A thumping 5-0 win over Stoke City ensured Chelsea ended 2017 on the highest of notes. Antonio Rudiger, Danny Drinkwater, Pedro, Willian, and Davide Zappacosta all scored as the Blues leapfrogged Manchester United into second place in the Premier League. Here’s who impressed on Saturday afternoon:
The Spaniard was in terrific form from the start of the game. His constant running and energy tormented the Stoke defence, and he added Chelsea’s third goal in the first half. After a fine pass from Willian, Pedro turned brilliantly and fired a shot beyond the reach of Jack Butland. He almost added his second of the game in the second half, but his shot was saved by Butland. He had eight shots in total during the game, with four going on target. A great performance from Pedro.
2. Danny Drinkwater
Reunited with his title-winning partner at Leicester City with N’Golo Kante, Drinkwater continued the relationship exactly where it left off. With the Frenchman resuming a more defensive stance, this allowed Drinkwater to move forward, and it certainly paid off. The summer signing scored his first goal in Chelsea colours with a sublime volley just before the ten-minute mark. His goal aside, the Englishman was highly impressive in midfield, with his an array of long-range passes. His performance showed why Antonio Conte paid £35 million to bring him to Stamford Bridge.
Despite an excellent performance from Drinkwater, the man of the match can only go to one player. Willian was sublime from the first minute. He grabbed his first assist of the game after a few minutes, when his whipped free-kick was headed in at the back post by Antonio Rudiger. His second assist saw a simple pass played to Pedro, who finished well. Going forward, he was great, and tormented the Stoke defence. He won and converted a penalty in the second half to get on the scoresheet, which his performance definitely deserved.