|1. EDEN HAZARD||9.8|
OKay, so technically speaking, neither Hazard's 9.8 nor Chelsea's 8.48 average are highest in WAGNH Player Ratings history.
There have been two perfect 10s in the 4+ seasons of this thing, one for Paulo Ferreira's final match and one for Cesc Fabregas's red card against West Brom where he hit Christ Brunt in the head with the ball (Cesc was probably aiming for the ref). The ratings were rigged to allow only 10s in both instances.
The "real" high score was Diego Costa's 9.8 at the start of the 2014-15 season, when he hit a hat-trick in a 4-2 win against Swansea City. By executive order, I declare Hazard's performance to be just slightly better -- in fact, if we scrub the data from the Everton match by removing, say, the top/bottom 1/8th (outliers/trolls), we get a 9.96 average for Hazard.
Pretty much perfect.
The 8.48 is second highest to the 8.54 for the last game of the 2014-15 season (a 3-1 win over Sunderland), but clearly, those ratings were inflated because of the title celebrations. So the "real" highest rating is easily this game. Judging by the coverage in the media at large, most would agree.
It's unclear where this Pedro has been hiding all along, but ever since getting plugged in as a replacement for the unfortunate Willian, the former Barcelona man has been outstanding. It's tough to see Willian coming back into the starting lineup at this point without a drastic drop-off from Pedro.
We often talk about the effects that the confidence feedback loop can have on a player, both good and bad, and right now, Pedro is going from strength-to-strength. His goals and effort flew under the radar given the poor overall performances last season (both individually and as a team), but he's now showing just why Chelsea went all out to gazump Manchester United for his signature last summer.
|3. DIEGO COSTA||9.2|
Regardless of how many goals he scores -- and perhaps exactly because of all the goals he's scoring -- I can't quite shake the feeling that this will be Diego's final season in England. There will be Atletico rumors aplenty soon enough, and this time, they might just turn out to be true.
Regardless of whether my negative prognostications turn out to be or not, it's ridiculously and unreservedly enjoyable to watch Costa nowadays. All the determination and drive without the necessarily sideshows and flare-ups and "mind-games" and whatever else Mourinho used to refer to as the milkshake that brings all the spectators to the yard.
Costa does have four yellows on the season, but almost all of them have been for "dissent" (or at least the referee deciding to make an example out of him for some imagined "dissent"). Incidentally, perhaps because of the winning good feels, Costa has flipped that script as well. The token disbelief is still there when a bad call (or non-call) is made, but even in the case of Coleman trying to destroy his foot at the start of Saturday's game, Costa has been dusting himself off, getting back in, and hitting the opposition back where it really hurts, in the back of the net.
(On a sidenote: I came away from the game with the impression that Costa had dribbled less often with the ball than normal; the 4/10 in take-ons destroy that perception...)
Courtois (7.8), Cahill (8.3), David Luiz (8.8), Azpilicueta (8.6), Alonso (9.0), Kanté (8.8), Matić (8.8), Moses (8.7), Hazard (9.8), Costa (9.2), Pedro (9.3)
Oscar (7.2), Batshuayi (7.1), Terry (7.3)