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Crystal Palace vs. Chelsea, Player Ratings: The Mikel's gonna rise

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The second highest rated match of Chelsea's season so far!

Willian does the Drogba slide & salute
Willian does the Drogba slide & salute
Ian Walton/Getty Images

1. WILLIAN - AMR 8.8
Minutes played90
Touches67
Passes48*/59
Shots1*/1
Take-ons2/2
Block+INT+RECs6
Willian's back on top of the pile for the tenth (10th!) time already this season, and we're just barely past the halfway point of the season.  To put that into perspective, Best Player in England Eden Hazard was Man of the Match just 13 times all last season (and 12 the season before, and 13 the season before when Juan Mata also got 13 awards).  Willian has a great chance to easily shatter that record, should he keep up his goalscoring exploits (both from free kicks and the occasional worldy from open play) and his Drogba-tributes during his goal celebrations.

This was Willian's 19th consecutive start in all competitions.  Could he finally get a bit of a breather against Scunthorpe this weekend?

2. MIKEL - MC 8.5
Minutes played90
Touches91
Passes78/82
Tackles4
Block+INT+RECs9
I call to order the Annual Meeting of The Order of The Mikel.  (We really should hold these more often, but public opinion doesn't always make that possible.)

I said, "Order!"  Organization!  Calm!  Strength!

I will not have this rabble-rousing and sign-waving and idol-worshipping in my halls!  He is just a man.  Just a football player.  He bleeds, like any other man.

Though he probably bleeds Blue.

3. DIEGO COSTA - FC 8.5
Minutes played90
Touches56
Passes30*/39
Shots1*/2
Take-ons2/7
Fouls drawn3
It's back-to-back 8+ ratings for the center forward, though interrupted by a game missed due to suspension.  Still, the consecutive stellar ratings are a rare enough occurrence this season for any player, not just the striker, that it's worth pointing out.  Not even Willian has managed this!  Only Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Maccabi & Walsall) and Ramires (Walsall & Newcastle) can claim this feat, only the latter of whom did it in consecutive appearances.  Just another sign of the team's inconsistencies this year.

With three goals in his last two games (plus an assist), Diego Costa is (probably) BACK!  We built our strong start to last season on the back of his goals; now we can hope to do the same as we solidify our mid-table position.  Maybe he'll have saved a few goals for the Champions League, too, this time around.

STARTERS:
Courtois (7.2), Azpilicueta (7.4), Terry (7.4), Zouma (8.0), Ivanović (6.5), Fàbregas (7.7), Mikel (8.5), Hazard (5.1), Oscar (7.6), Willian (8.8), Costa (8.5)

SUBS:
Pedro (6.8), Matić (5.6)

OVERALL:  (Azpilicueta's rating is missing for this match; will fix next time)

2015-16 player ratings palace A