[Player Ratings] Chelsea 2-1 Everton: Torres Seals Win In Rafa’s Final Game
Chelsea ensured automatic qualification for next season’s Champions League with a 2-1 win over Everton at Stamford Bridge. Here are player ratings from the game
Chelsea ensured automatic qualification for next season’s Champions League as they signed off the 2012/13 Premier League season with a narrow win over Everton at Stamford Bridge.
Juan Mata gave the Blues the lead within seven minutes after Tim Howard’s mistake presented him with a simple tap in. Steven Naismith equalised for the Toffees just before half-time with a neat finish after Victor Anichebe had done well. Everton looked to take advantage of a clearly exhausted Chelsea side; their midweek heroics in the Europa League understandably taking its toll, and Everton missed a host of chances to take the lead. But Rafael Benitez rallied his troops at half-time and Fernando Torres smashed in from a tight angle to win the game; both sides missing further several chances to score.
The three points ensured the Blues finish the campaign in third place while Benitez will be please to bow out having secured Champions League qualification and a major European trophy.
Cech- 7- was generally reliable when called upon. Lucky in the first half when he allowed a deflected Darron Gibson effort to hit the post which then hit his head and back onto the post. Saved brilliantly from point blank in the second half from a Nikica Jelavic header.
Cole- 6- was always busy, contributing to Chelsea’s attack. Usually solid performance in defence.
Luiz- 5- pushed back into defence for Rafa’s last game, however it has been in midfield where the Brazilian has shone under Benitez. Culpable for Everton’s goal, giving away possession in a dangerous area.
Cahill- 7- looked composed and made up for the lapses in concentration from his fellow centre back Luiz. Also unfortunate not to score, going close when the ball fell for him in the penalty area.
Ivanovich- 7- the Serb is never as effective at right back compared to his favoured centre back position, however he was not afraid to get forward and was generally solid.
Lampard- 6- the Chelsea record breaker was quiet in a game where he was formally congratulated before hand by previous holder Bobby Tambling. Rewarded for a fantastic season with a new year-long contract, but this game largely passed him by.
Ake- 6- looked composed in a rare start for the youngster. Looks a good prospect for the future but struggled at times, especially in the first half when Everton’s midfield were in control.
Oscar- 7- the Brazilian midfielder has had a brilliant first season in English football and he signed off in style with a typically classy performance. Quiet in the first half but was a threat in the second 45.
Mata- 7- Chelsea’s player of the season had a less effective game by his own standards but was still involved in a lot of the Blue’s football. In the right place to open the scoring with a cool first time finish.
Torres- 8- the Spaniard has toiled in a Chelsea shirt since arriving at the club, but 22 goals in all competitions this season suggests a return to form. Ran Everton’s defenders tirelessly and finished well with a half- volley from a tight angle to win the game.
Ba- 6- worked hard but found chances hard to come by. His shot was saved by Howard and the rebound tapped in by Mata, but apart from an effort in the second half which deflected off Sylvain Distin, the striker struggled to get involved.
Moses- 7- was busy when he came on in the second half and cushioned the ball into Torres’ path for the winner to claim an assist.
Ferreira- 5- the Chelsea main-stay came on with just minutes to go.
Azpilicueta- 5- also came on late in the game with little time to make an impact.
Chelsea fans will be delighted to see their side finish their season with a win, consolidating third place to claim an automatic Champions League spot and ensuring there was no need for a play-off with Arsenal. Benitez would have been far from the first name on Chelsea fans’ lips when Roberto di Matteo was dismissed last year, but the Spaniard has been true to his own form with past clubs in bringing undoubted success.
There may have been no challenge for the league title, and it was disappointing not to get to another FA Cup final, but the Blues achieved European success for the second consecutive season, even if it was ‘just’ the Europa League. As ever in West London, it will be an interesting summer ahead as they seek to find a new manager and recruit new players to mount a serious challenge for trophies on all fronts.
How do you think the Blues performed in their final outing of the season? Are you happy with the job Benitez has done? Will Jose Mourinho return to the club this summer? Who would you like to see in a Blue shirt next season?…please leave your comments below…
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