[Player Ratings] Chelsea 4-1 Cardiff City: Hazard Inspires Rampant Win
Chelsea moved up to second in the table thanks to a controversial refereeing decision which sparked a comeback against Cardiff. Here are our player ratings.
Chelsea moved up to second in the Premier League table thanks to a controversial refereeing decision which sparked a comeback against Cardiff City.
A defensive error from David Luiz allowed John Mutch to latch onto a stray back pass and put the visitors ahead within 11 minutes at Stamford Bridge. Parity was restored shortly after the half hour mark, but it was not without controversy. Samuel Eto’o dispossessed Cardiff keeper David Marshall as he bounced the ball and Eden Hazard was at hand to equalise, despite Marshall’s protests.
Law 12 of FIFA regulations states: ‘A goalkeeper is considered to be in control of the ball while the ball is between his hands and any surface (e.g. ground) and while in the act of bouncing it on the ground.’
The goal stood and the error gave Chelsea a lifeline which they took full advantage of. It took them until the 66th minute to take the lead but there could be no complaints for Eto’o’s first Premier League goal in a blue shirt, which saw the Cameroonian cutting in and striking powerfully in the bottom corner.
The game was settled by substitute Oscar who hit a superb shot from distance that left Marshall with no chance. Blues’ boss Jose Mourinho ensured the controversy carried on into the second half when referee Anthony Taylor sent the Portuguese to the stands. Mourinho was incensed by some of his decisions, but the game was put beyond all doubt when Hazard cut in from the left and fired under Marshall for his second of the game.
Cech- 7- Luiz’s incompetence meant there was not much he could do for Cardiff’s goal. Otherwise untroubled in his 300th Premier League appearance for the Blues.
Bertrand- 6- has played the Ashley Cole ‘under-study’ role well when the regular has been missing and didn’t let anyone down on this occasion.
Terry- 7- a very good display from the captain. Reliable, assured, solid: everything we’ve come to expect from the veteran.
Luiz- 5- must take responsibility for the ‘dummy’ which allowed Mutch to nip in and score, but on the whole did fine.
Ivanovich- 7- looks to have made the right back position his own. Continually gets the nod ahead of Azpilicueta and has not let his boss, colleagues or fans down.
Ramires- 7- goes without saying that the Brazilian was energetic. Could be seen at either end of the pitch and hassled Cardiff enough to give up possession for Eto’o’s goal.
Lampard- 6- unlike Ramires, we’re starting to see Lampard influence games less often. Still, there was plenty of talent and fresh legs surrounding him to allow the England man to protect the back four and keep things simple.
Willian- 6- no doubt started because of his wonder goal against Norwich last time out, but the new-boy failed to get into the game. Showed some nice glimpses of raw talent.
Hazard- 8- a brilliant showing from the Belgian. Always a threat on that left side, was at hand to equalise despite the controversy and capped the day off with a scintillating run and finish.
Mata- 6- his omission at the start of the season caused uproar among some section of the Chelsea faithful, however his performances of late have not done enough to warrant the Spaniard a starting berth. Drifted in an out of the game and was replaced on the hour by goalscorer Oscar.
Eto’o- 7- got away with nicking the ball from keeper Marshall, despite FIFA rules stating the eventual goal should have been disallowed. But opened his Chelsea account with a sumptuous low finish.
Oscar- 8- another fine performance from the Brazilian. His introduction enlivened Chelsea and his goal capped off a good all-round showing.
Torres- 6- not much to write home about here. Didn’t stand out when he was introduced but also didn’t do anything wrong.
Azpilicueta- 6- replaced Eto’o and proved a more than capable left-back after filling in for Bertrand who was subbed earlier. Threatening in attack.
Man of the Match– Hazard- despite the circumstances, the Belgian kept his composure to drag Chelsea onto level terms. Always a live wire and caused Cardiff countless problems. Fine individual goal late on to cap a good performance.
How did you see the game? Do you think there was an element of luck in Chelsea’s win? What did you make of Cardiff’s alleged time-wasting tactics? Should Mourinho have been sent to the stands? Who should start the next game against Schalke: Mata or Oscar?…please leave your comments below…