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Player Ratings: Great performances up top and at the back lead Chelsea to victory over Newcastle

Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Minutes played82
Aerial duels2/3
Diego Costa is back, and back in full effect.  He's once again top scorer in the Premier League, all the while working tirelessly on the pitch, making a nuisance of himself even without the ball, and, of course, getting under the opponent's skin in general.  His ability to make a living in the penalty box is absolutely wonderful, even if he goes about it a bit differently (i.e. he's a more complete striker) than poachers of yore like Pippo Inzaghi or more modern examples like Chicharito.

This is Diego's fourth Man of the Match award, which is tied for second with Oscar behind Hazard's eight (8!).

2. PETR CECH - GK 8.2
Minutes played90
With Thibaut Courtois nursing a thumb injury, Petr Cech got a rare Premier League start -- could look at it as a bit of cheeky timing, too, with the transfer window up and running -- and showcased just how great it is to have two top class goalkeepers in the squad.  He may not look as impressive as our new number one on crosses and lofted balls, but his reflexes are still that of a young man and his four saves in the first half kept Chelsea in the game.

We've got a little over four months left to appreciate Cech in a Chelsea shirt.  He's 12 shy 500 appearances for the club and has kept 225 clean sheets in all competitions.

3. KURT ZOUMA - DC 7.9
Minutes played90
Many had been clamoring for this and Jose finally gave it to us: Kurt Zouma started a Premier League game!  It was the 20-year-old's eighth start of the year and second in a row after also impressing (and scoring) against Watford in the FA Cup.

While the boy's still a bit suspect on judging the exact flight of the ball and his touches on the ball don't exactly make me the most comfortable, his tremendous athleticism and raw power were often far more than Newcastle could cope with, especially in the second half.  His generally aggressive (yet well-timed) style is a much better fit right now than Cahill next to Terry, with both Englishmen preferring to play a more covering/sweeping style of defense.  And that's especially true with Cahill's recent struggles.  Zouma's ability to hit a decent cross-field ball is a plus as well.

Basically, what I'm saying is, more Zouma please!

Azpilicueta (6.2), Terry (7.0), Ivanovic (6.9), Matic (7.0), Fabregas (6.9), Hazard (7.6), Oscar (7.7), Willian (7.2)

Filipe Luis (6.8), Ramires (6.4), Remy (6.6)


2014/15 Player Ratings - Newcastle H

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