|1. EDEN HAZARD||8.6|
Eden Hazard was (surprisingly) kept in reserve by Antonio Conte but that decision ended up making him look like a genius when Hazard made a 30-minute game-winning cameo, alongside the rather harshly rated Diego Costa and, later, Cesc Fàbregas as well.
Hazard's impact nudges him ahead of two-goal Willian by just a couple hundredths, making him the WAGNH Man of the Match for the 11th time this season. That's two more than the next best (Costa), and more importantly, the fifth in his last seven appearances. Shambles against Manchester United aside (when the whole team was very bad), Hazard's making his impact felt exactly when it counts as Chelsea look to end the season on a spectacular note.
The free-kick master strikes again, showing that anything Marcos Alonso can do, he can do better. Just in case we forgot his goal-scoring heroics from last season when he was the only player to consistently avoid the title-hangover that seemed to effect everybody from the coaching staff on down.
And then he coolly converted his penalty as well (as Hazard was on the bench) after Batshuayi was kindly asked to vacate the spot by a combination of Conte and Captain Azpilicueta. Sorry, Michy, this was not your time!
With that goal, Willian has reached double-digit goals for the second straight season and for the second time in his career. For a player often derided for a lack of actual end-product, that is not a bad accomplishment at all, especially when considering that so far, he's played less than half the minutes than he played in last season. (He has already set a new career high with 6 league goals, too.)
|3. DAVID LUIZ||8.5|
David Luiz did not get named captain in the absence of Gary Cahill (Azpilicueta was a fantastic choice as well, to be sure), but he did celebrate his 30th birthday with a win, a fantastic performance, and the Man of the Match trophy from the match organizers.
While he just misses out for collecting that here as well, Saturday's game was yet another perfect illustration of just how well David Luiz fits into the three-man defence. Strong in the air, strong in the tackle with great anticipation and fantastic distribution, DL's "quarterbacking" of the team (with or without Fàbregas also in the lineup) has been one of the biggest reasons Chelsea sit on top of the Premier League table and are now just one game away from winning the FA Cup for the first time since 2012. That he's played half the season with a bum knee (thanks Aguero!) and played through several more knocks (and a stamp, too!) on Saturday just proves his "warrior" mentality once again.
David Luiz still enjoys the life like good geezers do, but his maturity has been a tremendous asset for us this season and hopefully that sort of strong play continues for several more seasons.
Courtois (7.3), Aké (8.1), David Luiz (8.5), Azpilicueta (7.8), Alonso (7.1), Matić (7.9), Kanté (8.0), Moses (7.8), Pedro (7.1), Batshuayi (6.6), Willian (8.6)
Costa (6.3), Hazard (8.6), Fàbregas (7.4)