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Chelsea 4-2 Watford, Player Ratings: Bats-man and Ped-Robin to the rescue

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Chelsea v Watford - Premier League Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

1. MICHY BATSHUAYI (8.7)

Minutes: 30
Touches: 15
Passes: 5/7
Shots: 2**/4
Take-ons: 1/2

Michy Batshuayi may not do everything to the coach’s satisfaction, but the one thing he does do at a great rate is score goals. Statistics are of course deceiving — his 7 goals have come in just 4 games, going scoreless in 6 other appearances, for example, and his goal-ratio of one every 64 minutes this season is greatly enhanced by short substitute appearances — but goals are goals and Michy has just as many at this point as Álvaro Morata in all competitions, and in 300 fewer minutes!

That doesn’t mean that Morata’s first-team spot is under any threat at the moment, but Batshuayi as a substitute option should be very helpful, especially on days when Morata loses the physical and aerial battles.

2. PEDRO (7.9)

Minutes: 85
Touches: 50
Passes: 28*/34
Shots: 1*/3

One of bigger mysteries of recent weeks has been Pedro’s sudden disappearance from the starting lineup. Part of that was a result of experiments with the 3-5-2, which has room only for Hazard and Morata, but Pedro had seemingly fallen behind Willian in the pecking order, and that seemed unwarranted.

Regardless, Pedro were back in the 3-4-3 and Pedro was back in starting lineup for the first time in a month. And he was back in the goals, with yet another goal-of-the-month candidate. Does he score any other types of goals?

Later, he showed off his versatility, playing as the nominal right wing-back as Chelsea pushed for the equalizer, and delivering a perfect cross for an equalizer for the second-match running (assist for Hazard’s header against Roma to make it 3-3; now the assist for Batshuayi’s header to make it 2-2). That’s 3 goals and 3 assists on the season, adding to his team-leading “points” total for the calendar year.

3. CÉSAR AZPILICUETA (7.2)

Minutes: 90
Touches: 54
Passes: 23/32
Shots: 1*/1
Tackles: 4
Block+INTs: 3

Last but not least, there’s Dave, choosing the perfect time for his fourth career Premier League goal, and first of the season. He’s already scored once this season, which means he’s now matched his career high for most goals in a season with 2. He scores when he wants!

As great as the goal was and as unimaginable it is for Azpilicueta to not play, one way or another, (on this day, deployed as right wing-back, then left back), he’s in dire need of a rest, which he will hopefully get on Wednesday when we take on Everton in the League Cup.

(The record, as far as I can surmise, is 164 consecutive starts, by the one and only Frank Lampard.)


STARTERS: Courtois (6.3), Cahill (5.8), David Luiz (6.4), Rüdiger (6.6), Alonso (5.5), Fàbregas (6.2), Bakayoko (5.4), Azpilicueta (7.2), Hazard (7.1), Morata (5.5), Pedro (7.9)

SUBS: Batshuayi (8.7), Willian (7.3), Zappacosta (7.1)

OVERALL:

2017-18 player ratings - watford h