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Chelsea 3-0 Middlesbrough, Player Ratings: 9.4-out-of-10 magic hats for Cesc Fàbregas

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1. CESC FÀBREGAS 9.4
Minutes played90
Touches130
Passes98**/121
Shots0/2
Tackles3
Even before N'Golo Kanté was ruled out with a thigh injury, there was a very good chance of Fàbregas starting this game, just as he had the previous three home matches for Chelsea.

In two of those he had played as the third forward, but with Kanté missing, Cesc was deployed in a deeper midfield position where Boro let him operate with impunity.

That was a poor decision from them.

2. MARCOS ALONSO 8.8
Minutes played90
Touches61
Passes35/46
Shots2*/4
Take-ons2/3
Tackles4
Block+INT+RECs12
Fàbregas wasn't the only one to be given the freedom of Stamford Bridge on Monday by our visiting friends soon to be relegated from the Premier League.  Marcos Alonso roamed up and down the left flank at will all day long, with Adama Traoré not interested a single bit in tracking back and Fabio showing just why he made only a third as many appearances while at Manchester United as his twin-brother Rafael.

Alonso could've opened the scoring in the first 90 seconds and could've collected a couple assists with just a bit more luck on crosses and other low balls into the box.  Rather generously he appears to have been credited with the goal that Guzan deflected into his own net, but I'm fine with that fudging of the rules.

3. NEMANJA MATIĆ 8.3
Minutes played90
Touches97
Passes65/76
Shots1*/3
Take-ons3/3
Fouls drawn4
Tackles3
Block+INT+RECs12
The suddenly prolific Nemanja Matić has made less than a handful of appearances on the player ratings podium this season, but his re-emergence as a competent footballer should not be overlooked.  He had not looked himself since that Ashley Barnes tackle, but Conte put an arm around his shoulders, convinced him to stay in the summer, and the rest, as they say, is history.

I do wonder what the future holds for Matić despite all his success this season, especially if someone like Bakayoko signs, who basically seems to be a younger version of the Spiderbeast.

STARTERS:
Courtois (7.5), Cahill (7.7), David Luiz (7.8), Azpilicueta (8.2), Alonso (8.8), Matić (8.3), Fàbregas (9.4), Moses (7.8), Hazard (7.9), Costa (8.2), Pedro (7.9)

SUBS:
Willian (7.0), Chalobah (7.0), Terry (7.9)

OVERALL:

2016-17 player ratings - boro h