The Blues stormed to a 4-0 victory at Stoke on Saturday afternoon and stayed in touch with the two Manchester clubs at the top of the Premier League. Alvaro Morata bagged his first Chelsea hat-trick but was it enough to secure him as Man of the Match this week or can a assisting compatriot claim the award?
3. Tiemoue Bakayoko
A dominant display alongside N’Golo Kante in the middle of the park from the Frenchman. His physical presence and power on the ball meant that Joe Allen and Darren Fletcher were no match for him in midfield. He played an instrumental part in Chelsea’s first goal in the opening minutes of the game as he won the ball just outside his own area before surging through a handful of Stoke players. He then proceeded to lay it off to Kante and Chelsea went on their way – the ball was in the back of Jack Butland’s net just a few seconds after. There’s no doubt that, at the age of just 22, he’ll be a long-term force in Chelsea’s midfield and looks to have formed an impressive partnership with his compatriot N’Golo Kante. He claimed an assist for Alvaro Morata’s second goal – presenting him with the ball and the striker did the rest.
2. Cesar Azpilicueta
His attacking influence was perhaps overlooked at times last season because Diego Costa didn’t make the most of the chances presented to him by the defender. This season however, Alvaro Morata’s prolific form has earned Azpilicueta four assists – only two players have more in the Premier League and both of those are attacking midfielders. It was against Stoke where Azpilicueta claimed half of those assists. On the minute mark, he sent Morata through on goal with a long diagonal over the Stoke defence and then, to give his teammate his hat-trick, he chested it into the path of Morata to poke home. It’s important to remember Dave has been playing on the right of a back 3 and not off the striker but I wouldn’t blame you for thinking that was the case. He contributed to another Chelsea clean sheet alongside a different defence and captained the team to a well-deserved victory.
1. Alvaro Morata
On the day that Diego Costa was spotted at an Atletico Madrid game on the verge of a return to the Spanish capital, it was fitting that his replacement bagged a stunning hat-trick. Alvaro Morata arrived from Madrid in the summer for around £70m and hasn’t looked back since, scoring 6 goals in 6 Premier League games. His first goal came just 80 seconds into the game as he latched onto Azpilicueta’s pass and stroked the ball past the on-rushing Jack Butland to put the Blues ahead early on. A superb solo strike followed in the second half after he collected the ball near the half way line and was simply too quick and too powerful for any of the Stoke defenders to stop him before he dinked the ball over Butland, much to the delight of the travelling fans in that corner. Azpilicueta set him up again with a chested pass across the six-yard box before Morata toe-poked the ball into the corner of the net to claim the match ball. It could’ve been more for the striker but Man of the Match couldn’t have been anyone else this week.