clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Stoke City 1-2 Chelsea, Player Ratings: N'Golo Kanté is unreal

Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

1. N'GOLO KANTÉ 8.0
Minutes played90
Touches87
Passes57/64
Shots0/1
Tackles8
Block+REC+INTs13
Over his last seven starts, N'Golo Kanté is averaging a rather unreal 8.5 rating, which has pushed his season average up into the 7.7 range and level with the season-long frontrunner Diego Costa.

While Costa's lead in the tie-breaker is safe (9 Man of the Match awards vs. 5 for Kanté), the way their individual performances are trending, Kanté could very well sneak his way into top spot by the end of the season.

That's not to take anything away from Costa who's been excellent (and in the goals and out of trouble) for the vast majority of the season.  But Kanté's been next level great and consistent, save for maybe one poor game against Arsenal just before the birth of 3-4-3.

2. DAVID LUIZ 7.7
Minutes played90
Touches90
Passes60/68
Shots1/2
Clearances10/10
Block+REC+INTs17
Defensive statistics are limited and poor, but David Luiz did put up some ridiculous totals in both a reactive (10 clearances) and a proactive category (7 interceptions), lending credence to his second-place finish just ahead of the match-winner and fellow center back Gary Cahill.

Chelsea's starting defensive trio may have a grand total of 1 Man of the Match award to share between themselves, but they've allowed just six shots on target over the last four games and that sort of shutdown excellence doesn't happen by accident.  (It happens with teamwork and a system working very well, but I think my point is that Azpi, DL, and Cahill may be the unsung heroes of the season.)

3. GARY CAHILL 7.7
Minutes played90
Touches76
Passes52/64
Shots1*/1
Clearances7/7
Long-time readers of the blog will no doubt know that I'm not the biggest fan of Gary Cahill — and maybe the newer short-timers will know it, too, if by no other means than by having just read these words — but his redemption story, both in terms of just this one game and the season overall has been a pretty nice story to watch unfold.

His madcap celebrations to lead the rest of the team's madcap celebrations of his winner did truly warm the cockles of my heart, even in the midst of a terrible hangover.

GET IN.

STARTERS:
Courtois (7.1), Cahill (7.7), David Luiz (7.7), Azpilicueta (7.2), Alonso (7.4), Matić (6.8), Kanté (8.0), Moses (6.6), Pedro (7.1), Costa (6.9), Willian (7.5)

SUBS:
Fàbregas (7.1), Loftus-Cheek (7.1), Zouma (6.8) — Zouma was left off the ratings sheet, so I just assigned him his season average for the cameo

OVERALL: (tbc)