half hour mark with an amazing double save to deny Naby Keita and the follow-up from Sadio Mane. Fine block to deny Luis Diaz in a counter-attack. Also saved late Virgil Van Dijk header. What might have happened had he stayed on for penalties.

Trevoh Chalobah 6

It was a testing start for the young defender as both Luis Diaz and Sadio Mane got the better of him to stir a bit of panic in the Chelsea box. Took studs in the groin from Keita too. But grew into the game and his pace prevented Diaz from having a clear run on goal.

Thiago Silva 7

Got knee in the way of a Mo Salah strike and was generally so effective at being in the right place at the right time to shut off those central avenues. Scampered back to clear a Salah dink over Mendy off the line.

Antonio Rudiger 7

Managed to keep Salah reasonably quiet but allowed Mane to get away from him to head the ball back across goal for Matip to nod home what appeared to be the opener on 67 minutes – until VAR decided Van Dik had interfered from an offside position.

Cesar Azpilicueta 6

Created an early opening for Pulisic and got into a good position to send a left-foot blaster narrowly off target. But the skipper picked up what looked like a groin strain and was replaced by Reece James after 57 minutes.

N’Golo Kante 7

Snaffled the ball in so many dangerous moments for the Blues. A shielding presence who also helped get Chelsea moving with swift transitions. Picked up a booking in extra-time for a foul on Andy Robertson.

Mateo Kovacic 6

A really tireless shift from the Croatian. Quietly effective alongside the more eye-catching Kante in cutting off Liverpool’s lines of communication. But yellow carded for a round-the-neck grab at Salah to stop an attack.

Marcos Alonso 6

Did not find it as easy as usual to impose himself going forward – the sheer pace of Trent Alexander-Arnold having much to do with that. Good energy in those extra 30 minutes.

Mason Mount 6

Missed a sitter from 12 yards just before the break after Pulisic and Havertz had combined to fashion a clear opening and fluffed an even better opportunity after the break, hitting a post with only a static Kelleher to beat. Another shot at goal after one-two with Havertz was straight at the Reds’ keeper.

Christian Pulisic 6

Spurned a glorious early chance when he sprang on to an Azpilicueta pass, only to strike against keeper Caoimhin Kelleher from close in. Got behind the last man to fire another at the keeper from a Havertz pass.

Kai Havertz 8

Very industrious. Involved in the most incisive moments – typical of his threat was the cross flashed across the Liverpool goal at the start of the second half which needed the merest touch. Stuart Atwell carded him after a spat with Alexander-Arnold in extra time. Also netted from an offside position.


Reece James on for Azpilicueta 57

Romelu Lukaku Replaced luckless Mount on 74 minutes. Found the net in extra-time from Chalobah pass but was flagged offside.

Timo Werner came on for Pulisic - also on 74 minutes.

Jorginho swapped for Kovacic at the start of the second period of extra time.

Kepa came on for Mendy at the death for the spot-kicks, as they did in the Super Cup final against Villareal. Not quite the same outcome this time as he missed the decisive 11th kick.


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