Chelsea ratings v Udinese: Sterling 8, Koulibaly 7, James 5

Thomas Tuchel's team register comfortable 3-1 win in friendly with Sterling scoring his first goal for new club

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Raheem Sterling scored a first goal for Chelsea since his move from Manchester City during a 3-1 friendly win over Udinese in Italy on Friday.

England forward Sterling, who arrived at Stamford Bridge a £50m deal, put Chelsea 2-0 up after N'Golo Kante opened the scoring. Gerard Deulofeu pulled one back for Udinese before Mason Mount secured Chelsea's win late on.

After the match Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel praised his team's performance.

"We have a lot of positive things to take away from this game. It’s a good performance, good result," Tuchel told Chelsea's website.

"We could have scored much more, should have scored much more but there’s a lot of positive stuff to take away."

The Blues play Udinese in a second friendly on Saturday. Below are the player ratings from Chelsea's win on Friday.

Chelsea ratings v Udinese

Edouard Mendy – 5. A quiet night for the Senegalese stopper, with Chelsea enjoying almost all the chances, but will be disappointed with his part in Udinese’s goal. Should have done better with Roberto Pereyra’s initial shot and arguably Gerard Deulofeu’s half-hit rebound, too.

Cesar Azpilicueta – 6. Showed no ill-effects of the transfer speculation swirling around him in recent months, turning in a committed display, but was found wanting for pace at times as Chelsea’s right-sided centre-back.

Thiago Silva – 8. As ever, a class act in the heart of the Blues defence. Expert reading of the game, totally dominant in the air and unflappable in possession. Looks happy to have Koulibaly’s energy and presence alongside him.

Kalidou Koulibaly – 7. An impressive outing for the newcomer. Always looking for a forward pass in possession, but did the bulk of his work outmuscling Udinese’s forwards or snuffing out attacks in their infancy – most notably with an expert sliding challenge on Deulofeu in the first period.

Reece James – 5. An uneventful evening on the right side of midfield for the England international, who remained on the periphery of events. Has looked heavy-legged in pre-season and will need to sharpen up for the Premier League.

N’Golo Kante – 8. All the usual interceptions and neat passing, but also used the evening to display his attacking prowess. Opened the scoring with a superb left-footed 20-yarder and would have had another after the break, but for a fine stop from goalkeeper Marco Silvestri.

Jorginho – 8. A key component as he waved the Blues’ baton at both ends of the field. He punctured the Italians’ defensive lines at will, most notably with a tremendous through-ball which released Raheem Sterling for his first Chelsea goal.

Marcos Alonso – 6. Like Azpilicueta, selected despite Barcelona’s public courting and, like his skipper, looked leggy at times but generally neat and tidy on the left of the Chelsea midfield.

Raheem Sterling – 8. Heavily involved. Had already been thwarted by Silvestri once when he broke through and, with a blend of finesse and fortune, ricocheted home his first Blues goal. A second should have followed, but conspired with Mount to make heavy weather of a simple opening early in the second period and struck the post with a deflected effort.

Mason Mount – 7. A mixed evening which undulated. As ever, a willing runner who caused Udinese countless issues with his clever movement, but final product was evasive. Looked set to be a night of frustration and spurned opportunities until his injury-time tap-in clinched the win.

Kai Havertz – 6. Shorn of confidence in front of goal. Should have had a penalty after 18 minutes and might have drawn a booking for Adam Masina’s crude foul, and his frustration was capped when brilliantly denied by Silvestri in the second period.

SUBS

Harvey Vale (Kalidou Koulibaly, 72') – 5. The 18-year-old went straight into the Blues’ attack and showed plenty of tenacity, putting himself about without a second thought.

Callum Hudson-Odoi (Kai Havertz, 72') – 7. A lively late outing. Immediately involved on the right, slinging in a pair of fine crosses which deserved better, before expertly assisting Mount’s clincher.

Emerson (Reece James, 72') – 5. Came onto the left side of defence but enjoyed more of a watching brief as Chelsea closed out the win in comfort.

Kenedy (Raheem Sterling, 84') N/A. A positive presence in the late stages as he bids for a place in Tuchel’s Premier League squad.

Billy Gilmour (Jorginho, 84') N/R. Though given little time to shine, the Scottish midfielder caught the eye with a lively, all-action cameo.

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Updated: July 30, 2022, 5:56 AM
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