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Chelsea 1-2 Crystal Palace, Player Ratings: Hazard's masterclass goes to waste

1. EDEN HAZARD 7.7
Minutes played90
Touches91
Passes64*/79
Shots1/3
Take-ons2/3
Fouls drawn2
Not for the first time in his Chelsea career, Eden Hazard showed off the benefits of getting an extended rest and recovery period — unfortunately it was an effort that ultimately went unrewarded thanks to Chelsea's inability to put the ball past Hennessy after Fàbregas's opener and two quickfire goals from the visitors in the meantime.

But Hazard's performance, one of the best of the season especially in the first half, should bode well for the game coming up on Wednesday against Manchester City as well as the rest of the title run-in as Chelsea look to make good on our now "only" seven-point lead.

2. CESC FÀBREGAS 6.9
Minutes played90
Touches107
Passes74/95
Shots2*/3
Tackles7
Fouls drawn2
Cesc Fàbregas was not necessarily a surprise starter in this one, but his exact role and positioning was.

Playing in addition to Nemanja Matić rather than instead of as the normal squad rotation would dictate, Fàbregas was the nominal third forward and third midfielder — his hybrid attacking midfield role creating a few new looks in the first half before Willian's arrival restored a more standard setup.

It took just five minutes for the initial tactical wrinkle to pay off, but despite creating many more chances, that early goal would be Chelsea's only tally on the day.

3. THIBAUT COURTOIS 6.3
Minutes played90
Touches24
Distribution22/22
Saves1
It's a player ratings tradition for the goalkeeper to sneak into the top three in draws and narrow losses and Courtois is no exception for this one, narrowly edging out emergency right wing-back Pedro.

While there was little he could do on either one of Palace's goal, Courtois did come up with a big save in the second half to keep the scoreline manageable and keep faith alive for a potential comeback.  He also did not have to resort to a single long goal-kick, keeping his short-range distribution efficient and on point.

STARTERS:
Courtois (6.3), Cahill (5.5), David Luiz (5.1), Azpilicueta (5.7), Alonso (6.0), Matić (5.2), Kanté (6.1), Pedro (6.3), Hazard (7.7), Costa (4.5), Fàbregas (6.9)

SUBS:
Willian (5.9), Batshuayi (4.6), Loftus-Cheek (5.4)

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