Chelsea player ratings vs Cardiff: Hazard sublime as Giroud makes mark | Football | Sport
Chelsea fought back from 1-0 down to beat Cardiff at Stamford Bridge and preserve their 100 per cent start winning start to the Premier League season.
Sol Bamba gave the Bluebirds a shock lead after just 16 minutes but Chelsea clicked into gear and hit back through a quick-fire Eden Hazard double.
The Belgian forward then completed his hat-trick from the penalty spot and now has five goals in his last three matches, taking advantage of Oliver Giroud’s return to the starting XI as the duo combined to great effect.
Maurizio Sarri’s men could have won by an even greater distance but for some wayward shooting, with Pedro in particular guilty of not taking his chances before Willian’s late strike.
Express Sport has run the rule over the Chelsea players during their win at Stamford Bridge, but do you agree with these ratings?
Chelsea player ratings vs Cardiff City – Premier League
GK: Kepa Arrizabalaga – 5
Rooted to his line for the Cardiff opener and didn’t have a chance to make too many saves otherwise.
RB: Cesar Azpilicueta – 8
As reliable as ever, with a couple of important interventions including a block on Junior Hoillet.
One of Chelsea’s most consistent performers and rarely fails to impress.
CB: Antonio Rudiger – 7
Starting to settle in alongside Luiz as part of Sarri’s preferred centre-back partnership.
Enjoyed the physical challenge with the Bluebirds strike force.
CB: David Luiz – 6
Always looks to have a mistake in him, although the Brazilian seemed more switched on than in recent matches.
However, Luiz still has a tendency to wander off when defensive discipline is needed.
LB: Marcos Alonso – 7
Flourishing in his left-back role this year and was a reliable outlet for the Blues.
Plenty of driving runs forward and picked up yet more attacking returns with an assist for Willian’s goal.
CM: N’Golo Kante – 5
Busy and proactive but does seem wasted in a more advanced role.
The World Cup winner is obviously less comfortable further forward and needs to up his goal threat soon.
CM: Jorginho – 5
Appeared most at fault for losing track of Bamba, although the Italy international can be forgiven for thinking he shouldn’t be the one marking the towering centre-back.
Offers less defensively than Kante in the deeper position, but his class on the ball is undeniable.
CM: Mateo Kovacic – 6
Forced Neil Etheridge into a smart first-half save and provided an attacking threat from his midfield role.
However, his afternoon was curtailed after picking up a knock.
RAM: Pedro – 6
Unlucky not to get on the scoresheet. Forced Etheridge into a good save and also went close with a curling shot before skying another chance way over the bar.
Missed further chances in the second half and was eventually hooked when Sarri ran out of patience.
LAM: Eden Hazard – 9
In superb form right now, and picked up three more goals as Chelsea fought from behind.
His first was after delightful link-up play with Giroud while the second was a composed finish after another lay-off from the Frenchman.
Then kept his cool from the penalty spot to wrap up a brilliant afternoon.
ST: Olivier Giroud – 8
Given the nod ahead of Alvaro Morata and made it count with a couple of first half assists.
Linked up nicely with his midfield runners and has a great understanding with Hazard.
SUB: Ross Barkley (on for Kovacic, 50 mins) – 6
Received an early call after Kovacic’s injury and helped keep the Blues on top as Cardiff came out strongly in the second half.
SUB: Willian (on for Pedro, 68 mins) – 7
Proved more clinical than Pedro as the Brazilian added gloss to the scoreline with a great finish.
SUB: Davide Zappacosta (on for Hazard, 84 mins) – N/A
Allowed Hazard a standing ovation.