1. RUBEN LOFTUS-CHEEK (6.8)
Fouls drawn: 5
It’s tough to find a truly standout performance in Chelsea’s lowest-rated competitive match of the season (so not counting the Community Shield), but Ruben Loftus-Cheek appeared to be the consensus least-worst performer on the night, continuing his strong form even if he did not get on scoresheet this time.
2. N’GOLO KANTÉ (6.6)
After complaining about the lack of defensive cover in last midweek’s match against BATE, when Chelsea started with Loftus-Cheek and Kovačić flanking Fàbregas in midfield, it’s perhaps entirely unsurprising that N’Golo got the nod against Derby’s impressive (certainly for the Championship) midfield trio of Mount, Wilson, and Huddlestone. It’s certainly much more surprising that Chelsea only maintained control of the game for maybe half the 90 minutes, even with Kanté there to snuff out potential dangers. Why that happened is for others to analyze, though it was the sort of game where even Kanté was giving the ball away — then again, with Fàbregas wandering forward to score a winning goal, perhaps some players weren’t always where they were expected to be…
3. WILLIAN (6.6)
So that’s start number ten in a row for Willian. Only 13 more to go to equal his record from three years ago, when made 23 starts in a row on the way to winning Chelsea’s (Least-worst) Player of the Year. That said, it was a strangely subdued performance from Willian, who tends to shine when he doesn’t have to play second fiddle to Eden Hazard. Instead, he played it safe a lot and ended up playing second fiddle to Loftus-Cheek.
vs. DERBY COUNTY (LC, H, W 3-2)
EXCEPTIONAL (9.0+): —
EXCELLENT (8.0-8.9): —
GOOD (7.0-7.9): —
AVERAGE (6.0-6.9): Loftus-Cheek (6.8), Kanté (6.6), Willian (6.6), David Luiz (6.4, sub), Kovačić (6.4), Caballero (6.3), Zappacosta (6.1), Fàbregas (6.1)
POOR (5.0-5.9): Morata (5.9), Azpilicueta (5.9, sub), Pedro (5.9, sub), Emerson (5.7), Christensen (5.3)
BAD (4.0-4.9): Cahill (4.1)
TERRIBLE (3.0-3.9): —