Chelsea welcomed Manchester United in a match that pit one of the best attacks against one of the best defences by form and managed a draw that felt more like a couple of points dropped than a point gained. In a show of dominance from Chelsea in the second half, the players managed an incredible comeback via Diego Costa against a tepid Manchester United defence who were just able to not concede another and actually go home empty handed.
Thibaut Courtois: 4.5
The Belgian was peppered with shots in the opening periods of both the halves and was as dominant as he possibly could be. He thwarted Martial and Lingard with stupendous saves and managed to provide real solidity at the back with his urgency.
Cesar Azpilicueta: 4
As usual, owned his flank and didn’t allow Lingard a single chance at goal from the right flank until he scored the actual impressive volley. Played centre-half in the closing minutes and managed to stave off Rooney with impressive block-ins.
John Terry: 4
The figure of solidity in Chelsea’s backline, there was not a single misplaced touch or a defensive error from the Blues’ captain tonight in a highly dominant performance.
Kurt Zouma: 4
Managed to win any aerial duel presented to him and continuously kept Fellaini at bay. Was unlucky to have been injured the way that he did.
Branislav Ivanovic: 3
Decent performance overall but was the man to blame for United’s only goal for the night. He really needs to get closer to opposing ball-crossers. A venomous volley was thwarted by David De Gea.
Nemanja Matic: 3
He was the only Chelsea player strong enough to hold of the dirty pressing from Manchester United. Did manage a couple of dribbles but Oscar or poor passing always let him down.
John Obi Mikel: 3
Turned over a new leaf as soon as Matic was substituted as he was simply dominant in defence as well as the build-up play. Needs to build a better partnership with Matic if Chelsea are to win more games this season.
An absolutely disappointing performance from Oscar which was the only reason why Chelsea were not able to string passes at all in the opposing half. Did manage to help out defensively but was generally poor all round.
Cesc Fabregas: 3.5
He really needs to be played in a deeper role a la Mourinho as he can simply dominate the opposing midfield and defence with his impressive vision and passing. Managed to skin United repeatedly once, he was dropped deeper.
Another Brazilian with a night to forget as the usually impressive player witnessed a drop in his pass completion and free kick skills in the second half. In the first half, he was virtually unplayable, though, as he simply left the opposing left back in his wake multiple times to great effect.
Diego Costa: 3.5
A subdued but a great performance from the centre forward who managed to deliver when it mattered. He could’ve won the match for Chelsea had it not been for a relatively poor shot from the Spaniard.
Eden Hazard: 4
The best performance of the season from the Belgian who was effectively a second striker in the Chelsea set-up. He did have communication issues with the actual number nine but managed to be a thorn in the side for Manchester United all along his cameo.
Gary Cahill: 2.5
Utterly mediocre from the Englishman who was ball watching all the time in the conceded goal. He will be the liability in Chelsea defence combined with Ivanovic if he continues to rely on Terry and co to bail him out.
Was probably the best dribbler on the pitch but managed to contribute absolutely nothing to team. Misplaced passes, bad touches and impressively poor crosses were the norms from the Spaniard.
De Gea: 4.5
Impressive outing from the Spaniard who managed to thwart Chelsea multiple times. A tied man-of-the-match with Thibaut Courtois in a highly entertaining game.
Decent outing from the youngster who managed a 50-50 performance. He outdid his opponent once but was outdid in return just the next move and hence will qualify for an average rating. The rating was rescued by his great crosses, one of which was behind the United goal.
Decent play from the Dutchman who was exposed for his fragility often by Diego Costa. Still managed to keep him quiet until the injury time.
If Smalling had not committed a couple of silly fouls, he would’ve been the best defender on the pitch, but he did show his immaturity and was lucky to not have been reprimanded further by the referee.
Did a great job on Oscar but was skinned by Eden Hazard. Needed to be given support in that quest but Fellaini was not very keen to provide that, neither was Lingard.
Not really effective at all as he seemed lost on the pitch and his poor pace and acceleration didn’t really help him either. Did manage to occasionally make a nuisance while attacking aerial balls but that is not what is expected from a player of that role.
Managed to recycle possession really well as he was played in the deeper role he prefers. Was beaten for pace often in the second half as Chelsea looked to turn on the style.
A decent performance as Martial looked to threaten in the first 20 minutes. Post that, Ivanovic simply shut him down and was the weakest like in United’s attack.
A good performance from the diminutive Spaniard who was a constant danger and almost managed to light the pitch on fire with a simply stunning pass which Rooney made a real hash of.
Opened the scoring with a brilliant goal, he was adamant to score more as he had many more wild swings on the ball post the goal, to not such brilliant effects. Always neat in possession and decent in passing. Needed to help out Darmian more in the later staged as Hazard and Azpi steamrolled the wing.
Nothing went for Rooney tonight as can be seen from his mishit bicycle kick. In all fairness, Terry was in inspired form and didn’t give him an inch to work with. Managed to make a hash out of his usually great diagonals over the wings too. A night to forget for the Englishman.
Did his job well as he came on to strengthen the defence. Managed to get himself bypassed too easily on the Chelsea goal but that is real nit-picking in a decent performance.
