Despite Leicester City being the more aggressive, hungrier-looking team in the first half, Chelsea sparked to life in the second half, finding goals from Diego Costa and Eden Hazard for a 2-0 home win.
As for individual performances, here are my player ratings on a scale of 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest):
Thibaut Courtois: 10
Courtois completely justified Jose Mourinho’s selection of him over veteran Petr Cech, doing everything a manager wants from a keeper. Courtois kept a clean sheet, making a big 1 v. 1 save against striker David Nugent early in the second half. His interception of crosses in the air and quick release for breakaway passes were superb.
Branislav Ivanovic: 10
Ivanovic had a quieter first half, but his intensity and right wing offensive contributions in the second half were key to Chelsea’s victory. He showed excellent control on his assist of Costa’s goal and was a perpetual scoring menace in the air.
Gary Cahill: 9
Cahill wasn’t as busy as Ivanovic and Azpilicueta who ventured up the wings, but he efficiently plugged the middle, neutralized threats, and didn’t commit fouls in dangerous areas.
John Terry: 9
Terry’s high marks were earned primarily for his first half performance – a veteran showcase in calm defending, i.e. his deft steal in the 22nd minute as Riyad Mahrez streaked up the right flank toward goal.
Cesar Azpilicueta: 9
Like his right wing defensive counterpart Ivanovic, Azpilicueta likes to get forward on the left wing and he did so more in the first half. Very aggressive and disciplined throughout and kept Leonardo Ulloa from getting many chances.
Eden Hazard: 9
Hazard still seems to be warming up to the new season, but he showed the brilliance we remember from last season with his second half performance when he stayed more in his favored wide-left area. The strategy paid off with his 77th minute solo goal in the box.
Cesc Fabregas: 7
A quietly effective match for Fabregas overall. He was muscled off the ball too often in the first half, but his smart passing aided Chelsea’s attack throughout. Slight subtraction for his choice to try to chip Kasper Schmeichel in the second half in a 1 v. 1 scoring opportunity.
Like most of his teammates, Oscar didn’t warm up until the second half. Once he did however, we saw the kind of pin-point passing and shots he can produce (he hit the post very early in the second half).
Andre Schurrle: 7
Schurrle was Chelsea’s hungriest offensive player in the first half, but it wasn’t his best shooting day.
Nemanja Matic: 8
Matic was slightly less visible than the other Chelsea midfielders, but he did his job well, providing reliable defensive cover.
(Replaced Schurrle in the 64th minute) Fifteen minutes after entering the match, Ramires demonstrated his strength and limitation as he made an excellent run with the ball half the length of the field only to squander the work with a terrible shot over the bar.
(Replaced Oscar in the 70th minute) Willian made the most of his 20-minute cameo, particularly late in the match with his nifty pivot in the center circle, run into the box, and shot on goal which was saved by Schmeichel.
Diego Costa: 8
Mourinho can’t have many complaints with Costa who has now scored in both of Chelsea’s matches this season. Costa had a hard time getting involved in the first half, but he fulfilled his striker duty in the 63rd minute with his utilitarian goal off Ivanovic’s cross.
Didier Drogba: 7
(Replaced Costa in the 80th minute) Drogba’s appearance was certainly a gift for the fans more than anything else, as he didn’t have time to make much of an impact. Though Drogba didn’t get any shots off himself, he made several smart, quality passes in and around the box during his short shift.
Kasper Schmeichel: 8
Schmeichel was effective enough in the first half and kept his team in the game with multiple saves in the second half, however, he will want do-overs on the Costa and Hazard goals.
Ritchie De Laet: 7
De Laet’s rating dipped because of Chelsea’s second half success on the left side, but he was one of Leicester’s best first half players, making several great runs and dangerous crosses from the wing.
Wes Morgan: 8
Morgan was very effective jamming the middle of the box in the first half, but couldn’t quite shut down Chelsea’s attacking swarm for the whole match.
Liam Moore: 8
Moore partnered very well with Morgan for most of the match. A valiant, disciplined overall effort for such a young player.
Paul Konchesky: 6
Konchesky had some errant header clearance attempts and allowed too much penetration on his wing.
Riyad Mahrez: 9
Perhaps Leicester’s man of the match, Mahrez was a speedy threat on the right wing, creating several quality scoring chances.
Andy King: 7
King provided decent enough midfield clogging, but Leicester needed some more help from him offensively.
Dean Hammond: 8
Hammond gets good marks for his physical defensive midfield work, though his effort included several iffy tackles that resulted in fouls.
Jeff Schlupp: 9
With Mahrez, Schlupp was one of Leicester’s top players. Very strong and capable going forward, Schlupp served as Leicester’s offensive engine.
Marc Albrighton: 8
(Replaced Mahrez in the 68th minute) Albrighton provided a few crosses and decent corner kicks, but didn’t have much of an offensive impact.
Gary Taylor-Fletcher: 5
(Replaced the injured Hammond in the 73rd minute) Taylor-Fletcher didn’t provide as effective defensive cover as Hammond and offered little in attack.
Leonardo Ulloa: 6
Ulloa was the quieter of the two Leicester strikers. He did not find create enough scoring chances.
David Nugent: 8
Nugent on the other hand had several clear chances. His 55th minute 1 v. 1 opportunity against Courtois was his best scoring chance of the day and might have changed the match for Leicester.
Chris Wood: 5
(Replaced Ulloa in the 84th minute) Wood’s rating may be unfairly low, but he wasn’t in the match long enough to ignite anything for his team.
Leicester City acquitted themselves very well for a newly promoted team. They were certainly no pushover, but in the end couldn’t quite contain Chelsea’s offensive versatility and tenacity.