Chelsea continued their winning streak, extending their impressive run to nine games unbeaten after their 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge against a West Bromwich Albion side who were quite determined to stifle the Blues. In truth, it was a rather dull and scrappy game with very few chances.
The Baggies impressed with their bite and resilience while the Blues were not at their recent blockbuster attacking form and had to settle for a Diego Costa goal late in the game, on 76 minutes, to secure them the three points.
Chelsea are now again at the top of the Premier League table and have won nine league games in a row for a record fifth time in the Premier League.
Thibaut Courtois – 6/10
Courtois was rather off colour but was safe when called upon. He found himself in a bad situation with a poor clearance in the first half but otherwise was barely tested. Almost conceded a goal after Rondon shot low to his left in the first half but the striker fired wide.
Cesar Azpilicueta – 8/10
Mr. Dependable for Chelsea, Azpilicueta had a good, solid game again and was their standout defender once more in this dogfight of a game. He has taken to playing centre-back in a back three effortlessly and was assured at the back and in possession and even helped build some attacks.
David Luiz – 6/10
Luiz had a comparatively poor game by his current form and the high standards he set in the previous games. He made a mistake in the 26th minute allowing Rondon to out-muscle him on the right flank which almost lead to a goal, but the striker fired wide. He had a number of free-kick opportunities that he tried to score with which did not trouble Ben Foster in goal.
Gary Cahill – 7/10
Cahill had a proper no-nonsense outing against West Brom and was assured at the back. He made a number of crucial headers and blocks especially to deny Darren Fletcher in the 67th minute. A well deserved clean sheet for the captain on the night.
Victor Moses – 5/10
Moses was not his usual dynamic self and was stifled by Matt Phillips quite often. He tried to make things happen by drifting a bit inward at times after no success against Nyom, in his position, but couldn’t really impose himself the game. His final passes and crosses were off and he couldn’t get things going. He got subbed off in the second half.
Marcos Alonso – 5/10
He was average in defence but failed to provide much going forward. Again like Moses, his final ball was not as good as previous games. He was another victim of West Brom's tactics who doubled up on him on the left flank. He had a shot in the 86th minute that went just a yard over the bar.
N'Golo Kante – 6/10
Kante ran about the pitch, as usual, and made some good tackles but wasn’t his usual gung-ho, imposing self in midfield. He had a shot in the first half which deflected off Pedro and almost went in, and the Frenchman also got booked unnecessarily for a challenge on Dawson. It wasn’t his best performance this season in Chelsea blue.
Nemanja Matic – 5/10
Chelsea’s worst player on the pitch was the Serbian. Perhaps Conte shouldn’t have rushed him back into the side from his calf injury as he was off the pace and sluggish in possession and tackling. He made a number of misplaced passes straight to the opposition and he was quite poor in all.
Pedro – 6/10
The former Barcelona winger was bullied by the Albion players and he could not do much even after switching flanks. He lacked decisiveness in the final third and could not do much against the physicality of the Albion players.
Eden Hazard – 6.5/10
Hazard had some good moments in the first half as he dribbled his way around the Albion defence. He combined with Costa brilliantly for one move in the 13th minute and then put in a great cross in for Costa the 38th minute. His energy levels did not wane out and he was persistent in his efforts but could not make a difference against a compact and organised Albion defence.
Diego Costa – 8/10
Costa was Chelsea's best player on the night and led the line emphatically as has been the case this season. He ran tirelessly and was involved in a number of tussles all over the pitch, winning fouls most of the time.
He put in passes, he battled, he combined with Hazard well and gave the West Brom defence a torrid night. His efforts were rewarded with a goal when he out-muscled McCauley on the right flank and fired into the net from a tight angle. A brilliant goal from the bulldozing Costa.