Thursday 27 July 2017

Chelsea and Manchester United Player Ratings

Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic celebrates at the end of the game with John Terry and Cesc Fabregas
Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic celebrates at the end of the game with John Terry and Cesc Fabregas

Chelsea have one hand on the Barclays Premier League title after Eden Hazard knocked Manchester United out of the reckoning in the leaders' 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge. Here is how the players rated today.

CHELSEA

THIBAUT COURTOIS: Saved well when called upon to deny Paddy McNair, but was rarely tested by the visitors. 6/10

BRANISLAV IVANOVIC: His rampaging forays forward were kept in check as he performed his defensive duties diligently. 6

CESAR AZPILICUETA: Something of an unsung hero for Chelsea. Ever so consistent and keeps things simple. 7

JOHN TERRY: Made Radamel Falcao aware of his presence and enjoyed tussles with Marouane Fellaini. 7

GARY CAHILL: Made a fine block from Falcao and was solid. Fortunate not to concede a penalty for a rash trip of Ander Herrera. 6

KURT ZOUMA: Drafted in to combat the considerable threat of Fellaini and did so to great effect. 8

NEMANJA MATIC: After a few shaky matches, the Serbian is nearing a return to his imperious best. 7

CESC FABREGAS: The masked playmaker had a role in the goal and continually took up menacing positions. 7

OSCAR: In for Willian, his sumptuous back-heel laid on the opening goal. Worked well defensively. 7

DIDIER DROGBA: The brain is willing, the body is fading. The Drogba of old would have scored in the second half. 6

EDEN HAZARD: Struck brilliantly against the run of play and was a threat on the ball. 8

Substitutes

RAMIRES (on for Oscar, 67 minutes): Used his energy to nullify United's forward-thinking substitutes. 6

JOHN OBI MIKEL (for Fabregas, 90): Another defensive body for stoppage time. 6

WILLIAN (for Hazard, 90): A substitution designed for Hazard to be praised and to use up the clock. 6

SOCCER Chel_81.jpg
Manchester United's Luis Antonio Valencia (right) and Chelsea's Eden Hazard (left) battle for the ball during the Barclays Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday April 18, 2015. See PA story SOCCER Chelsea. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. Maximum 45 images during a match. No video emulation or promotion as 'live'. No use in games, competitions, merchandise, betting or single club/player services. No use with unofficial audio, video, data, fixtures or club/league logos.

MANCHESTER UNITED

DAVID DE GEA: The most embarrassing moment of the goalkeeper's afternoon was celebrating an early United opener, only to realise it was wide. Could do little to stop Hazard scoring. 6/10

ANTONIO VALENCIA: An attacking outlet as always, the right-back did fairly well in keeping Hazard quiet aside from the goal. 6

CHRIS SMALLING: A solid, sturdy performance from the oft-harangued England international. 7

PADDY McNAIR: Looked bright on a first United appearance since February, making some impressive bursts forwards. 7

LUKE SHAW: This, the left-back accepts, has not been the greatest season, but the teenager impressed against his boyhood club both defensively and on the attack. 7

JUAN MATA: Back on his old stomping ground, he was barely allowed a sniff at goal. Given a standing ovation by both sets of fans as he left the field. 6

WAYNE ROONEY: Playing in an unfavoured central midfield role, the United captain did well, providing a threat between the lines and spreading the play well. 7

ANDER HERRERA: Started the match brilliantly, dominating the play. Tailed off as game wore on and was guilty of letting Hazard go for the goal. 7

ASHLEY YOUNG: The vastly-improved winger failed to scale the heights of recent matches in west London. 6

MAROUANE FELLAINI: If he did not know Kurt Zouma before, he does now after clearly being closely marshalled, largely nullifying his physical threat. 6

RADAMEL FALCAO: A rare chance to start from the outset and one which there were the odd moments of danger, such as when he hit the post. 6

Substitutes

ADNAN JANUZAJ (MATA, 70): Came on with 20 minutes remaining in a bid to unsettle the Chelsea defence. 6

ANGEL DI MARIA (YOUNG, 70): The most expensive Premier League player ever showed a few dangerous flashes. 6

TYLER BLACKETT (SHAW, 80): Fresh legs for the final 10 minutes in place of Shaw. 6

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