Chelsea continued their terrific goal scoring form of late at the Bet365 Stadium as they romped to a 4-0 win over Stoke. That’s 15 goals in the last 4 games for the Blues as they prepare for their toughest two fixtures yet in Atletico Madrid and Manchester City next week. Alvaro Morata bagged his first, and probably not his last, Chelsea hat-trick while fellow Spaniard Pedro added another but who else deserves great credit for their performance on Saturday – here are the player ratings:
Thibaut Courtois – 6.5
Not called into action on too many occasions because of the valiant defensive work on show in front of him. Reliable in possession as always as Chelsea looked to play out from the back. He’ll be glad to get another clean sheet on the board.
Cesar Azpilicueta – 9
Despite playing in defence, he has formed a telepathic partnership with Alvaro Morata since the striker joined from Real Madrid. Dave set up Morata’s first goal with a searching, diagonal ball over the top of Stoke’s defensive line and that left Morata with a simple finish. He claimed his fourth assist for Morata this season for Chelsea’s fourth goal as he cheated the across the six-yard box for Morata to convert. Two assists and a clean sheet isn’t a bad game for anyone but it’s becoming quite frequent for this man.
Andreas Christensen – 7
The Dane was a reliable replacement for the suspended David Luiz and the clean sheet will give him great confidence going into the game against Manchester City next week. Along with the clearances and headers that come with a centre-back’s game, Christensen is very impressive with the ball at his feet which suits the style of play under Antonio Conte.
Antonio Rudiger – 7
Chosen over Gary Cahill from the start and didn’t let his manager down with a solid display on the left of the back 3. Such as his value to the team, he wasn’t shifted out to left wing-back when Cahill was brought on for Marcos Alonso – Antonio Conte electing to stick with his German defender which shows how far he has already come since the start of the season.
Victor Moses – 6.5
He is battling hard to fend off Davide Zappacosta and that’s exactly the competition Antonio Conte wants to see in his side. Was influential in attack and defence and caused Stoke’s left side a plethora of problems as they had Ramadan Sobhi tracking him.
N’Golo Kante – 7
It’s hard to expect anything else other than a tireless performance from the 2016/17 PFA Player of the Year. He worked alongside Tiemoue Bakayoko to prevent the likes of Joe Allen from gaining any sort of grip on the game. Sometimes a bit careless in possession but he more than makes up for it with his interceptions and tackles.
Tiemoue Bakayoko – 8
Despite being tagged as a defensive midfielder when he arrived at the club, his explosive power allowed him to provide a real attacking threat to the Stoke side who could not handle him in midfield. For the first goal, he won the ball just outside of his own box and surged forward, beating two of three opposition players before offloading the ball to N’Golo Kante and the ball was in the back of the Stoke net a few moments later. Starting to look like a £40m bargain.
Marcos Alonso – 6
Came under fire from the home crowd after a couple of careless fouls that saw them baying for a red card but Mike Dean was lenient with the Spaniard. Had to be replaced by Gary Cahill before he went down the tunnel on his own devices.
Willian – 6
A very quiet game by his standards where he provided very little going forward. Was replaced by Eden Hazard in the second half and, after watching Pedro take his goal so well, he could be watching his teammates from the bench in the coming weeks.
Pedro – 7.5
Latched onto Darren Fletcher’s loose ball and struck home magnificently from the edge of the box to double Chelsea’s lead before half time. As ever, he worked his socks off for the team and rarely gave away possession with an 88% pass completion rate but what else would you expect from a former Barcelona player?
Alvaro Morata – 10
We certainly didn’t expect this former Real Madrid player to start his Chelsea career as well as he has. Morata shot himself up to the joint-highest goal scorer in the Premier League this season with a stunning hat-trick with the first goal coming just 80 seconds into the game. The striker ran onto Cesar Azpilicueta’s pass and slotted past Jack Butland in a composed fashion we’ve come to expect from him. His second was even better – he ran from deep in Stoke’s half, past every defender, and clipped the ball exquisitely over the on-rushing keeper in front of the away fans. He grabbed his hat-trick late on – poking home from close range and could’ve had more. The perfect performance.
Gary Cahill – 6.5
Tasked with the threat of Peter Crouch as he enjoyed the physical battle between the two Englishman. Held his ground against the towering striker and kept a clean sheet in the process.
Cesc Fabregas – 6.5
Brought on to had some stability to a tiring Chelsea side and he did just that. Was involved in the fourth goal as his dinked ball found Azpilicueta who teed up Morata.
Eden Hazard – 6
More minutes in the tank for the Belgian as Antonio Conte looks to have him ready for the big games that are soon to come but Hazard wasn’t involved in much successful play. Only providing glimpses of what hopefully is to come.