The latest London derby between Chelsea and Arsenal on Tuesday night was yet another disappointing outing for the Blues, who lost 3-1 to the Gunners. It was their sixth successive defeat under former manager Frank Lampard, who was subsequently replaced by Graham Potter as intrem coach. While the overall team performance was subpar, there was one bright spot for the Blues that deserves recognition - Noni Madueke.
Madueke, who was making only his third Premier League start for Chelsea, put in a solid shift on the right-wing and earned an impressive 7.3/10 rating on Sofascore, which placed him second in the Chelsea rankings for the night, behind only Thiago Silva (7.7). The 21-year-old winger, who joined from PSV Eindhoven in January, showed plenty of promise and was a constant threat to the Arsenal defence throughout the game.
Madueke's standout moment of the match came in the 83rd minute when he scored his first goal for Chelsea. After a well-timed run in behind Arsenal's Oleksandr Zinchenko, he received a pass from Mateo Kovacic and calmly finished past Aaron Ramsdale to give Chelsea a consolation goal. But it wasn't just the goal that impressed; Madueke completed four out of five dribbles and 17 passes, an improvement on his average of 2.3 dribbles and 16.3 passes per game in the Premier League so far this season.
Madueke also worked hard defensively, contributing three interceptions and one tackle, compared to his average of 0.6 interceptions and 0.7 tackles per game this season. The young winger showed his versatility and willingness to contribute in both attack and defence, which bodes well for his future prospects at the club.
Madueke's performance did not go unnoticed by content creator and performance analyst Jack Fawcett, who praised him for being the brightest spark in Chelsea's first half performance: "I thought he was probably the brightest spark in the first half for Chelsea. Had very little help from Azpilicueta when in possession. He’s been the silver lining tonight."
Despite Lampard's reluctance to call upon Madueke, the young winger has been impressive in his limited appearances, earning a solid 6.72 average rating from WhoScored across his seven Premier League outings. Madueke's impressive performance against Arsenal shows that he has the potential to become a key player for Chelsea in the future.
Chelsea is looking to build a solid foundation for the future, and Madueke's performances have certainly a positive for Chelsea going forward.
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