Chelsea cruised to a 2-0 victory over Newcastle at Stamford Bridge to move up to fourth place in the Premier League. Here’s how we rated each Blues player in the fourth successive league win under Thomas Tuchel.
Kepa Arrizabalaga: 7
His surprise inclusion for his first Premier League appearance since October was, crucially, without fault and he made a couple of decent saves – notably a sprawling one-handed stop to keep out Joe Willock’s header after the interval.
Cesar Azpilicueta: 8
Chelsea’s captain had an early goal-bound header cleared off the line, made a couple of lung-busting runs in support of a developing attacks and defended without alarm or fuss.
Andreas Christensen: 7
A stroll for the Dane, who was strong in the air and economical but decisive in possession and always appeared in control as Chelsea earned a fifth clean sheet in six games under Tuchel.
Antonio Rudiger: 7
Like his defensive colleagues, Rudiger went about his work calmly and decisively and, along with Christensen, did well to nullify the aerial threat of substitute Andy Carroll in the closing stages.
Callum Hudson-Odoi: 8
He scared the daylights out of Newcastle, who had no idea if they should drop off a yard and get touch tight and consequently rarely did either. Hudson-Odoi tormented Newcastle throughout but perhaps should have done better from numerous encouraging positions in the second half.
Always available but rarely eye-catching, Jorginho breezed through the evening and provided an impressive screen in front of his back three.
Mateo Kovacic: 9
Kovacic was the key man as the Blues bossed the first half, dictating play at pace, finding Mason Mount at every possible opportunity and running from deep when the chance presented itself. He maintained the energy in the second half as the visitors played with more energy.
Marcos Alonso: 8
The running Alonso does is often overlooked but his work-rate and attacking instincts were a feature of a dominant team display. He had several strikes at goal, was a regular presence in the Newcastle box and set up a couple of chances – one of which should have been taken by Timo Werner when the score was 0-0.
Mason Mount: 8
Mount’s positional intelligence and combination play with Hudson-Odoi was a joy and a continuing theme of a one-sided first half and should have resulted in a few more goals. He dragged a good chance wide when he popped up from the left but was otherwise his usual excellent self and covered every blade before being replaced after 70 minutes.
Timo Werner: 8
The German finally broke his goal duck, grabbing his first goal in 15 league matches to double the lead but could and should have had more than the one goal. Werner’s pace from a standing or near-standing start is a huge asset and one he used to great effect to tee up Olivier Giroud for the opening goal. His confidence seems almost fully restored.
Tammy Abraham: 7
The England striker started well and full of confidence on the back of his match-winning display against Barnsley but his evening only lasted 19 minutes because of an injury which saw him replaced by Giroud.
Olivier Giroud: 7
It only took Abraham’s replacement 19 minutes to find the net and he led the line with typical composure and quality.
N’Golo Kante: 7
Deployed in a more advanced role with Kovacic and Jorginho as his safety net, Kante was full of running and showed good awareness in attacking areas late on.
Reece James: 6
He almost scored with a rasping deflected strike within a couple of minutes of coming on with his defensive strength bringing greater stability at right wing-back to help secure the victory.