1. N’GOLO KANTÉ (8.9)
It’s been a bit of a stop-start season for Kanté — he’s yet to start two games in a row, both by choice and by force, for example — but he was absolutely dazzling in this game, against his old team. (Leicester often get this bit of credit, though he was there for just the one season and he’s now in his sixth (6th!) season at Chelsea, but I digress.)
His performance was of course crowned by his brilliant solo-run goal, which in some ways reminded me of the brilliant solo-run goal he scored in the 4-0 against Manchester United back in 2016-17. In hindsight, that game signaled the all-conquering run from Conte’s Chelsea that would follow. This game is starting to make many believe similarly, five years later.
2. ANTONIO RÜDIGER (8.4)
It was a neat corner routine (credit to coach Anthony Barry for that one, probably?) from which Toni got his goal, and he almost repeated the trick not long after as well. He’s now equaled his career-high for league goals in a season, with two.
But beyond any goalscoring feats, Toni’s defending, just like the team’s, was nigh impeccable. His interception and clearance of Vardy’s cross to prevent a tap-in was as important as any goal.
3. THIAGO SILVA (8.4)
Here’s a difference between me and Thiago. I’m on vacation and I’m making not working hard look very easy. He’s not on vacation and he’s making working hard look very easy.
vs. LEICESTER CITY (PL, A, W 3-0)
EXCEPTIONAL (9.0+): —
EXCELLENT (8.0-8.9): Kanté (8.9), Rüdiger (8.4), Silva (8.4), James (8.3), Chilwell (8.1), Mendy (8.0)
GOOD (7.0-7.9): Jorginho (7.9), Chalobah (7.9), Pulisic (7.8, sub), Hudson-Odoi (7.6), Ziyech (7.6, sub)
AVERAGE (6.0-6.9): Havertz (6.9), Loftus-Cheek (6.7, sub) Mount (6.6)
POOR (5.0-5.9): —
BAD (4.0-4.9): —
TERRIBLE (3.0-3.9): —
(no updates to this for the next few games)