Chelsea v Southampton player ratings

Diego Costa scored twice as Chelsea got the win they needed to move seven points clear at the top of the Premier League table. Here’s how we rated each Blues player in the 4-2 victory against Southampton at Stamford Bridge.

Thibaut Courtois: 6

Had a few palpitations in the first half – caused mainly by some uncertain defending – but was solid and dependable enough.

Cesar Azpilicueta: 7

A pat on the back from Antonio Conte after he closed down a Saints raid underlined the value the boss sees in the Spaniard. Always focused and committed to the cause.

David Luiz: 6

Remained vigilant and disciplined in the face of the predatory Manolo Gabbiadini and mobile Dusan Tadic. Another no-nonsense display from the Brazilian.

Gary Cahill: 6

Back after missing Wembley through illness, Cahill did not quite have his usual authority early on, as the Blues showed some collective laxity, but his fighting qualities were evident in the way he attacked the ball to head in Chelsea’s second goal.

Victor Moses: 6

Struggled to make as big an impact going forward as he usually does. Did most of his work in the Chelsea half. Replaced by John Terry for the last five minutes.

N’Golo Kante: 8

A dazzling mazy run in the first half down the right flank summed up the energy and guile which has brought him the players’ player of the year award. Almost netted a breakaway goal. Immense again.

Nemanja Matic: 6

Fashioned two shooting chances, but his attempts at a reprise of that wondrous Wembley strike were both deflected wide. A return to an effective bread-and-butter contribution. Had a solid game.

Marcos Alonso: 6

Claimed an assist for Cahill’s goal just before the break – popping up in an unfamiliar station inside the penalty area. Crashed one first-time effort into the midriff of keeper Fraser Forster. A relatively quiet evening, otherwise.

Cesc Fabregas: 7

Given an advanced position on the right side of Chelsea’s attacking trident, he supplied a sumptuous pass to Costa that led to the opener and a perfect chip gave Costa his goal. Great range of passing. Pure quality. 

Eden Hazard: 7

Always a handful for the Saints. Clipped in his 16th goal of the campaign early on and lifted another effort over the bar soon after, when he might have done better. Involved in the third goal too.

Diego Costa: 8

Maybe still not quite at his best, but headed in his 19th goal of the campaign to end his mini-drought and added his 20th after a neat one-two with Pedro in the dying minutes. A couple of early assists for Hazard also showed the striker adds value in other ways.