N’Golo Kante’s tidy finish earned Chelsea a second consecutive away win as they dominated against Crystal Palace. Here’s how we rated each Blues player in the 1-0 victory at Selhurst Park.
Kepa Arrizabalaga: 6
Had nothing to do, bar coming for a couple of routine crosses from set-pieces where he punched the ball clear.
Cesar Azpilicueta: 8
Tenacious and fully committed, the Spaniard recognised the need to get in the face of dangerman Wilfried Zaha and made the winger’s life tricky. Azpilicueta nullified the main Palace threat.
Antonio Rudiger: 7
He won every aerial tussle and was dependable and dominant in his tackles, although his passing was a little wayward at times.
David Luiz: 9
Simply outstanding. Faultless in his work in his own half, Luiz took a couple of risks stepping forward into the midfield when he recognised the need to make things happen in attack. It came off in spectacular fashion with his sumptuous pass for Kante’s winning goal.
Marcos Alonso: 6
A stupid early booking for punching the ball away in anger could have come back to haunt him but he avoided a second caution, playing as an auxilary winger for the most part without neglecting his defensive work.
A performance that was too cautious when he had numerous chances to play a killer ball. He made time and space impressively in the second period but was guilty of too many misplaced passes before the break and slowed up play too often against a side who needed to be exploited on the rare occasions they lost their shape.
N’Golo Kante: 8
One of his best displays in the more advanced role, Kante took his goal brilliantly and was always involved at both ends of the pitch.
Ross Barkley: 7
Busy and workmanlike on his return to the starting line-up, Barkley was smart in possession and did plenty of work off the ball that was key to the win.
Once again, the Brazilian hit the post. But he was far from his best. He remained a threat throughout but there were too many lapses in concentration and sloppy passes.
Eden Hazard: 7
Hazard was effortlessly impressive in his more familiar role. He was marked by at least two men every time he came deep for possession but still managed to cause problems and also find pockets of space when Chelsea were able to break quickly.
Olivier Giroud: 7
The Frenchman scored two fabulous “goals” when running in behind, both of which were ruled out for offside. He linked up play well in the second half after a first half where he did not see a great deal of the ball and was not always convincing when he did. But his presence was key to the win, with Hazard looking more comfortable playing off a striker.
Alvaro Morata: 6
Came on late on and showed a good work ethic.