Thursday 18 January 2018

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

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.


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.


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.

Chelsea's Diego Costa celebrates his equaliser


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.


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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