Three second-half goals at Stamford Bridge took Chelsea to third in the table and on the verge of sealing a return to the Champions League. Here’s how we rated each Blues player in the 3-0 win over Watford.
Kepa Arrizabalaga: 7
Did superbly to one-handedly claw away a Troy Deeney header arcing towards the top corner, but for all Watford’s first-half dominance, he did not have to do anything spectacular after that.
Cesar Azpilicueta: 6
Looked a little uncomfortable at times against Gerard Deulofeu but did his usual bombing forward to offer an extra source of crosses from the right.
Andreas Christensen: 6
In for the injured Antonio Rudiger and after an initially testing first half, he settled down as the Blues seized control and looked increasingly assured.
David Luiz: 6
Powered home a header from a corner kick routine moments after Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s opener to render the first 45 minutes meaningless – his stray first-half passes and struggles with Deeney forgotten.
Marcos Alonso: 6
A clumsy kind of day for the Spaniard, who was made to work hard in duels with Will Hughes, and had fewer opportunities to get forward than usual.
Mateo Kovacic: 6
Guilty of some very ordinary passing, but industrious enough and played a part as Chelsea roused themselves from their first-half slumbers.
N’Golo Kante: 6
Unlucky to pick up a knock in the opening 10 minutes and made way for Loftus-Cheek.
Neat chip almost caught out keeper Ben Foster. The head-bandaged midfielder did some good work between the lines, showing solidity rather than adventure during Chelsea’s second-half revival.
Scooped a left-footed shot just over the bar in the first half and went even closer with a shot from outside the area which flashed just wide of the far post. Almost made it 3-0 with a low left-footer kept out by a diving Foster. Great assist for Gonzalo Higuain to make it 3-0.
Gonzalo Higuain: 6
Turned home a smart pass from Pedro but this was an otherwise underwhelming afternoon for the Argentinian. Early half-chance blocked, and a shot on the turn inside the box also forced a save from the Hornets keeper, but looked laboured at times.
Eden Hazard: 9
If this is to be his final Premier League appearance for the Blues at the Bridge, the Belgian maestro served up a reminder of what Chelsea will miss. Wriggled past two defenders to fire at Foster, then provided two assists with perfect crosses for Loftus-Cheek and David Luiz. Almost claimed a third assist for Pedro. Majestic.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek: 7
Pressed into action after only 10 minutes because of a Kante’s misfortune and although he did not shine during the team’s abject first half, he changed the mood with his far-post header to open the scoring.
Olivier Giroud: 6
Given 11 minutes at the end in place of Higuain, and had two good chances. Failed to connect properly with an attempted volley from a David Luiz cross, then swung a right boot at a Hazard cross, only to see the effort sail wide.