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Chelsea 4-2 Southampton, Player Ratings: Welcome back, Diego Costa

Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

1. DIEGO COSTA 8.8
Minutes played90
Touches49
Passes20*/26
Shots3**/6
Take-ons2/3
Guess who's back?  Back again?  That's right, Slim Shady Diego Costa's back.  Tell a friend.

Just the two goals and the assist for Slim here then to snap out of his funk -- averaged just a 6.2 in his previous 14 appearances -- and set himself up for a strong finish to the season.

There was a time earlier this season when Costa was the one consistent highlight of Chelsea games; we could use similar impact from him in the final month.

2. EDEN HAZARD 8.6
Minutes played88
Touches68
Passes46/56
Shots1*/3
Take-ons2/2
Tackles3
Speaking of consistent impact and saving your best for last, blip against Manchester United aside, Hazard has been posting ratings of 7.7 or better for the past several weeks, even as fresh debates over his style (just how much selfish is good selfish?) and a potential Real Madrid transfer rage on.

Tuesday night was no different as he staked Chelsea to an early lead then helped settle things down in the second half, picking up secondary assists on both of Costa's goals.

Don't ever leave us, Eden.

3. CESC FABREGAS 8.2
Minutes played75
Touches64
Passes44*/53
Fouls drawn2
Tackles3
For the second time this season -- and to a much better result than the 2-1 loss to Crystal Palace -- Fabregas started as the third forward in the 3-4-3.  That does unbalance the formation a fair bit (not quite a 3-5-2, but something close to it), but it also tends provide a bit of extra midfield control.  As such, the open back-n-forth end-to-end style of the first half was a bit disappointing, but the second-half was a much more measured and controlled display.

Fabregas picked up his 103rd career Premier League assist, moving past Frank Lampard into sole possession of second place in the all-time charts.  He's now appeared in 25 straight matches (about half of them starts), which is a decent accomplishment for someone who was written off before the season even started.

STARTERS:
Courtois (6.8), Cahill (7.7), David Luiz (7.3), Azpilicueta (7.4), Alonso (7.2), Matić (7.1), Kanté (8.1), Moses (7.0), Hazard (8.7), Costa (8.8), Fàbregas (8.2)

SUBS:
Pedro (6.9), Terry (7.3), Willian (6.4)

OVERALL:

2016-17 player ratings - southampton h

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