Diego Costa’s 76th-minute goal gave Chelsea a ninth consecutive Premier League win. Here’s how we rated the Blues players in their 1-0 victory against West Brom at Stamford Bridge.
Thibaut Courtois: 6
One loose kick in the first half could have led to a West Brom goal, but at least it got the keeper involved. Didn’t have a proper shot to save.
Cesar Azpilicueta: 8
Faultless defensively and more than tidy with the ball at his feet. In a season of impressively consistent performances from plenty of Chelsea’s players, Azpilicueta has stood out.
David Luiz: 5
He had a woeful first half, three times making sloppy errors that could easily have led to goals. The Brazilian seemed to lack the concentration and focus he has displayed in abundance since re-joining. He did have two decent strikes on goal from free-kicks, but generally Luiz played like he was affected by the injury he sustained in the red-card challenge by Sergio Aguero last week.
Gary Cahill: 7
Another steady and reliable performance from the England defender. He didn’t waste possession and won his tackles and headers – most notably after the break with a perfectly judged sliding challenge which was soon followed by a vital lunging interception.
Victor Moses: 6
His usual attacking threat was largely nullified by a disciplined display by West Brom winger Matt Phillips. Chelsea’s right wing-back looked comfortable in defence throughout and made a couple of smart runs off the ball in the first half, showing his growing positional sense in attack.
Nemanja Matic: 6
The Serbian just about justified the decision to restore him to the side with a competent performance in the centre of the park. Had one decent attempt on goal after the interval and played one or two probing passes forward.
N’Golo Kante: 8
Tenacious and endlessly irritating to the opposition, Kante continues to shine. His signing from Leicester in the summer looked a masterstroke and is proving to be the case week in, week out.
Marcos Alonso: 7
He managed to get forward regularly, without neglecting his defensive duties, and always looked capable of providing a telling cross or pass. His awareness and ability on the ball brings much-needed quality in wide areas and gives team-mates confidence in knowing their off-the-ball running could pay dividends.
The Spaniard reacted superbly to being taken off against Manchester City with a bright and energetic first-half display. He was once again replaced – this time just after the hour – but impressed as much as anyone for Chelsea in the opening 45 minutes, running in behind, committing defenders from central areas and almost scoring when the ball struck him from Kante’s weak strike,
Eden Hazard: 7
Chelsea’s key attacking player so far this season was kept quiet in the final third but never stopped demanding possession and attempting to make things happen from deep. The Belgian showed flashes of his brilliant dribbling and played his part in a ninth successive Premier League win.
Diego Costa: 9
His first-half hold-up play was immaculate and his winning goal was stunning. The striker’s determination to outmuscle Gareth McAuley typified his performance and the fierce curled shot into the top corner was a finish good enough to win any game.
His contribution after coming on was critical, bringing a sense of urgency and an injection of pace to lift spirits just when the game had started to turn a bit flat for the home side.
Cesc Fabregas: 6
Although he will be credited with an assist for Costas’s winner is was simply a sensible percentage ball into a channel which his international team-mate turned into a matchwinning pass. Once again Fabregas showed the right attitude, having been dropped to the bench despite making a telling contribution against Manchester City last week.