As Chelsea failed to capitalize on the chances they created, Schalke escaped with a draw. It marked a rather disappointing night for the Blues at their home as they have been excellent in the league but failed to score more than one goal here, that too, a controversial one. Here are the Chelsea player ratings for the game.
Thibaut Courtois: 7/10
He didn’t have much to do last night as he was untested for most parts of the game as Schalke tried shots from distance. He saved some powerful drives from Kevin Prince Boateng, but that was well-expected of him anyway.
Then came the moment when Klaas Jan-Huntelaar cut into his right foot toying with Cahill and wrong footing Courtois, to score the equalizer.
Branislav Ivanovic: 6/10
He had a good night as an attacking fullback, but his contribution in defence is falling short. He generally leaves a lot of space behind him for through balls that he can’t latch on to. He was also running short of steam towards the end.
His passing has improved as he finds key passes very often, but in this match he was somewhat like last season, especially towards the end when Chelsea needed goals, as his passing and vision dipped significantly. He also missed 2-3 great heading opportunities.
Gary Cahill: 6/10
He had a good night but was somewhat responsible for non-aggressive defending. He tends to back off time and again looking for the most appropriate and decisive block or tackle. But that technique was falling apart when Draxler came charging at him once.
He did a similar error against Huntelaar, allowing him to move to his right foot while the shot moved from between his legs. A night to ponder about, for the English vice-captain.
John Terry: 6/10
Terry was not challenged too much last night as it was Cahill who was more busy center back. But there have been issues at the back for the Blues this season. Chelsea haven’t been hitting the clean sheets this season.
Terry often fails in his job as an organizer when the team plays an open brand of football. Both Terry and Cahill are penalty box defenders and not front foot players. So when the team wants to press higher, the space between the last midfielder and the defensive line is a bit too much for anybody’s liking.
Filipe Luis: 8/10
He had a great debut individually. He showed great technique in defending, overlapping and crossing. He has good pace down the flank as well. Him donning the traditional number 3 and linking with Hazard was good to watch.
He had 2-3 particularly great crosses into the box that Drogba and others failed to utilize. Then there were some key moments where he showed great skill in tackling and winning possession in the left flank especially when Terry and Cahill were on all fours.
Nemanja Matic: 6.5/10
Matic sometimes struggles with the whole new system of pressing play, getting caught out when he’s the last midfielder. He would need to tuck in deeper with more mobile centre backs, which will give him the cushion even he needs.
His otherwise sound passing and intercepting skills were on display. He had a decent game, though not spectacular.
Ramires’ energy and athleticism were on display once again as Mourinho showed faith in the Brazilian once more. He was good while closing down and had a decent night next to Matic in the pivot role.
He was substituted for Oscar when Chelsea needed more technical players to score goals.
Cesc Fabregas: 7.5/10
He scored the only goal for Chelsea and created many clear cut chances for the team. He was on fire offensively and was playing like a boss, dominating the game and dictating the tempo. The first goal he scored was controversial, as he fouled Meyer in the buildup and went on to play as the ref didn’t blow the whistle.
He was robbed off the ball in the midfield that led to Draxler running riots before setting up Huntelaar for the goal. He also missed a glorious chance, but he otherwise had an excellent game.
He was a workhorse in the midfield, and he played well on the right flank. He was there as a threat in the attacking third as a constant menace with his quick feet and sheer pace.
He was booked in the match as he was at his usual, tackling and hassling players. He generally stayed wide giving width to Chelsea’s approach play. There wasn’t much spectacular.
Eden Hazard: 8.5/10
He was excellent last night. He was perpetual motion. The way he dominated the game was a delight to watch. He won almost all one on one battles and was untouchable when he ran at the defences. He also stepped up with a cool assist for Cesca Fabregas’ first Chelsea goal, as he drew two defenders to one side and set up the Spaniard.
On the downside, he missed two chances which otherwise, he would have scored. It would have been perfect had he scored the goals. He is definitely the man of the match. Chelsea should give him a new deal as soon as possible!
Didier Drogba: 4/10
Drogba clearly looked his age when he took the field last night. He was a pale shadow of his usual self. We can’t blame him as he is 36 years old, and one can’t expect much off him. He showed decent upper body strength but lacked the pace to beat any defender.
He also missed a glorious chance and another header off Filipe’s cross. He looked rusty throughout the match, but this game was very important for him to gain some much-needed fitness.
Had a good game as a sub, but didn’t have much of an impact as Schalke wanted to preserve their score.
Loic Remy: 7/10
He found himself in a great goal-scoring position, but his shot was spectacularly headed off the line.
Diego Costa: 7/10
He immediately made a menace of himself with his aggressive play and better technique in offensive areas. He didn’t have enough time to score.
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