Ajax 0-1 Chelsea: Player ratings as Edson Alvarez keeps shining, Michy Batshuayi answers call

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Substitute Michy Batshuayi delivered a valuable late winner for Chelsea when they stung last term’s Champions League semi-finalists Ajax.

The Eredivisie leaders had triumphed from both Group H-clashes prior to the visit of Frank Lampard’s men. They appeared set for a third when winger Quincy Promes tapped in at the back post in the first half, only for the video assistant referee to call offside by a narrow margin.

Mexico international Edson Alvarez also headed against the post after the interval for the hosts at Johan Cruyff Arena.

A tense match, however, would be decided in the 86th minute when Christian Pulisic teed up fellow replacement Batshuayi to lash a cross into the roof of Andre Onana’s net. This second-successive victory put the disciplined Blues top of the standings, level on six points with Ajax at the halfway stage.

Here are the player ratings:

AJAX (4-2-3-1)

Andre Onana 6: Cameroon international was a virtual bystander at Johan Cruyff Arena after lithe 15th-minute stop from Mount.

Sergino Dest 7: Did an excellent job to quell the early promise shown by Hudson-Odoi.

Joel Veltman 7: Strode out well at start to fire in shot. Solid at the back, otherwise.

Daley Blind 7: His reading of the game is exemplary and helped quieten raw Abraham.

Nicolas Tagliafico 7: Argentina left-back was back in the Ajax XI. All-action, as always.

Edson Alvarez 7: Mexico international rocked post with Ajax’s only true glaring chance. Tidy in possession.

Lisandro Martinez 7: A bit sloppy on the ball, but led way in clearances against Premier League visitors.

Hakim Ziyech 7: Thought he’d provided opener, before VAR intervened. Not quite at searing best.

Donny van de Beek 6: Not bad, not good. Ajax needed him to be more decisive.

Quincy Promes 7: Almost a telling display. Narrowly offside for disallowed goal and set-up Alvarez header.

Dusan Tadic 6: Wild collision with Willian led to booking. An omnipresent threat, didn’t always choose right option.

SUBSTITUTES

David Neres 6: Replaced unfortunate Promes.

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar N/A: No chances came veteran’s way.

Siem de Jong N/A: Similar tale.

CHELSEA (4-3-3)

Kepa Arrizabalaga 6: Spain international could have stepped away and enjoyed Amsterdam’s tourist delights, so little was he required.

Cesar Azpilicueta 7: The slenderest of margins saved the Spain veteran from being embarrassed by Promes. Recovered very well.

Kurt Zouma 7: France centre-back’s resurgence after tough start to season continued. Always in right place.

Fikayo Tomori 7: Rare composure and resilience from a 21-year-old. Silenced usually vibrant Ajax attack.

Marcos Alonso 7: Lost ball to Tadic, saved by Tomori. Nice inter-play going forward, as ever. Excellent leave for Batshuayi.

Mateo Kovacic 6: Barkley injury provided fresh opportunity. Did simple stuff well. Will never deliver much more.

Jorginho 7: Poise on ball helped take sting out of hosts. Always provided an option.

Mason Mount 7: Almost deceived Onana with early shot. Willing facilitator for Hudson-Odoi and Alonso on left.

Willian 6: Key moment was being felled by Tadic. Made way for Pulisic, who crafted goal.

Tammy Abraham 6: Forced to feed on scraps and, selflessly, run the channels. Not the England international’s night.

Callum Hudson-Odoi 6: Duel to savour with 18-year-old full-back Dest. Moved right when Pulisic came on.

SUBSTITUTES

Christian Pulisic 7: United States international made his mark with mesmerising dribble and dangerous centre for Batshuayi goal. That’s three assists in last four Blues run-outs.

Michy Batshuayi 7: Thrashed at fortuitous early chance, then fired perfectly into roof of goal. Three-successive games with a goal for club and country.

Reece James N/A: A fourth senior Chelsea appearance came late on for highly rated full-back.

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