[Player Ratings] Basel 1-2 Chelsea: Luiz & Hazard Shine As Blues Take Control
Chelsea will bring a 2-1 aggregate lead back to Stamford Bridge after beating Basel in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final. Here are player ratings
Chelsea will bring a 2-1 aggregate lead back to Stamford Bridge after they overcame FC Basel in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final in Switzerland.
A frantic finish saw the Blues strike late to win the game after Victor Moses put his side ahead from a Frank Lampard corner in the first half. Chelsea were largely untroubled for the rest of the half and spurned several chances into the second half, Fernando Torres and Eden Hazard being the guiltiest parties.
Basel were handed a lifeline by the referee when he awarded them a penalty with three minutes of normal time to play. The decision was harsh on Cesar Azpilicueta who made very little contact with the Basel player, but Fabian Schar dispatched the penalty down the middle. There was still time for a winner though and David Luiz stepped up with seconds remaining to place his free-kick beyond Sommer. Here are my ratings from the game:
Cech- 7- the Czech stopper had a comfortable evening, doing well to rush out and thwart a certain Basel goal in the second half.
Cole- 6- had a solid game on his return from injury. Performed his defensive duties well however he had less of an impact going forward as we’re used to seeing from him.
Terry- 6- restored to the starting line up having missed out at the weekend and the former England skipper didn’t put a foot wrong. Dominant in the air; brought all his experience to the fore.
Ivanovich-7- formed a solid, organised partnership with Terry and was a threat from set-pieces. Involved in Chelsea’s first goal by flicking the ball into Moses’ path.
Azpilicueta- 7- excellent in the attack and took his place in a frugal defensive set up. Was unlucky to concede the penalty as the Spaniard made little if no contact with the Basel forward.
Lampard- 7- brought into the side to offer his wealth of big game experience in Europe. Composed, passed well and got forward to support Chelsea attacks.
Ramires – 5- this game seemed set for the Brazilian however he failed to have a real impact. Plenty of running but nothing decisive from the midfielder who had a tame effort saved in the first half.
David Luiz- 8– deployed in the more advanced central midfield role, the defender with the rocket right foot brought all his best qualities to the fore here. Enjoyed getting on the ball and trying to make Chelsea play from the back. Scored the winning goal with the last kick of the game from a direct free-kick.
Eden Hazard- 8-MOM- arguably Chelsea’s biggest attacking threat. Breezed effortlessly past players with deep runs and explosive surges into the box. Brilliant display of skill and trickery, and should have scored when one-on-one in the first half.
Victor Moses- 8- opened the scoring for Chelsea although the Nigerian knew little of it as it deflected first off Ivanovic. Lively all game with some impressive dribbling, showing superb acceleration to beat a number of defenders.
Fernando Torres- 5- the Spaniard scores low for his execution rather than effort. His enthusiasm to find the back of the net perhaps let him down when composure was needed. A couple of chances were snatched at and missed when a cool head would have put this game out of sight. Unlucky with one effort in the second half which hit the post.
Juan Mata- 8– the midfielder wasn’t on for long but his influence on the game was telling from the moment he stepped onto the pitch. Confident with the ball at his feet, he made things happen and brought others into the game with his insightful passing.
Oscar- 6- came on with 10 minutes to play and little effect on proceedings. Generally composed and passed well.
The dramatic win puts the Blues firmly in the driving seat ahead of the return leg in West London: Chelsea have never lost a European semi final at home, whilst Basel have never won on English soil. Rafael Benitez will be delighted with the win and his troops will go into the second leg with confidence, although there is a warning to be heeded. Basel visited White Hart Lane in the quarter final and put on a superb counter attacking display. Will it be different with onus on the Swiss team to score?
If you haven’t seen the goals or simply want to relive the action you can watch video highlights of Chelsea’s win over Basel here.
What do you think of my ratings and what marks would you have given the Chelsea players? Leave your suggestions in the comments section below.
/ 24 mins ago
Liverpool have been handed a fresh double injury blow as Joel Matip and Thiago...
/ 3 hours ago
Manchester United begin their Champions League campaign with a tough trip to France to...