Thursday 29 September 2016

De Gea and Willian sparkle - How the Chelsea v Manchester United players rated

Published 07/02/2016 | 19:16

Chelsea's Diego Costa celebrates scoring with John Terry
Chelsea's Diego Costa celebrates scoring with John Terry

See how all the players fared as Chelsea and Manchester United played out a 1-1 at Stamford Bridge earlier today.

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Chelsea

Thibaut Courtois: Could do little to prevent Manchester United's goal and did well, particularly when saving from Jesse Lingard early in the second half. 7.

Branislav Ivanovic: May no longer be the player he was, but was reliable defensively and came close to scoring with a dangerous close-range shot. 7.

Kurt Zouma: Continues to appear a fine prospect and shows a desire to come forward. Unfortunately a serious-looking injury brought his match to an early end. 7.

John Terry: That Courtois had few saves to make said much about the fact Chelsea actually defended well. As always, Terry was central to that organisation. 7.

Cesar Azpilicueta: Often struggled with Matteo Darmian's running and did little in United's half. 6.

Jon Obi Mikel: Fine defensively but in possession simply lacks quality, as was demonstrated in the closing minutes when he inexplicably squandered possession despite space in midfield. 6.

Nemanja Matic: Occasionally went missing but cannot be blamed for United taking the lead, given they rarely threatened in central midfield. 6.

Willian: Outclassed left-back Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, showed desire and provided Chelsea's most consistent threat. 8.

Cesc Fabregas: Still capable of much more but his intelligence did much to keep Chelsea competitive when they were 1-0 down, before playing the fine pass from which Diego Costa equalised. 8.

Oscar: Impressive while he played, even if wasteful in front of goal. Not often noted for his defensive contributions but made a fine recovery tackle deep in Chelsea's half shortly before half-time. 7.

Diego Costa: Persistent, if not impressive, and crucially scored Chelsea's equalising goal in stoppage time after a fine turn. 7.

Subs:

Eden Hazard (for Oscar, 55): Unable to provide the creativity manager Guus Hiddink would have hoped for, providing less of a threat than Oscar. 6.

Gary Cahill (for Zouma, 59): Did little wrong despite United scoring shortly after he came on. 6.

Pedro (for Matic, 67): English football has still not seen the best of Pedro, but his directness helped to create space as they recovered from going a goal behind. 6.

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MANCHESTER UNITED

David de Gea: Typically reliable, making impressive saves to deny Nemanja Matic, Branislav Ivanovic and Cesc Fabregas. 8.

Matteo Darmian: Yet to consistently convince as a top-four player, but provided a regular attacking overlap that Chelsea struggled with. 7.

Chris Smalling: Performed reasonably without too many serious questions being asked of him, given the majority of Chelsea's threat came from wide positions. 6.

Daley Blind: Much the same as Smalling, though with the added benefit of his flexibility allowing him to bring the ball out of defence. 6.

Cameron Borthwick-Jackson: Far from under-performed, but certainly lost his one-on-one battle with the impressive Willian. 5.

Michael Carrick: His composed presence from central midfield makes such a difference for United, who improve significantly when he is fit because of his influence on his team-mates. 8.

Marouane Fellaini: As one-dimensional and predictable as many would expect. Offered little beyond his aerial threat and even then sent a close-range header wide. 5.

Jesse Lingard: Scored an excellent goal and earlier forced a fine save from Thibaut Courtois. 8.

Juan Mata: His quality is obvious from his touches but - perhaps due to manager Louis van Gaal's system - did not exert his influence in the way he used to at Stamford Bridge. 7.

Anthony Martial: Showed confidence and purpose with some nice touches and direct running that created a goalscoring chance early in the second half. 7.

Wayne Rooney: Most memorable contribution was perhaps an embarrassing air-kick early in the second half. Still has much to offer, but did not show it in west London. 6.

Subs:

Morgan Schneiderlin (for Fellaini, 79): Came on to provide greater defensive resilience and was blameless for Chelsea's equaliser. 5.

Memphis Depay (for Lingard, 87): Chelsea were the dominant team by the time he came on and he could do little to change that. 5.

Ander Herrera (for Mata, 90): Brought on far too late to have any impact. 5.

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