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.