Willian’s fantastic goal gave Chelsea a 2-1 win at home to Newcastle. Here’s how we rated each Blues player.
Kepa Arrizabalaga: 6
Given no chance by the sheer power and direction of Ciaran Clark’s headed equaliser. But not given too much to fret about after that, in spite of mini-revival by the Magpies at the end of the first half.
Cesar Azpilicueta: 6
Usual energy down the right and willingness to bust a gut to get in a cross. The Chelsea skipper ensured that moments of danger from Matt Ritchie down his flank were kept to a minimum.
Antonio Rudiger: 7
Relished his duel with the imposing Salomon Rondon – although the evening got progressively easier for him once Chelsea began to take charge.
David Luiz: 7
His eye for the telling long ball was rewarded with a fabulous early assist for Pedro’s opener. Offered Willian a chance with another later on, and headed a Willian free-kick just over. But lucky that a lost header to Rondon was not punished by Ayoze Perez and maybe not close enough to Clark for the equaliser.
Marcos Alonso: 6
Overlapping run almost put Pedro in for a goal moments before the Blues regained the lead. A comfortable, if unremarkable outing.
His astute pass to Willian moments after Newcastle made it 1-1 should have been put away. Hard to find too much fault, but Chelsea need more dynamism.
Mateo Kovacic: 6
Nimble flicks here and there and always looking to free Willian or Pedro in attacking positions. But a low-level impact. Made way for Ross Barkley after 63 minutes.
N’Golo Kante: 6
Picked up a loose ball to put Pedro through for a shot at goal early in the second half, but not quite able to make enough of those high-tempo surges he loves.
Used his customary alertness to get in behind Clark to lob over Martin Dubravka after only eight minutes for his seventh goal of the season. Almost netted again at the start of the second half, but had a goal-bound shot saved. Given a good ovation when he was subbed.
May not enjoy the manager’s total confidence, but his shoulder-dip and cut inside before drilling into the far corner was a reminder of how effortless the Brazilian can make it look at times. Did miss a gilt-edged chance to put Chelsea ahead moments after the visitors had drawn level and might have profited from another of those David Luiz passes from deep.
Eden Hazard: 6
Dropped deep to find the ball as Maurizio Sarri again opted to leave out conventional number nines. The flicks and tricks were not so effective on this occasion. A rare day when most of the key action seemed to bypass him, although he did roll a pass out for Willian which led to the winner.
Ross Barkley: 6
Given the task of ensuring the Blues held on to their slender lead and put in the hard yards asked of him.
Callum Hudson-Odoi: 6
The youngster, targeted by Bayern Munich, was given a run-out for the final 10 minutes, in place of Pedro. Fans chanted his name, saying: ‘We want you to stay.”