Chelsea made it a magnificent 10 out of 10 in the Premier League with victory away against Sunderland. Here’s how we rated the players in the 1-0 win at the Stadium Of Light – a result which took the Blues six points clear at the top of the table.
Thibaut Courtois: 8
He made one exceptional stop to deny Adnan Januzaj and then a truly stunning injury-time save to keep out Patrick van Aanholt’s strike. His handling and distribution was solid and the Belgian is beginning to make a match-winning contribution.
Cesar Azpilicueta: 9
Another special display by the Spaniard, who is consistently excelling in the back three. He has stood out all season and, once again, his decision-making, tackling, and ability to read the game and nick possession was vital.
David Luiz: 6
A mistake early in the second half almost proved costly, but the Brazilian improved on his weekend showing against West Brom. He was a little bit rash at times, but it’s to Luiz’s credit that he has continued to play and contribute when needed because of John Terry’s absence.
Gary Cahill: 7
Atoned for his own rash decision with a brilliant challenge after the break and was otherwise very solid, albeit against a very limited Sunderland attack which lacked ambition when the score was 0-0, and quality when the hosts went behind.
Victor Moses: 8
Was steady, if relatively quiet in the first half but Moses was outstanding in both attack and defence after the interval, showing growing maturity in his own area and typical self-belief in the final third.
Cesc Fabregas: 9
A cool, typically composed finish settled the nerves and the match, but Fabregas was superb both before and after the late first-half goal. He ensured he got through the donkey work not normally associated with his type of performance, winning more than his fair share of tackles as well as playing with his usual quality and calmness with the ball at his feet.
N’Golo Kante: 8
Along with Azpilicueta his ability to churn out consistently excellent performances has been a feature, and a huge factor behind Chelsea’s incredible run.
Marcos Alonso: 8
Alonso was particularly exceptional as an attacking force in the first half and continued to provide a threat in the second period. His ability to provide balance – and to adapt and switch between defence and attack with such ease – makes Antonio Conte’s much-talked about system work like a dream.
Outshone by his fellow forwards and midfielders, but the Spaniard still did a fine job in another excellent team showing. He made several important defensive blocks and tackles, but he did pick up a needless booking for kicking the ball away.
Did a fabulous job as Eden Hazard’s replacement, to such an extent that the Belgian was hardly missed. Willian has been excellent off the bench in the last two games and once again looked sharp, confident and dangerous.
Diego Costa: 8
Made a hash of a difficult first-half chance but this was a night when things didn’t quite fall his way. He never allowed some bad luck in front of goal to irritate him or affect his efforts, and his hold-up play was as impressive as ever.