It was a game of two halves for Chelsea.
The first half was a direct pick from the PSG game where Chelsea looked totally worn out and tired and lacked intensity, yet the second half was a strong and totally opposite performance that pegged the Saints back as we created more chances. Here are the player ratings.
Thibaut Courtois: 9/10
Another excellent performance from him as he made some crucial saves in the game. He almost saved the penalty with his trailing leg, but Tadic got lucky with a poor penalty.
Branislav Ivanovic: 6.5/10
He delivered an exceptional cross for Diego Costa to head home in the first ten minutes, but largely had an anonymous first half. Grew comfortable in the second half as Chelsea improved. He was also denied a penalty.
Gary Cahill: 6/10
He struggled against Mane’s pace and had problems in the first half, but did his job more comfortably in the second half but got booked after getting beaten by Mane’s pace.
John Terry: 6/10
The defense was hardly organised in the first half as it was stretched by Long and Mane. However, Terry redeemed himself with a better second half performance in leadership.
Cesar Azpilicueta: 6.5/10
His involvement in defense was important as he was the only naturally quick defender in Chelsea’s back four. He had a shot on target as he provided more offensive influence in the second half.
Nemanja Matic: 5/10
A rare average game for Matic as he was uncharacteristically robbed off possession on a few occasions. He conceded the penalty, though it was a 50-50 case and got himself booked that time. He was lucky to escape another yellow later, and was substituted early in the second half.
Cesc Fabregas: 6/10
He was largely ineffective in the first half. He looked tired and slow in reacting. But he always showed the initiative and the desire to dictate the play. His passing was not up to his usual standards even though he improved well in the second half.
Hardworking but inefficient in the first half. He had a much better second half as he forced the Saints to retreat with his sheer mobility. Had to be substituted because of a knock.
The game was a struggle for him in terms of attacking. He was anonymous and looks like a break would do him good. He got a good chance to score, but Forster made a good save off his shot.
Eden Hazard: 8/10
He was the one of the three players who did all things good for Chelsea. In the first half, Chelsea couldn’t get the ball to him on a regular basis, but that changed in the second half as he dominated whenever he had the ball. He played an instrumental part in creating the first goal.
Diego Costa: 9/10
He was absolutely phenomenal with his movement and scored a very good headed goal. He was unlucky as he struck the post in the second half. He looks like he is getting back to his best form and it would help Chelsea to see off this last stage of the season.
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