From Brentford Community Stadium – Chelsea returned to the top of the Premier League with an uninspiring 1-0 win at west London rivals Brentford.
Thomas Tuchel’s side created very little and were fortunate that the hosts only big chances came late on.
The first notable moment of the game went Brentford’s way when Bryan Mbeumo hit the post, before Chelsea went down the other end on the counter and Romelu Lukaku put the ball in the net – but the Belgian was offside and the goal was ruled out.
Mateo Kovacic had a free-kick deflected just over the top of David Raya’s net, while Mbeumo’s cross-cum-shot was safely held by Edouard Mendy.
Chelsea took the lead on the stroke of half-time through Ben Chilwell. Brentford failed to deal with a cross and the England international was on hand to rifle the ball into the top corner.
The Bees began to look more threatening from set plays after the break and went hunting for fouls, and their first real chance of the second half came from a throw, but Mendy was equal to Ivan Toney’s strike.
Mbeumo thought he had equalised with 15 minutes remaining but his shot bounced back off the post, and Toney was brought down by Trevoh Chalobah in the area while offside and calls for a penalty were dismissed.
Brentford continued to push forward in search of an equaliser, with Saman Ghoddos and Christian Norgaard just failing to convert from close range amid a Chelsea scramble.
Pontus Jansson similarly went close, but was denied by Mendy, and the Senegal stopper produced a top save to deny a Norgaard overhead kick in injury time as Chelsea escaped with three points.
David Raya (GK) – 6/10 – Generally good distribution and shot-stopping, little he could do about the goal.
Zanka (CB) – 6/10 – Almost played as a right-back when in possession but could rarely find a decent out-ball.
Pontus Jansson (CB) – 6/10 – Dealt with the threat of Lukaku fairly well, which is a bonus considering how poor he can be in big game situations.
Ethan Pinnock (CB) – 5/10 – Nothing of much to note apart from when Werner gave him the burners.
Sergi Canos (RM) – 5/10 – Picked up a silly booking for dissent and failed to create much from open play.
Mathias Jensen (CM) – 6/10 – Brentford have missed someone with the technical qualities of Jensen this season, but he couldn’t quite pick the lock of the Chelsea defence.
Christian Norgaard (CM) – 5/10 – Played the Fernandinho role to perfection – foul quickly and ping some passes forward. Five out of ten.
Frank Onyeka (CM) – 5/10 – Brought plenty of energy but little in the way of control.
Rico Henry (LM) – 6/10 – Pinned back for much of the game but defended well.
Bryan Mbeumo (CF) – 6/10 – Brentford’s best attacker but still didn’t have much in the way of chances.
Ivan Toney (CF) – 5/10 – Dropped deep to try and influence the game but to little effect.
Marcus Forss (CF) – 6/10 – His arrival allowed Toney and Mbeumo to play in the channels more, which helped Brentford get a grip on the game.
Saman Ghoddos (RM) – 6/10 – Gave balance to the Bees’ attack.
Edouard Mendy (GK) – 9/10 – Solid once again. Easily one of the Premier League’s best goalkeepers.
Trevoh Chalobah (CB) – 6/10 – Standard game by his own rising standards.
Andreas Christensen (CB) – 7/10 – Wasn’t overawed by the aerial threat of Toney and stood his ground well.
Malang Sarr (CB) – 7/10 – Was handed a first Premier League start but did his job to perfection despite being targeted early on.
Cesar Azpilicueta (RM) – 6/10 – Professional performance, exactly what you expect from a man who plays with his shirt tucked in.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek (CM) – 6/10 – Slowly getting back to his best, put in another fine effort.
N’Golo Kante (CM) – 7/10 – Glided across the pitch sweeping up possession and progressing the ball so effortlessly.
Mateo Kovacic (CM) – 5/10 – Chelsea’s senior creative midfielder did little creating.
Ben Chilwell (LB) – 6/10 – Scored a banger and pinned Canos back, but retreated into his shell late in the game.
Timo Werner (CF) – 6/10 – You can see that it’s starting to click. I mean, he didn’t miss a sitter today, but he didn’t get in the position to miss one either.
Romelu Lukaku (CF) – 4/10 – Would have backed him to give Brentford more troubles, but Chelsea struggled to find him.
Mason Mount (CM) – 5/10
Kai Havertz (CF) – 5/10
Reece James (RM) – N/A