It was an absolutely complete and dominant performance from Chelsea as they thumped their German hosts Schalke 0-5 at Veltins Arena.
Chelsea dominated on all fronts- Defence, Midfield and Offence. The victory saw Chelsea win the group and proceed to the knockout stages of the tournament with chances of getting a favourable draw. The win extended Chelsea’s incredibly long unbeaten start to the season in all competitions, as the Blues remain the only unbeaten team in Europe.
Here are the performance ratings for Chelsea players.
Thibaut Courtois: 7/10
He had a routine day at the office as nothing really troubled him. He was calm and composed as ever whenever the ball flew at him or was shot from distance. There was one instance where he was beaten by a heavy deflection off Choupo-Moting’s shot, which luckily hit the crossbar.
Branislav Ivanovic: 7/10
Had an easy day at Right Back as Schalke tried to base their attacks from their right flank using Uchida that kept Ivanovic relatively less occupied. He bombarded forward time and again posing as a good offensive threat and an outlet for long passes as well as providing width to the approach play. He was decent in combination plays as well.
Gary Cahill: 7/10
He had a solid day in the office as Klaas Jan Huntelaar was kept quiet throughout the game by blocking his service. He had some crucial blocks and tackles as Schalke players decided to shoot from distance or penetrate the defence.
John Terry: 8/10
Was incredibly dominant and precise in the air to score the breezy opener in the second minute of the match. He had a solid game as Chelsea collectively played outstandingly. Terry’s captaincy was also good on the day.
Cesar Azpilicueta: 8/10
He had his hands full with Uchida bursting through time and again, and later had to deal with Clemens playing down his side as well. But the Spaniard was up to the task as he stopped almost all deliveries coming into the box with his no-nonsense defending. There was only one moment when Uchida was allowed to cut back for Choupo-Moting for the shot that got deflected off Cahill to hit the crossbar, which was because ‘Dave’ had a rush of blood to close down Uchida as quickly as possible which wasn’t necessary. But overall, a hearty and excellent performance by our defensive stalwart.
Nemanja Matic: 8.5/10
He was ridiculously dominant in midfield. He won back possession in midfield almost every time Chelsea gave the ball away in his area. His clean way of tackling and closing down was unplayable for Schalke’s midfield which was left to pass within their own half and were ruthlessly stopped from bypassing Chelsea’s lines by the Serbian giant.
Cesc Fabregas: 8/10
He had his usual high-level performance as he dictated the tempo of the game with his passing and movement in midfield. He provided his customary assist by setting up John Terry from the corner and was also effective for the third goal when his corner was turned in by Schalke defender Jan Kirchhoff into his own net.
His combination play with Hazard, Willian, Fabregas and Costa was overwhelming for the opponents. His ability to work hard on the pitch was crucial as well, because Chelsea won back possession with him, Matic and Fabregas crowding the midfield when required. He has been inconsistent form this season- one reason why Chelsea are going strong at this stage.
Willian: 9/10 MOTM
He was absolutely brilliant on the day as he showcased his flair along with his tireless and clever running. His combination play with Fabregas, Oscar and Hazard was excellent in the final third. His influence in the counter attack was very visible. Willian ended the match with a decisive tally of 1 goal and an assist which would have pleased Mourinho. If the Brazilian keeps providing numbers along with the running, he could be one of the most important players in Chelsea’s set-up in the coming games.
Eden Hazard: 8.5/10
He was a terror for the Schalke defence. He was there at the centre of everything good that happened to Chelsea; the ‘good’ quotient was extremely high! The Belgian provided an assist to Willian for the second goal, but did not score one for himself, which he would like to do so more frequently.
Diego Costa: 8/10
He did not score a goal but was an extremely important player last night. His movement and positioning caused problem to Schalke all game and he was a crucial outlet for the midfield to stretch the approach play. His work rate was fantastic and his hunger to get involved in the build-up was well cherished by the Chelsea supporters.
Didier Drogba: 8.5/10
He came on for a brief while but inflicted a blitzkrieg attack on the Germans by scoring one and assisting one in quick time. His target-man attributes provided a new dimension to the already dominant Chelsea.
He scored a well-taken header just after coming on, which would give him confidence. He has been in and out of the team because of the well working trio of Matic, Fabregas and Oscar. But Ramires has found a niche role for himself and performed well as a substitute.
Andre Schurrle: N/A
He made a comeback from illness and is apparently fit enough to fight for a starting spot once again. He had a couple of promising run-ins at goal but had little time to be a decisive contributor.
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Edited By: Ankur Bhatt