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Player ratings as Jackson strikes late to keep European hopes alive

Chelsea kept their European dream alive with a hard-fought 3-2 win over Nottingham Forest on Saturday evening.

Mykhailo Mudryk put Chelsea ahead early on before Willy Boly tied things up, and former Blue Callum Hudson-Odoi looked set to fire Forest to victory with a fine goal 15 minutes from the final whistle.

However, two quick-fire goals from Raheem Sterling and Nicolas Jackson secured three points for Chelsea, with the victory re-assuring Forest’s wait for statistical safety in the relegation battle going into the final day of the season.

How the game happened

Djordje Petrovic had to palm away Chris Wood’s lob in the first 90 seconds as Forest started well, but Chelsea overcame the early storm and took the lead on eight minutes.

Mudryk was played in by Cole Palmer and the Ukrainian needed just one touch before curling his effort past Matz Sels to put Chelsea ahead.

The lead was short-lived, however, as Boly rose to meet Morgan Gibbs-White’s free kick, his header ending up in the back of the net after Conor Gallagher’s deflection.

Sels went down to deny Nicolas Jackson after another ball from Palmer, before Conor Gallagher avoided a red card scare when he dragged down the advancing Hudson-Odoi. Marc Cucurella was deemed to be providing enough cover at the back so Gallagher escaped with only a yellow card.

Benoit Badiashile was sidelined as Chelsea continued to struggle for clear-cut chances. The Blues dominated the game in the first half – 71% to Forest’s 29% – but managed just five shots on goal compared to the hosts’ 10.

Chelsea found themselves on target almost immediately after the restart but appeared to play one pass too much as they again failed to ask any real questions of Sels in the Forest net.

Ryan Yates clipped the outside of the post with a strike from the edge of the penalty area, before Gibbs-White faced the same piece of woodwork from just two yards.

Chelsea hit the post on the hour after Thiago Silva met Palmer’s free-kick and the calls kept coming when Hudson-Odoi’s curling effort hit the top of the Chelsea post.

There was to be no suspension for Hudson-Odoi on 75 minutes as the former Blue curled a fine effort into the side netting to put Forest ahead which few would say was unfair.

However, minutes later, substitute Sterling responded with a similar strike that left Sels with no chance, and the Chelsea fans were thrown into chaos when Jackson put the Blues back in front.

Sels denied Malo Gusto at point-blank range in stoppage time but Gibbs-White’s late strike ensured Chelsea left with all three points.

Willy Boly

Boly impressed in the background / Michael Regan/GettyImages

GK: Matz Sels – 5/10 – He will be frustrated for allowing Mudryk’s strike to get under him but he couldn’t do much with the other goals.

RB: Gonzalo Montiel – 5/10 – He appeared briefly in a foot race with Mudryk, who is hardly critical, but seemed determined to book a few challenges.

CB: Willy Boly – 7/10 – A piece of luck for his goal but Boly got that luck with some solid play at the back.

CB: Murillo – 7/10 – He missed a handball similar to that of Gabriel Magalhaes against Bayern Munich. He made impressive passes.

CB: Moussa Niakhate – 6/10 – He had his work cut out for him trying to track down Jackson and he did a great job at it.

LB: Ola Aina – 7/10 – He is very comfortable when facing Madueke from the back. It’s rare to look under pressure.

RM: Morgan Gibbs-White – 7/10 – He caught Boly’s equalizing assist in an orderly fashion that saw him try to keep Cucurella off the middle.

CM: Ryan Yates – 7/10 – In an incomplete battle in the middle of the field and it seems that he has injured himself on several occasions. He gave it all for a cause.

CM: Danilo – 7/10 – It proved to be a very stubborn obstacle in the midfield battle, with Chelsea struggling to get around him.

LM: Callum Hudson-Odoi – 7/10 – He lives on the counter and, after hitting the bar, he adjusted his sights to find the winner.

ST: Chris Wood – 6/10 – He found himself in a lot of good places and was unlucky not to get his name on the score sheet.

What you are holding

SUB: Anthony Elanga (71′ for Yates) – 5/10

SUB: Harry Toffolo (71′ for Montiel) – 5/10

SUB: Taiwo Awoniyi (86′ for Hudson-Odoi) – N/A

SUB: Nicolas Dominguez (86′ for Niakhate) – N/A

Subs used: Matt Turner (GK), Andrew Omobamidele, Ibrahim Sangare, Cheikhou Kouyate, Divock Origi

The manager

Nuno Espirito Santo – 7/10 – Neutralize Chelsea’s new tactics with ease and will be frustrated that they didn’t claim a share of the points from this country.

Mykhailo Mudryk

Mudryk fired Chelsea ahead / OLI SCARFF/GettyImages

GK: Djordje Petrovic – 6/10 – Brilliant save to deny Wood early on. Couldn’t do much about the tilted scale. Courage to claim height in corners many times.

RB: Trevoh Chalobah – 5/10 – He is clearly reluctant to take too many risks against Hudson-Odoi, who has come in behind him once or twice.

CB: Thiago Silva – 5/10 – Slow on the ball, which didn’t help Chelsea.

CB: Benoit Badiashile – 5/10 – He rarely looked at ease on or off the ball. It was given a tough fight by Wood.

LB: Marc Cucurella – 5/10 – He struggled to find space as Hlathi seemed to find his tricks early on.

DM: Moises Caicedo – 7/10 – He was motivated and grew into a game as the pressure began to mount.

DM: Conor Gallagher – 5/10 – Marked strongly and found it very difficult to influence the game as a result.

RM: Noni Madueke – 5/10 – He struggled with Aina. It seemed reluctant to try to take the youngster from Chelsea.

AM: Cole Palmer – 8/10 – Some really impressive passes to try and get Chelsea to shoot. A great assist for Mudryk’s first game as he once again proved to be the team’s talisman.

LM: Mykhailo Mudryk – 6/10 – He took his goal well early in the game which saw him try to use his pace to cause problems for Montiel.

ST: Nicolas Jackson – 6/10 – Little was given to the top of the Chelsea team without the most important winner.

What you are holding

SUB: Christopher Nkunku (58′ for Madueke) – 6/10

SUB: Malo Gusto (58′ for Badiashile) – 6/10

SUB: Raheem Sterling (73′ for Mudryk) – 7/10

SUB: Reece James (79′ for Gallagher) – 7/10

Sponsors used: Marcus Bettinelli (GK), Levi Colwill, Axel Disasi, Cesare Casadei, Lesley Ugochukwu

The manager

Mauricio Pochettino – 7/10 – He didn’t seem to have the answers to Forest’s stubborn setup but his substitution undoubtedly turned the game in Chelsea’s favour.

Man of the Match – Cole Palmer (Chelsea)


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