|1. NEMANJA MATIĆ - MC||8.6|
Blocks + INTs3
Mourinho called him a monster, all y'all called him Man of the Match. Probably his best game of the season (certainly is going by just the ratings) and a return to the Matić we were first introduced to in the second half of last season.
The goal turned out to be crucial thanks to everybody else's profligacy, but it was the big Serbian's passing (no silly giveaways in this one, I don't think...), tackling, and overall presence that really helped make this win one of Chelsea's most confident performances of the season.
Somewhat surprisingly, especially considering that he was the highest rated player by the community last season, this is only Matić's third Man of the Match vote win. Consistency!
|2. CESC FÀBREGAS - MC||7.6|
Blocks + INTs5
As impressive as Matic's 6 tackles won stat looks, he was just one of four (4!) Chelsea players with that many successful tackles as Chelsea attempted a rather ridiculous 50 total in this game. A few months ago I was watching a random replay from the 1986 World Cup and the number of slide tackles and duels truly reminded me of those olden times. It's supposed to be Throwback Thursday, not Throwback Tuesday, Chelsea!
So, plenty of tackles and plenty of interceptions as Cesc continued to bolster his credentials on defense. While I distinctly remember our pivot getting sucked to one side a couple times (and thus leaving a gaping hole in the middle of the pitch for Sporting to exploit), and both sides played a surprisingly vertical and direct game, we were mostly in control.
Matić-Fàbregas is quite clearly Mourinho's preferred midfield pairing (regardless of circumstance, so far) and their improving performances not just in attack bode well for the future.
|3. THIBAUT COURTOIS - GK||7.4|
Courtois was hardly troubled in this one as our defense did a great job in restricting Sporting to inaccurate and hopeful long shots. Perhaps Thibaut ended up here on account of not missing a gajillion-billion-zillion (approximately) clear cut opportunities.
Also, back-to-back CLEAN SHEETS, baby!
Filipe Luis (7.3), Terry (7.0), Cahill (7.1), Ivanović (7.1), Schürrle (5.7), Oscar (7.3), Hazard (7.1), Costa (7.3)
Willian (7.0), Mikel (6.7), Salah (6.4)