1. RUBEN LOFTUS-CHEEK (7.8, sub)
Fouls drawn: 1
Loftus-Cheek continues his super-sub role (partly due to injuries, partly due to Sarri being Sarri), making a lot of appearances but still trailing well behind all the other midfielders currently in the frame in terms of playing time. Despite having played about half the minutes of Ross Barkley and Mateo Kovačić (not to mention N’Golo Kanté and Jorginho), Loftus-Cheek now has two goals more (7) than any other midfielder (Barkley with 5). Only Morata (5), Pedro (8), and Hazard (13) have scored more goals than RLC (4) in the league for us, and that’s despite Ruben only starting one (1!) Premier League match so far this season.
2. EDEN HAZARD (7.2, sub)
Fouls drawn: 3
Hazard, like Kanté, was set to be “rested”, which is certainly a valid concept but a bit of a strange time to apply it, at the beginning of a congested run of games (international break or no international break). Most agree that a home game against Brighton rather than an away match against a desperate Cardiff would’ve been the more obvious place to rotate and rest. And sure enough, Hazard was needed, so his “rest” day was not so restful after all.
3. CÉSAR AZPILICUETA (6.4)
Azpilicueta’s probably having his worst season as a Chelsea player, or possibly his second worst after his very first one at the club. The common thing between 2012-13 and now is that he’s mostly played as the right back. That may be his position in theory, and he can certainly still be effective at it, but it’s not quite the magnificence we’ve come to know from him as a left back under Mourinho or a center back in a back-three under Conte.
vs. CARDIFF CITY (PL, A, W 2-1)
EXCEPTIONAL (9.0+): —
EXCELLENT (8.0-8.9): —
GOOD (7.0-7.9): Loftus-Cheek (7.8, sub), Hazard (7.2, sub)
AVERAGE (6.0-6.9): Azpilicueta (6.4), Giroud (6.1, sub)
POOR (5.0-5.9): Arrizabalaga (5.9), Willian (5.5), David Luiz (5.3)
BAD (4.0-4.9): Barkley (4.9), Rüdiger (4.9), Kovačić (4.7), Pedro (4.2)
TERRIBLE (3.0-3.9): Jorginho (3.9), Alonso (3.8), Higuaín (3.4)