EPL 2017/18: Chelsea 5-0 Stoke City - Player Ratings
Chelsea cruised to a comfortable victory over injury-hit Stoke City at Stamford Bridge to temporarily leapfrog Manchester United to second place in the Premier League. Goals from Antonio Rudiger, Danny Drinkwater and Pedro within the first quarter effectively ended the tie as a contest. Willian and Davide Zappacosta scored further goals in the second half to complete the rout.
Here are the Player Ratings from a one-sided affair in London:
Thibaut Courtois - 6.5
Courtois was hardly needed by Chelsea during the game, except for an important save to deny Saido Berahino early in the second half.
Cesar Azpilicueta - 7
Azpilicueta had the freedom to move forward thanks to Stoke's emphasis on defence. He put in a couple of teasing balls to favourite target Morata as well.
Gary Cahill - 7
Cahill barely had any defensive organisation to sort out - such was Chelsea's domination of the game.
Antonio Rudiger - 7.5
Rudiger headed the hosts in front against a static Potters' defence within the opening two minutes. He had the license to drive into the opposition's penalty box multiple times despite being a centre-back, as Stoke deployed 6 at the back and thus left oceans of space in midfield.
Victor Moses - 7
Moses won the early free-kick that led to Chelsea going ahead and outran Ramadan Sobhi throughout his time on the right-wing. He was taken off early to keep him fresh for the clash against Arsenal.
N'Golo Kante - 7
Kante did his usual clean-up work whenever Stoke attempted to move up the field. His passing was purposeful as well.
Danny Drinkwater - 8.5
The ex-Leicester midfielder starred given a rare opportunity to start. He put Chelsea firmly in the driver's seat with an excellent drive off the outside of his boot. He passed the ball beautifully - the pick of them being a diagonally long ball to find an onrushing Moses on the right.
Marcos Alonso - 7
Alonso made a number of forward runs down the left side, forcing Mame Biram Diouf to track him owing to Stoke's narrow back four.
Willian - 9
Willian was fantastic in an attacking position for the Blues. The chemistry between him, Pedro and Morata were too much for Stoke's makeshift defence to handle. His set-pieces and layoff balls were a joy to watch and many levels above the quality of opposition. His penalty to wrap up the points was nothing more than he deserved for an outstanding performance.
Alvaro Morata - 5
Morata gets struck down for missing numerous one-on-one opportunities to score - denied by Jack Butland every duel.
Pedro - 8
Pedro - like Willian - was in fine form on the left side of the attacking trio, teasing young Tom Edward with his forward surges. He easily rounded off Josh Tymon to find space to get a shot away and beat Butland to put Chelsea 3 goals to the good.
Davide Zappacosta - 7.5
Zappacosta replaced Moses to devastating effect, making surge after surge towards the right byline and managing to get crosses into the box. A poor defensive header from Josh Tymon allowed him to take advantage and score his first league goal for Chelsea.
Tiemoue Bakayoko - 6.5
Bakayoko saw the game out for Chelsea with some neat passes through the heart of Stoke's midfield.
Michy Batshuayi - 5
Batshuayi didn't have much work to do since coming on for Morata. He had just a single shot at goal, which went wide of the target.