CHELSEA cemented their place in the Premier League top four with a hard-working 2-1 victory at home to Newcastle.
It was a good day all round for the Blues after fifth-placed Arsenal fell to a 1-0 defeat at West Ham in the early kick-off.
Pedro gave Maurizio Sarri‘s side the lead, but a brilliant Ciaran Clark header saw the two sides go in all-square at the break.
But Willian curled home what turned out to the be winner 12 minutes into the second half.
Here, SunSport checks out who shone, and who didn’t.
Barely touched the ball in the first-half except to pick the ball up out of his net following Clark’s header
Couple of routine saves apart, Newcastle did little to trouble the keeper
Got forward better than he had done in recent weeks, but his crossing – as well as the lack of targets in the box – remains poor.
Defensively he was rarely tested, with Pedro offering brilliant cover, but was up to the task when called upon.
Didn’t put a foot wrong in the 90mins as he continues to be Chelsea’s Mr Consistent in defence.
It hasn’t been talked about much but Rudiger should start to be in the conversation for best centre-backs in the Premier League.
Another Jekyll and Hyde performance from the brilliant, frustrating Brazilian. For Chelsea’s opening goal he played a pass that very few players – let alone cenre-backs – in world football could make.
For Newcastle’s equaliser he was slack marking Kieran Clark and beaten to the header, just moments after being beaten to a Salomon Rondon flick that sent Ayoze Perez clean through.
As long as he continues to perform like this the Chelsea fans will want Emerson in the team.
Left wing-back is not the same as left-back and Alonso, too slow getting up and down the wing, is finding that out the hard way.
The Brazil-born Italy international has just one advantage over the departed Cesc Fabregas: youth.
Fabregas has the eye for a pass that Jorginho could only dream of.
Jorginho played one good forward pass in 90mins, the rest of the time he went backwards or sideways and even got a few boos from the home fans.
We could copy and paste this from any one of Kante’s performances this season.
Did as much as he could and everything that was asked of him.
It’s just a shame stubborn Maurizio Sarri continues to play him out of position and too far up the pitch.
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Had actually forgotten he was on the pitch until it was time to write this rating.
Kovacic was neat and tidy and nothing else.
Sarri continues to pick him over Callum Hudson-Odoi and it continues to infuriate Chelsea fans.
He was barely at it and missed a massive chance just after Newcastle scored.
But then one moment of inspiration saw all that anger and frustration evaporate. What a strike.
Recalled to the team and immediately showed his quality with a beautifully timed run and classy finish.
He must have been knackered by the time he came off – he spent the whole game sprinting up and down his wing in an incredibly hard-working performance that earned him a standing ovation.
It took all of 15 minutes for the frustrated Belgian to abandon his post in the centre of the pitch.
At first that played into Newcastle hands but then Hazard started finding little pockets of space that the Newcastle defenders just couldn’t deal with. But Chelsea’s need for a striker is urgent.
Like Kovacic, offered little apart from keeping possession ticking over.
It’s must be Sarri’s instruction to just keep the ball and do nothing else, but it’s disappointing to watch a player who once promised so much reduced to this role.
The message from the Chelsea fans the player – and his manager – was clear.
The loudest song of the night: ‘Hudson-Odoi, we want you to stay’. Will 10 minutes as a sub be enough to convince the teenage star?
This post written by jhutchinson originally appeared on Football news - transfers, fixtures, scores, pictures | The Sun. Read the full post here.