Chelsea didn’t fail to capitalise on Arsenal’s slip-up as the Blues picked up their 10th successive win of the season when they beat Sunderland at the Stadium of Light in the midweek fixture to take six points lead on the top.
Sunderland had their chances but were denied the chance to grab the equaliser by Courtois who was brilliant on the night. The battle of the best and the worst teams wasn’t expected to be such a close encounter but credit to Sunderland for making a game out of it.
Although Conte’s men looked far from their actual self against a resilient Sunderland side, Cesc Fabregas’ perfect low curling drive did the job for his side. Here is how Chelsea players fared in the game.
Courtois (7.5) – The Belgian goalie had to make two good saves to deny Januzaj and van Aanholt. The saves ensured the Blues came away with a vital win.
Azpilicueta (8) – As he has been most of the season, the right centre back stuck with the back three and intercepted attacks with good discipline.
Luiz (8) – He was unshakable the entire game. Easily Chelsea’s best player when defending is concerned. Sunderland’s attack couldn’t trouble him much.
Cahill (8) – With not much work at the back, the English defender tried to be adventurous, but it could not amount to much.
Moses (7) – He doesn’t look as sharp as he was few matches back. Of course, other Premier League teams are fast adopting to Chelsea’s playing setup and Moses won’t be as effective regularly as the season progresses.
Kanté (7) – He didn’t need to have the high work rate as the game was played quite slow. But it was his vibrancy that started the first attack for the Blues.
Fabregas (8.5) – A man of the match performance from the forgotten man. He is looking to get back to his creative self. The goal was brilliantly taken and he was the only difference between the teams.
Alonso (7.5) – He didn’t have to do much but he offered good space on the wings that helped in the counters.
Pedro (8) – His quickness in the attacking third often created chances for the Blues and he has a distinct knack to find spaces in the crowded areas. Looked pretty lethal at times.
Willian (8.5) – He has arguably been the most consistent forward for Conte. Whether he starts or comes off the bench, the Brazilian has been effective right from the go. This match too was no different for him.
Costa (7) – Was heavily marked by Moyes’ men and hardly got a chance to increase his goal tally.