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Crystal Palace 0-1 Chelsea, Player Ratings: Costa, Azpilicueta, Fàbregas at some of their best

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1. DIEGO COSTA 8.7
Minutes played87
Touches44
Passes16/29
Shots1*/2
Take-ons2/4
Clearances2/2
In Chelsea's previous game, Diego Costa was rated lower than an 8.0 for the first time in ten starts, but he was back in full effect on Saturday, collecting a typical Diego Costa hat-trick:  a goal, a yellow card, and plenty of jimmies rustled.

As easy as it is to fall back into the typical Costa narrative, Diego remains a changed man.  He didn't engage in any off the ball shenanigans even when booted in the face by James McArthur, and the yellow card picked up early in the first half, while decently timed, was not some cunning plot to serve the inevitable suspension against easy opposition — he's had plenty of chances to do so before.

What hasn't changed is Diego Costa's eye for a goal; Michy Batshuayi will have his work cut out for him to replicate Diego's usual impact.

2. CÉSAR AZPILICUETA 8.6
Minutes played90
Touches67
Passes45*/53
Clearances7/8
Block+INT+RECs6
Azpilicueta was Sky Sports' Man of the Match in this one, and he just barely missed out on the same honor here.  Still, this is Azpilicueta's highest rating in what is so far turning out to be his best season in Chelsea's colors.

A fitting end to a week that saw Azpi reach 200 appearances for Chelsea, and sign on for three and a half more years.  A legend in the making?  A legend in the making.

3. CESC FÀBREGAS 7.9
Minutes played28
Touches27
Passes16/20
Shots1/1
Block+INT+RECs4
Completing the Spanish trio is none other than Cesc Fàbregas, making another impactful appearance off the bench.  This one ended with zero goals and zero assists (though not for lack of trying), but more importantly than that, his introduction was key in Chelsea re-establishing control of the game and eventually seeing out our eleventh win in a row.

Cesc has now played in four straight games, starting two of them, and that's an arrangement that should be viable going forward into the second half of the season (i.e. him and Matić rotating as the situation calls for it).

STARTERS:
Courtois (7.6), Cahill (7.4), David Luiz (7.5), Azpilicueta (8.6), Alonso (7.7), Matić (7.2), Kanté (7.4), Moses (7.0), Hazard (7.6), Costa (8.7), Willian (6.5)

SUBS:
Fàbregas (7.9), Ivanović (6.7), Batshuayi (6.3)

OVERALL:

2016-17 player ratings - palace a