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Chelsea 1-0 West Brom, Player Ratings: Costa party up front, clean sheet business in the back

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Flying high up in the sky, Costa keeps the Blue flag flying high
Flying high up in the sky, Costa keeps the Blue flag flying high
Clive Rose/Getty Images

1. DIEGO COSTA 9.1
Minutes played90
Touches41
Passes15/23
Shots1*/1
Take-ons2/3
Fouls drawn4
Block+INT+RECs4
Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego

Is this lazy writing?

Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego Diego

Probably.

2. GARY CAHILL 7.8
Minutes played90
Touches77
Passes50/62
Clearances10/10
Tackles2
Block+INT+RECs4
Even Cahill has now made it onto the player ratings podium, after an impressive and solid day out against West Brom and Salomón Rondón, who was giving fits a below par and probably slightly injured David Luiz.  But that's why we have three center backs these days, so that they are able to provide excellent cover for each other.

Cahill, who in true Cahill-esque fashion has gone about his business of being captain steadily and without much fuss (with both Terry and Ivanović reduced to bench roles), has not had many bounces go his way this season (see: early-season cavalcade of tragic errors; own goal against Manchester City), so it's nice to see him get a few ratings points.  This is in fact the first time all season that Cahill is the highest rated defender for a game.

3. CÉSAR AZPILICUETA 7.5
Minutes played90
Touches100
Passes71/87
Clearances6/7
Tackles3
Block+INT+RECs7
Several monstrous statistical sums for Dave in this one, at both ends of the ball, including 100 touches (second most on the team after Matić) and multiple interceptions and ball recoveries and tackles (despite not getting too many opportunities for defensive actions given how little West Brom actually attacked).

Azpilicueta was in fact WhoScored's Man of the Match, which would be far more impressive if we knew the formula behind the madness of their ratings method.

That caveat aside, Azpilicueta has been a revelation at center back in the 3-4-3.  While he's certainly not the only one to have emerged as a key player in a surprising position in Conte's system, he's playing about as well as he's ever played for Chelsea, which is no mean feat given his previous reputation as the best defensive left back in the league.

STARTERS:
Courtois (7.3), Cahill (7.8), David Luiz (6.6), Azpilicueta (7.5), Alonso (6.8), Matić (6.9), Kanté (7.4), Moses (6.9), Hazard (7.0), Costa (9.1), Pedro (6.5)

SUBS:
Willian (7.0), Fàbregas (7.4), Ivanović (6.6)

OVERALL:

2016-17 chelsea player ratings - wba h