Eden Hazard scored a sumptuous solo goal and added a cool late second to earn a fully deserved win over London rivals West Ham. Here’s how we rated each Blues player in the 2-0 victory at Stamford Bridge.
Kepa Arrizabalaga: 6
He was no more than a spectator in the first half, but made two fine saves after the break as the Hammers had their best spell.
Cesar Azpilicueta: 9
Had it not been for Hazard, Chelsea’s skipper would have been a worthy man of the match. The Spaniard defended expertly and was a constant presence in attack, winning possession high up the pitch, creating chances and always making himself available.
Antonio Rudiger: 8
Rudiger’s commitment and passion shone through and was a vital factor in a the first-half dominance and, more tellingly, when West Ham posed more of a threat in the second half.
David Luiz: 7
The Brazilian oozed confidence with the ball at his feet, never appeared rushed and did all that was asked from him in defence too.
Defended impressively, showing good pace, awareness and powers of recovery on the odd occasion he needed to. Emerson also made a crucial, albeit unwitting, block to divert a Marko Arnautovic header wide following a set-piece.
He played with more tempo and conviction and even got forward well at times. The away side’s preoccupation with closing him down freed up space for Hazard to run and turn, something the Belgian profited from with devastating effect.
N’Golo Kante: 8
Typically all-action and now a familiar presence in the opposition box. Kante made numerous pacy surges from deep, showed some neat skills and touches in cramped areas and made some vital interceptions in his own half.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek: 7
He caught the eye early on with a powerful, purposeful start that played a huge part in setting the tone for a stylish team display that put the visitors on the back foot. Had a great chance to double the lead in the second half but failed to connect properly as he tried to bend the ball in the far corner when racing through. He faded a tad before being replaced.
Callum Hudson-Odoi: 8
The teenage winger looked awesome when in full flight and bearing down on goal and was unlucky not to score with a rasping first-half strike. His running off the ball showed his maturity, but on the flip side, he was too often wayward with his final ball when he got in dangerous positions.
Eden Hazard: 10
Majestic and as near to a perfect performance as it is possible to get. Chelsea’s kingpin scored a ludicrous individual goal and was peerless throughout. Hazard ran from deep, ran from out wide, instigated attacks, dictated play and should have won a penalty, and scored another fine goal to seal the win.
Gonzalo Higuain: 6
Higuain so nearly scored a brilliant goal in the first period but his shot from a tight angle came back of the post. Also went close with another strike that was deflected wide. The Argentine’s work-rate was commendable but he was guilty of wasting possession on too many occasions.
Ross Barkley: 7
Solid in his defensive work, took up some intelligent attacking positions after coming on for the final 20 minutes and his increasing influence told when he teed up Hazard’s clinching second goal.
Olivier Giroud: 6
Caused problems after coming on as a late replacement for Higuain and came within a fraction of scoring with an attempt to nutmeg keeper Lukasz Fabianski as well as a far-post stretch to turn a cross from late substitute Pedro.