Thursday, May 16, 2013

Players Rating: Chelsea vs Benfica

Petr Cech: 8
One fabulous fingertip save to deny Oscar Cardozo and made a couple of other decent stops. His distribution was superb too and led to numerous promising breaks – and Fernando Torres’ opener.

Cesar Azpilicueta: 6
Often left outnumbered on the right flank but did pretty well given the circumstances. But was at fault for the penalty when he raised his hands in the area.

Gary Cahill: 7
Magnificent double defensive intervention in injury time rescued his defensive partner and ensured victory. Made several crucial blocks and refused to panic when Chelsea were under pressure.

Branislav Ivanovic: 7
Awesome headed winner and his heart, commitment and bravery are never in doubt. Was guilty of some sloppy passing from the back and his last-gasp winner was nearly overshadowed by an even more last-gasp defensive howler. But what a header.

Ashley Cole: 7
Experienced display from the England defender. Like his fellow full-back he was often up against it because of the narrow system, but had slightly more defensive cover and seemed more in control.

David Luiz: 8
Did all the ugly stuff brilliantly and was key to Chelsea’s second-half revival. Won his tackles, used the ball well and provided inspiration when it was most needed.

Frank Lampard: 8
So close to two goals with a vicious swerving first-half strike and a stunning shot that crashed off the bar just before Ivanovic’s winner. Got through an incredible amount of running and now looks certain to be staying at the Bridge.

Ramires: 6
Phenomenal workrate once again but his quality was missing on too many occasions. Still a vital cog in the midfield and provided a threat and outlet throughout. His relentless running forced the corner for the winner.

Oscar: 6
Too many misplaced passes, but like his fellow Brazilian Ramires, he covers a tremendous amount of ground and never stopped running.

Juan Mata: 6
Quiet but his class is always evident. Unable to pick the killer pass when he got in good positions but became increasingly effective as the game wore on. Played an important role for the team when they were under pressure, to round off a sensational season.

Fernando Torres: 8
The man for the big occasion. Took his goal with all the swagger of a world-class forward and did a fine job leading the line all night. Occupied Benfica’s defence from the first minute even though he had limited opportunities.

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