1. THIAGO SILVA (8.3)
I’ve run out of superlatives some time ago for Thiago Silva.
As they said on the TV commentary, the only bad part is that it’s taken him so long to come to England. Hopefully he can keep it going for another year or two or ten.
2. MASON MOUNT (8.2)
Over the past two and a half seasons, I’ve often said that when Mason Mount plays well, Chelsea tend to play well, too.
Under Lampard, the converse of that was very much true as well, and a requirement even — i.e. for Chelsea to play well, Mount had to play well, too. Under Tuchel, that dependence seems to have reached a more reasonable equilibrium, and that’s probably a good thing as far as consistent team results over the long(er)-term are concerned. (Same would be true of any one specific player.)
Mount’s two assists (one earned, one just credited) give him a fairly impressive 12 for the season, and 25 for his senior Chelsea career (148 appearances), to match his goals total. Not bad!
50 - Following his two assists against Middlesbrough (at 2-0), Mason Mount has been directly involved in 50 goals for Chelsea across all competitions, scoring 25 and assisting a further 25. Spotlight. pic.twitter.com/AKUlBsKZbB— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 19, 2022
3. HAKIM ZIYECH (7.9)
It took a while for the Wizard to settle in — nearly a full season and a half — but he’s been worth the wait.
And if nothing else (though all that “else” is great), it’s just lovely to have someone who can actually pose a consistent threat with long-range shooting. The collective realization, both in the stadium and watching on television, that Ziyech didn’t put any spin on his shot for the goal was worth the proverbial price of admission.
vs. MIDDLESBROUGH (FAC, A, W 2-0)
EXCEPTIONAL (9.0+): —
EXCELLENT (8.0-8.9): Silva (8.3), Mount (8.2)
GOOD (7.0-7.9): Ziyech (7.9), Azpilicueta (7.4), Lukaku (7.3), Rüdiger (7.2), Mendy (7.1)
AVERAGE (6.0-6.9): Kovačić (6.9), Pulisic (6.8), Kanté (6.7, sub), Loftus-Cheek (6.6), Sarr (6.4), Vale (6.1, sub), Werner (6.0, sub)
POOR (5.0-5.9): Kenedy (5.8, sub)
BAD (4.0-4.9): —
TERRIBLE (3.0-3.9): —