Eden Hazard was exceptional yet again as Chelsea clinched a deserved victory at the KC Stadium. Here’s how we rated the players in their 2-0 win.
Petr Cech: 6
An easy afternoon. One regulation save and one slightly more tricky diving first-half stop. Other than that, ensuring his latest Chelsea clean sheet was a pretty simple task.
Cesar Azpilicueta: 6
Quiet in attack but defended well and looked more secure positionally than he has in recent weeks.
John Terry : 6
Two uncharacteristically sloppy bits of defending in the first half could easily have led to goals, but he was otherwise impressive and never looked stretched.
Gary Cahill: 7
Unlike Terry, did not put a foot wrong but – like Terry – was rarely tested, such was Chelsea’s dominance. Is forming a formidable partnership with the ex-England skipper.
Ashley Cole: 7
Caught out for pace twice in quick succession in the opening period, but improved as the game went on. Contributed well going forward, most notably in the build up to Hazard’s goal.
David Luiz: 7
His ability to read the game from the centre of the park means he won possession on countless occasions and was able to instigate attacks. Was guilty of some needlessly over-ambitious passing at times – and also some basic errors with simple passes. But he provided defensive stability and protected the back four superbly throughout.
Solid enough in a dull first period but more prominent after the interval when his energy and running was too much for Tom Huddlestone. Gradually wore down Hull’s central midfielders.
Will be wondering how he failed to score with a glorious first-half chance that Allan McGregor somehow tipped over the bar. Industrious and willing as ever, the Brazilian is a key component of Jose Mourinho’s attacking midfield trio. Could easily have ended up with a couple of goals.
Quieter than he has been in recent weeks but still dangerous and effective. Overshadowed somewhat by the supremely talented Hazard.
Eden Hazard: 9
Magnificent. Even when things were not going his way in the first half, the Belgian never stopped demanding possession. Strong and difficult to knock off the ball and rarely gives the ball away. Scored a glorious goal and seemed to beat at least one defender every time he had the ball. The best tackle on him came from referee Mark Clattenburg in the first half.
Fernando Torres: 7
Took his late goal really well – a reward for his endless running and willingness to work the channels from the first minute to the last. As ever, surrendered possession a number of times but had limited chances in the area, held the ball up well and won more than his fair share of headers.
Stifled Chelsea early on and were definitely on top for the second 15 minutes of the first half, when they had three decent attempts on goal. But they barely troubled Cech and were easily brushed aside after the break when they simply could not cope with a Hazard-inspired Chelsea. City have decent pace and enough quality to stay up and looked highly unlikely to get dragged into the relegation scrap. Huddlestone’s obvious talent stands out but his lack of mobility was exposed at times and they are in dire need of a quality striker. They are targeting West Brom’s Shane Long and he would fit the bill nicely.
Man of the match: Hazard