Player Ratings: Costa deserves a 10 in five-star Chelsea rout at Swansea
Chelsea moved five points clear at the top of the Premier League and looked more like the team that began the season in such imperious form as they swept aside Swansea City with a 5-0 win in South Wales.
The deadlock was broken within a minute of the kickoff with Oscar pouncing on Gylfi Sigurdsson's mistake to rifle the ball past Lukasz Fabianski in the Swansea goal. The rate of scoring then continued at such a pace that it seemed the game was taking place at Lord's cricket ground rather than the Liberty Stadium. With Chelsea refusing to let their hosts play out from the back, they forced their opponents into mistakes with Diego Costa netting a brace and Oscar adding his second inside the first 35 minutes.
From then on it was only the woodwork and some excellent saves from Fabianski that prevented the scoreline being an even greater embarrassment for the home side, though Chelsea did understandably ease up after half-time with Tuesday's Capital One Cup tie with Liverpool in mind. There was still time, however, for them to find the back of the net once more, with Andre Schurrle finishing from close range after yet another glorious move.
Player ratings (1-10; 10=best; players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating):
GK Petr Cech, 7 -- Spent the 90 minutes as a virtual spectator with all the action happening down the other end. Dealt with the scraps that came his way with his usual composure.
DF Branislav Ivanovic, 8 -- Was untroubled by the attacking threat of Wayne Routledge in a robust defensive display that also showcased his excellent timing for a forward surge. Was still popping up in the final third in the latter stages and laid the ball on for Schurrle's goal.
DF John Terry, 8 -- Was completely unruffled by Bafetimbi Gomis and dominated his area of influence. The former England captain is playing as well as he ever has and did not allow the opposition a sniff of goal.
DF Gary Cahill, 8 -- Brought back into the team having been left out against Newcastle and looked much better for the rest. Had one hairy moment when a slip almost let in Gomis, though more than made up for it with some vital defensive headers and interceptions.
DF Filipe Luis, 8 -- The Brazilian was very impressive as he stood in for the injured Cesar Azpilicueta. Put in his best defensive performance since joining the club by breaking up a multitude of Swansea attacks, and combined it with a series of penetrating attacking raids into enemy territory.
MF Nemanja Matic, 8 -- The midfield giant was back to his best after a few low-key displays as he controlled the centre of the pitch. Patrolled his area with authority, breaking up play and springing attacks in the manner to which Chelsea supporters have become pleasingly accustomed.
MF Cesc Fabregas, 9 -- The Spaniard put in a wonderful exhibition of effortless orchestration, prompting the play with quick, simple, precise passes. His vision carved Swansea to pieces with Costa particularly reaping the benefits of his teammate's excellence when he scored his first goal of the game.
MF Oscar, 9 -- Set the ball rolling with a crisply struck shot after 49 seconds and added his second with a sensational strike to make it 4-0. Deserved a hat trick but was denied after Schurrle nipped in front of him to steal the fifth goal off his toes.
FW Willian, 9 -- The Brazilian allied industry to quick feet in an excellent display. His surging run opened up the defence for Chelsea's fourth, and he was desperately unlucky not to get on the scoresheet after hitting the woodwork twice with fiercely struck shots.
FW Eden Hazard, 9 -- He might not have a goal or assist against his name after this match but his influence was no less obvious. Stung the fingers of Fabianski twice with rasping left-foot drives, and his perpetual movement caused havoc for the Swansea defence throughout the 90 minutes.
FW Diego Costa, 10 -- Not for the first time this season the former Atletico Madrid man put in the perfect centre-forward display. Did not give the Swansea back four a moment's peace as he hustled and harried throughout his time on the pitch. Took his two goals superbly and even got under the skin of Ashley Williams, who had to resort to roughing him up in an effort to get close to him. Simply awesome.
MF Ramires, N/R -- Provided his customary verve upon his introduction and got himself into some nice attacking positions. An encouraging outing as he works his way back to full fitness.
FW Loic Remy, N/R -- Did not get up to the pace of the game immediately but grew into it, drawing a save from Fabianski with a low shot.
FW Andre Schurrle, N/R -- Showed the instinct of a predator by notching the fifth goal even if it did deny Oscar a hat trick. With his form sagging of late, hopefully this strike can provide the springboard for improved performances in the second half of the campaign.
Phil is one of ESPN's Chelsea bloggers. You can follow him on Twitter @PhilLythell.