Came on for the final few minutes and even in the limited time, managed to make himself more unpopular amongst the Red fans as well as the players. Really needs to have a rethink about his future.
Not enough time on the pitch to provide a rating.
Chelsea are just touching distance away from winning the league title after narrowling edging Manchester United. Despite United having all the possession, Chelsea scored the only goal of the night just before the break. With the Blues defending resolutely, United were unable to break them in the second period.
Let us look at how the players performed on the night:
Thibaut Courtois – 7/10
With United having majority of possesion, Courtois had to be always alives. Be it clearing crosses or blocking shots, the Begian was upto the task.
Branislav Ivanovic -6/10
The Serbian looked found out and hard time against United players particulary Shaw, since most of the Reds attack was on his side. Nonetheless he did well, but did not offer much in attack.
Gary Cahill – 7/10
He looked assured at the back and was solid in defence. He was always there to clear anything United put forward.
John Terry – 7.5/10
A commanding display at the back from Chelsea’s captain. He kept United’s attack checked by forming a good partnership with Cahill.
Cesar Azpilicueta – 8/10
Despite having the energetic Valencia in his side, Azpilicueta had the situation under control. He also went forward to help his attackers as well. He literally had Janujaz in his pocket.
Kurt Zouma – 7/10
Zouma did well in his make shift role. He sat in front of his defenders and kept United attackers checked. He however didn’t do much in attack.
Memanja Matic – 7/10
A typical Matic performance. Just like his midfield partner he sat in front of his back four and was a rock in the middle of the park. He also initiated many Chelsea attacks from the back.
Oscar – 7/10
He didn’t have much of the ball to make an impact in the match, but did well in limited oppurtunity. It was from his brilliant backheel, Hazard scored Chelsea’s only goal of the night.
Cesc Fabregas – 6/10
He did not have the same amount of influence he normally has on matches. But did well to initiate quite a few Chelsea attacks. He also defended well.
Eden Hazard – 9/10
His touches and turn was phenomenal on the night. Despite the constant United pressure, he kept hold of the ball really well. He also scored a goal from a fine finish and was unlucky to see his other effort come off the post.
Didier Drogba – 6/10
Drogba was no where near the old Drogbe we knew, but was still effective. Infact he was unlucky not score early on in the second half.
Ramires (67′) – 6/10
The Brazilian came on to shore up the single goal lead and he did his job well.
John Obi Mikel (90′) – N/A
Hardly had anytime to make an impact.
Willian (90′) – N/A
Hardly had anytime to make an impact.
David de Gea – 6/10
Apart from picking the ball from the net once, he hardly had much to do, but was up to the task whenever called upon. He was also fortunate not to be booked for handling the ball outside his area.
Antonio Valencia – 5.5/10
He surged forward at every possible occasion and offered good support for his attackers. However, he left Hazard free which resulted in him scoring Chelsea’s opener.
Chris Smalling – 6.5/10
With all his partners out injured, Smalling did well to hold the fort on his own. He battled hard to keep Chelsea attackers under control. Although could have done more to close Hazard or push him wide for the goal.
Paddy McNair – 6.5/10
With first team defenders either out injured or suspended, young Paddy was made to start in a match of this magnitude. However, the youngster just about did what was required from him on the night.
Luke Shaw – 7/10
Arguably United’s best outfield player on the night, Shaw performed impressively. He defended well and surged forward at every possible occasion to provide dangerous balls in the box. Ivanovic struggled to control him. He was, however, substituted due to some bizzare LVG tactics.
Ander Herrera – 6.5/10
With Carrick out injured, lot of responsibility was on the Spaniard to hold the fort in the middle of the park and he did well. He was not afraid to go in tackles and was also good in possesion apart from few moments when he gave the ball away easily one where United almost conceded second goal.
Wayne Rooney – 6.5/10
Due to the injuries, Rooney was forced to play deeper than he would have liked, but that did not bother him as Rooney did well in the middle of the park. His distribution was good and he also defended well.
Juan Mata – 5.5/10
He did not offer much threat on his first return to Stamford Bridge. He did well for United to retain the ball, but didn’t make any notable contribution with it.
Maroune Fellaini – 6/10
Fellaini failed to have the same kind of impact he had in the previous weeks. He did well to regain the possesion and trouble Chelsea defenders to an extent, but not as much as Van Gaal would have hoped.
Ashley Young – 6/10
He found himself in good positions on more than one occasion, but let his teammates down with his final cross. Not the same kind of effect he had against City last week.
Radamel Falcao – 6/10
Falcao was at fault for Chelsea’s only goal of the night, by losing the ball at halfway. But, he has been impressive since then. He battled well on his own upfront without scoring a goal.
Angel Di María (70′) – 5/10
The Argentine came on to change the course of the game, but was unable to do it.
Adnan Januzaj (70′) – 3.5/10
He was lively after coming on, but was unable to do anything. Hardly retained ball. Also got a yellow card for diving.
Tyler Blackett (80′) – 4.5/10
He was not able to have the same impact, his predecessor Shaw managed on the night.
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