Stunning Hazard exemplary for classy Chelsea; Ozil invisible

Date published: Saturday 4th February 2017 3:35

Eden Hazard and N’Golo Kante were exemplary for Chelsea but too many of Arsenal’s individuals wilted under pressure yet again…

Chelsea

Thibaut Courtois: Made two crucial saves in the first half and another fine stop in the second; May be disappointed not to keep out Giroud’s late header but otherwise displayed a safe pair of hands. 7

Cesar Azpilicueta: Strolled through the afternoon, keeping Ozil quiet and never stepped out of Chelsea’s well-drilled shape. 7

Gary Cahill: Another almost flawless performance from the skipper. Untroubled by Sanchez and Walcott. 8

David Luiz: A relatively quiet afternoon around for the eye-catching Brazilian. Shackled Arsenal’s attack and remained disciplined throughout. 7

Marcos Alonso: Scored his fourth goal of the season with a determined header, cleaning out Bellerin in the process. Always in the right place at the right time, in both halves. 8

Victor Moses: A more disciplined performance from the right wing-back, staying close to Alonso as the pair kept Ozil quiet. Burst forward when the opportunity presented itself but always recovered his position. 7

N’Golo Kante: A typically-superb display, harassing Arsenal out of possession before using the ball brilliantly. Signing of the season for the champions least year; probably the same again this season. 8

Nemanja Matic: Arsenal set Iwobi and Walcott on Kante and Matic but the Chelsea pair played around them splendidly in the first half. The Gunners changed shape after half-time, but Matic remained completely unflustered as he and his partner comfortably won the midfield battle. 8

Pedro: Chased and harried the Arsenal defence at every opportunity having been recalled to the starting line-up. Carried the ball superbly on the counter. 8

Eden Hazard: A stunning second-half goal capped a fabulous display, with the Belgian leading Chelsea on the counter, dragging the Arsenal defence all over. 9

Diego Costa: A quietly efficient performance from the Spaniard, who dragged Koscielny and Mastafi around, creating more gaps for Hazard and Pedro. 7

Subs

Cesc Fabregas (for Hazard, 84): The former Arsenal midfielder was presented with a great chance to tuck away the third goal and did just that. 6

Willian (for Pedro, 84): Little chance to stake a claim for a return to the starting line-up. 6

Kurt Zouma (for Moses, 88): A time-wasting change from Conte, still had time for a burst forward. 6

Arsenal

Petr Cech: Little chance with either of Chelsea’s first two goals but woefully at fault for their third when he mis-hit a misguided pass, instead of playing safe and going long. Punished by a fine finish from Fabregas. 5 

Hector Bellerin: Lost two headers, the first to Costa, the all-important second to Alonso as Chelsea took the lead. Could recover from the fall and was replaced by Gabriel on 17 minutes. 5

Shkodran Mustafi: Booked for a cynical foul on Hazard in the first half and struggled to deal with the runs from deep of the Belgian and Pedro. Wasted a glorious opportunity with a free header in the final 15 minutes. 5 

Laurent Koscielny: Kept Costa relatively quiet in their one-on-one battle when he wasn’t dragged away by the runs of the other Chelsea attackers. 6

Nacho Monreal: Left too much space behind and between himself and his centre-halves as Arsenal chased an equaliser from the 14th minute. 5

Francis Coquelin: Swatted aside by Hazard as the Belgian powered through to score Chelsea’s second goal. Neither got up against Kante and Matic, nor, provided a shield against the runs of Pedro or Hazard. Hooked on 65 minutes. 4

Alex Oxlade-Chamblain: Operating in a deeper, central role the England international was one of Arsenal’s best performers on a forgettable afternoon, but still no match for his Chelsea counterparts. 6

READ MORE:

Wenger: First goal ‘100 per cent’ a foul but Arsenal were ‘naive and wasteful’

Report: Chelsea show class of champions to brush aside Arsenal

Alex Iwobi: Had an early effort deflected wide as Arsenal sought to capitalise on the one lapse in the Chelsea defence. Contributed almost nothing after that. 4

Theo Walcott: Switched off as Alonso went untracked to head Chelsea into the lead, with Walcott perhaps thinking more about a possible counter-attack rather than dealing with the imminent danger. Replaced halfway through the second half.

Mesut Ozil: Had one sight of goal late in the first half but his weak shot was comfortably saved. Invisible after that. 4

Alexis Sanchez: Another frustrating 90 minutes for the Chilean workhorse, who chased every ball and hassled every Chelsea defender in possession but did not test Courtois all afternoon. 5

Subs

Gabriel (for Bellerin 17): Imposed himself only when sticking his arm in Hazard’s face in the second half. In an unfamiliar position, looked unsure when to attack and when to sit. Wasted a great chance with a header in the first period. 5

Danny Welbeck: (for Walcott, 70): The game was all but over before the former Manchester United man was introduced but worked hard to get involved. 6

Olivier Giroud (for Coquelin, 65): Headed the consolation to keep his own recent good form going but that should serve as no consolation. 6

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