Azpilicueta in fine form under Tuchel as Cresswell reaches assist landmark |


  • Goals: Ben Godfrey (£5.0m) own-goal, Jorginho (£4.7m)
  • Assists: Kai Havertz (£8.2m) x2
  • Bonus: Cesar Azpilicueta (£5.7m) x3, Jorginho, Reece James (£5.0m), Marcos Alonso (£5.7m) x2

The personnel may keep changing but the clean sheets continue to arrive for Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea side.

There were another five alterations to the Blues’ starting XI on Thursday evening, with Mason Mount (£7.0m) and Antonio Rudiger (£4.6m) among the regulars making way.

The German’s benching left Cesar Azpilicueta (£5.7m) as the last man standing in the ever-present starter camp under Tuchel, with the veteran Spaniard continuing his fine form (he averages 6.7 points per match under the current regime) by banking maximum bonus points to go with his seventh clean sheet in nine appearances.

Four of those clean sheets have come against Liverpool, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and now Everton, so it’s not just the whipping boys of the English top flight who the Blues are thwarting.

The Toffees’ in-form Richarlison (£7.9m) was allowed only one brief sight of goal on Monday night, which he sliced wide, while Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£7.8m) had only three more touches of the ball than 76th-minute substitute Bernard (£5.7m).


The week-to-week uncertainty over who makes the cut in Tuchel’s line-up is about the only downside to Chelsea’s defensive assets at present.

The players at the other end of the pitch are not quite entering must-consider territory, however.

Timo Werner (£9.2m) wasted yet another two big chances, while Kai Havertz‘s (£8.2m) two attacking returns stemmed from a wayward shot – deflected in by Ben Godfrey (£5.0m) – and a clobbering from Jordan Pickford (£4.8m) which afforded Jorginho (£4.7m) the chance to score his sixth penalty of the season.

One asset who has been finding the net semi-regularly under Tuchel, Mason Mount, was only afforded 24 minutes as a second-half substitute, bringing us neatly back around to the problematic issue of rotation.


  • Goals: Jesse Lingard (£6.1m), Craig Dawson (£4.5m)
  • Assists: Aaron Cresswell (£5.8m)
  • Bonus: Cresswell x3, Illan Meslier (£4.6m) x2, Dawson x1

Profligacy in front of goal and an inability to defend set pieces have been Leeds United’s Achilles heels this season and the Whites were again found wanting on both fronts in Monday’s 2-0 defeat to West Ham United.

A rash challenge from Luke Ayling (£4.4m) led to a penalty that Jesse Lingard (£6.1m) eventually scored from, with the Manchester United loanee following up his saved effort to put the hosts in front.

Craig Dawson (£4.5m) then stooped to head in Aaron Cresswell‘s (£5.8m) corner as Marcelo Bielsa’s troops conceded their 13th goal from dead-ball situations in 2020/21.

This was an agonising evening for owners of Raphinha (£5.5m) and Patrick Bamford (£6.8m), who managed nine shots between them without success – one ballooned Bamford effort from the Brazilian’s cut-back being a particularly painful gut-punch for those with the double-up.

Bamford had earlier spurned a one on one with Lukasz Fabianski (£5.0m), who later had his palms stung by Raphinha’s best effort.


Manager David Moyes acknowledged that it was a far from convincing display from the Hammers despite the victory but if there was anything fortunate about the clean sheets that Cresswell and Dawson banked, their attacking returns merely underscored their sustained assist and goal potential.

Dawson has the third-best points-per-match average (5.5) among Fantasy assets in his position this season, while Cresswell joins a select band of defenders who have hit double figures for assists in a single season.

Top Defenders for Assists:

2020/21 – Cresswell (10)
2019/20 – Alexander-Arnold (15)
2018/19 – Alexander-Arnold (13)
2017/18 – Cresswell; Ben Davies; Trippier (7)
2016/17 – Walker (6)
2015/16 – Rose (7)
2014/15 – Baines (9)
2013/14 – Kolarov (8)
2012/13 – Baines (7)
2011/12 – Cole; Evra; Richards; Ryan Taylor (6)
2010/11 – Baines (11)
2009/10 – Baines (9)
2008/09 – Baines (7)
2007/08 – Shorey (10)
2006/07 – Shorey (6)

Michail Antonio (£6.6m) didn’t manage a single shot as West Ham struggled with service to their frontman but the lively Lingard’s superb form continued with his sixth attacking return in as many matches since his January move.

He won’t have a fixture against his parent club in Gameweek 28, however, and he almost certainly won’t be stepping up to take the next spot-kick that West Ham are awarded after his limp effort on Monday.

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