|1. CESC FÀBREGAS - MC||9.3|
Blocks + INTs3
Mourinho hailed the incoming ex-Arsenal man as our midfield saviour, and so far, he's once again proving to be absolutely right. It's taken Fàbregas exactly one game to better all but three of last year's individual player performances. And if we look back over the two-year history of the WAGNH Player Ratings (2012/13, 2013/14), Fàbregas's 9.3 rating is good for seventh all-time, tied with André Schürrle's game-changing performance against PSG in last year's Champions League quarterfinals. That's not a bad debut by anybody's standards.
Deployed next to Nemanja Matic in what is likely to be our ideal midfield pairing unless playing against the league's and the continent's elite, Cesc controlled the game, wasn't afraid to get involved on defense (leading the team in whatever it is that Opta defines as "interceptions"), and had a hand in all three Chelsea goals. It was his sublimely nonchalant backheel that opened up the space for Branislav Ivanovic to cross on the first goal; it was his absolutely scintillating first-time threading of the needle that provided the assist for André Schürrle's goal (secondary assist: Ivanović), and it was his well-taken corner kick that was thumped home by that man again, Branislav Ivanović. Yes, Bane had a hand in all three goals as well -- an attacking tour-de-force from the right back! (At the cost of forgetting a bit about defense, much like the rest of his defensive colleagues.)
While I doubt that Fàbregas will keep up this level of performance throughout the rest of the season, if he does come anywhere near it, we'll most likely live up to our preseason billing as Premier League favorites.
|2. DIEGO COSTA - ST||8.5|
Like Kellogg's is a part of this complete breakfast, Diego Costa is a part of this complete football team. Except unlike the breakfast claim, this one's actually true and healthy in every sense of the word. And it's a way better thing that this joke I just attempted on the whole "complete striker" business.
(Wait, wait, are we counting it again this season, too? Because so far it's Chelsea strikers 1, Lukaku 0...)
All that aside, it was lovely to see Diego Costa get off the mark in his first official Chelsea match simply by being at the right place at the right time. All his other work -- including the penalty kick that he should've been awarded, but for which he was booked instead -- was just the gravy on top.
|3. ANDRÉ SCHÜRRLE - AMR||8.3|
The Summer of Schürrle continues; the Champion of the World goes from strength to strength. He finished last season on a high, carried that form through the World Cup and now he's already opened his goalscoring account for this year.
Perhaps a touch over-exuberant at times -- he ignored obvious passes, especially to Diego Costa, and finished with almost half of all Chelsea shots taken (5 of 11) -- but while André carries on with this hot streak (and he was a bit unlucky not to score another goal), nobody's going to complain (much).
Courtois (7.6), Azpilicueta (7.3), Terry (6.8), Cahill (6.9), Ivanović (8.1), Matić (7.7), Hazard (7.7), Oscar (7.1)
Mikel (6.2), Drogba (6.9), Willian (6.4)