Chelsea’s unimpressive start to the season continued as Crystal Palace beat them 2-1 at Stamford Bridge. Here’s how we rated the Blues players in Saturday’s derby.
Thibaut Courtois: 6
Was left woefully exposed for both Palace goals, having earlier made saves to deny Bakary Sako and Yohan Cabaye.
Branislav Ivanovic: 4
The deterioration in Ivanovic’s form continued with an absolute horrow show in which he was torn to shreds by the likes of Sako and substitute Yannick Bolasie. Courtois twice saved in the first half after the Serbian was caught out, and worse followed in the second half when Palace twice scored after finding space on the left. Bolasie also missed a sitter when he got in front of Ivanovic only to slice wide of the target.
Kurt Zouma: 6
Connor Wickham’s strength and clever movement caused some problems and Sako was a constant menace when driving through the middle, but Zouma had a decent game nonetheless.
Gary Cahill: 6
Also had a reasonable game despite Chelsea being collectively poor at the back. Unlucky not to score when his header was cleared off the line just before Palace went ahead.
Cesar Azpilicueta: 7
Did not have things all his own way against the lively Jason Puncheon but certainly fared much better than Ivanovic on the opposite side. Unlucky not to prevent the opening goal when he darted in from left-back to block Sako’s shot only for the ball to fall straight back to the Palace man.
Nemanja Matic: 5
Matic’s dip in form is not of Ivanovic proportions but is still very noticeable. He has been well short of his best so far this season. He started well enough in this game but often failed to track Cabaye and became less influential before being substituted with 17 minutes left.
Cesc Fabregas: 6
Another Chelsea player yet to really get going this season. Had a decent chance in the first half and created an opening for Pedro, but he struggled to make an impact after that as Palace’s pressing style paid off.
Another encouraging display from the recent signing. As well as going close in the first half and delivering a fine cross in the build-up to Chelsea’s goal, he showed the other side of his game by getting through a fair amount defensive work.
A willing runner as always but had a frustrating afternoon before being substituted after Palace scored the opening goal.
Eden Hazard: 6
Worked hard and showed glimpses of his class but Palace did an excellent job restricting him.
Diego Costa: 6
Good in patches, holding the ball up well and, as always, annoying opposing defenders. But he seemed to meet his match in Eagles centre-back Damien Delaney, who gave as good as he got and seemed to unsettle the Blues striker.
Radamel Falcao: 7
Sent on after Palace went ahead and quickly made an impact, scoring with a fine header from Pedro’s cross.
Full of running on the left-hand side after coming on for his debut. He looks very promising.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek: 6
Unable to stop Palace having the upper hand after he came on for Matic.