[Player Ratings] Derby County 0-2 Chelsea: Mikel & Oscar Strike For Blues
Goals from John Obi Mikel and Oscar were enough to secure a 2-0 win against Derby County in the FA Cup third round. Here are player ratings from the game.
Goals from John Obi Mikel and Oscar were enough to secure a 2-0 win against Derby County in the FA Cup third round.
After a tight first half Chelsea scored two in five minutes, first Mikel heading home from a Willian free-kick and then Oscar making sure of his sides progress in to the next round with a powerful strike.
Jose Mourinho fielded a strong starting XI at Pride Park, showing just how seriously he is taking this competition when the likes of Paul Lambert came under the spotlight this weekend for comments that appeared to devalue the FA Cup (his Aston Villa side suffered a 2-1 home defeat to League One side Sheffield United).
Michael Essien was drafted in for John Terry with David Luiz moving to centre half while Oscar and Willian started after their match winning swan-song from the bench against Southampton. Mark Schwarzer started ahead of Petr Cech in goal while Samuel Eto’o replaced last week’s goal scorer Fernando Torres in attack.
Chelsea went close early on through Eto’o who tried to lob Derby keeper Lee Grant but the Blues did not have it all their own way. The hosts failed to create any chances of their own but they worked hard to limit Chelsea to a handful of plucky long range shots.
After the break, Chelsea kept on coming, with Oscar nearly catching Derby off guard with a wicked cross which Jake Buxton did well to clear. And with every attack Derby’s heroic defence looked more and more likely to concede.
With Eden Hazard and Fernando Torres introduced before the hour, Derby would have been forgiven for treating Mikel with less worry than the other Blues players, such was the wealth of attacking prestige on show. But it was the Nigerian who got the vital touch on Willian’s cross to give the visitors a deserved lead in the 66th minute.
That lead was doubled five minutes later when the in-form Oscar combined with Torres on the edge of the area before smashing the ball home in exquisite style.
Derby applied some late pressure but the Blues weathered the late storm and earned themselves a home tie with Stoke City in the fourth round.
Schwarzer- 6- was a spectator for most of the game up until the final 10 minutes. Did well to help see the game out in the final stages.
Cole- 7- dangerous option for Chelsea going forward.
Luiz- 6- a good game from the Brazilian. Will be glad to keep a clean sheet at centre half.
Cahill- 7- showed the leadership qualities in defence so often missing without John Terry. Good display.
Azpilicueta- 7- has had to do a fair amount of shifting from left back to right back but he is easily capable at either. Oozes class in attack and defended well.
Essien- 5- hasn’t been given much game time since his return from loan and on his first half evidence we might not see him again soon. Looked overwhelmed at times by Derby’s busy midfield.
Mikel- 8- very assured performance capped with a well taken goal.
Ramires- 6- full of running but his talents seem wasted wide on the right of the attacking midfield trio.
Oscar- 9- another brilliant attacking display. Creative, graceful and clinical. Man of the Match
Willian- 7- posed problems for the Derby defence on the left side of midfield. Capped performance with an assist.
Eto’o- 5- nearly scored early on with an audacious lob but offered little until being replaced by Torres.
Torres- 6- positive when he came on for Eto’o and should have done better to score when he nearly rounded keeper Grant.
Hazard- 7- came on early in the second half and got at the Derby defence immediately. Always a threat.
Are you happy to see Chelsea though to the next round of the FA Cup?…Were you pleased to see Mourinho treat the competition so seriously by naming such a strong team?…With Stoke at home in the next round, are you confident Chelsea can go all the way this year?…Which competition would you prefer to see Chelsea win, FA Cup, Premier League, or Champions League?…please leave your comments below…
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