[Player Ratings] Hull City 0-2 Chelsea: Hazard Superb One Again For Blues
Chelsea leap-frogged title rivals Arsenal into first place with a hard-fought 2-0 win against Hull City. Here are the football-talk player ratings from the game
Chelsea briefly leap-frogged title rivals Arsenal into first place with a hard-fought 2-0 win against Hull City on Saturday.
Jose Mourinho’s side found themselves top of the Premier League by one point but have since dropped to second following Manchester City’s 2-0 win over Newcastle on Sunday afternoon.
Eden Hazard rescued the Blues with a lethal low finish when it looked as though Hull would grind out a point at the KC Stadium. Fernando Torres netted the second with a classy finish with three minutes remaining, his second goal in as many Premier League games.
The clash between title challengers and a side impressing as a newly-promoted team was not brimming with clear-cut chances, especially for the Blues.
In fact Steve Bruce’s men had the first notable chance when John Terry gave the ball away in his own penalty area, but Yannick Sagbo snatched at the chance and shot wide.
After early pressure and that particular let-off, Chelsea grew as a presence in this game and when Hazard pulled back from the byline for Oscar, the Brazilian looked certain to score. But Allan McGregor pulled off a remarkable save, pushing the ball high from point blank range.
David Luiz had two free kicks which dipped and swerved in front of McGregor either side of half-time but 10 minutes after the re-start Chelsea were ahead.
Ashley Cole produced a sublime piece of skill to evade several defenders on the edge of the box and Hazard, picking up the ball and feigning to shoot once, let fly with a piercing shot low to McGregor’s left.
Tom Huddlestone came close to equalising for Hull with a free-kick but Torres settled the matter on 87 minutes, running at Alex Bruce before finishing beyond McGregor with a low left-footed shot. Here are my ratings:
Cech- 7- didn’t have a lot to do. Celebrates beating Peter Bonetti’s club record of most clean sheets with his 209th shut out. An outstanding keeper for Chelsea since his arrival.
Cole- 6- brilliant in attack but didn’t do it often enough.
Terry- 6- generally okay but nearly cost his side with a reckless pass from which Sagbo should have scored.
Cahill- 7- Chelsea’s best defender. Strong in the tackle.
Azpilicueta- 7- supported Willian down the right side and gave Hull something extra to think about.
Luiz- 6- went close with two free-kicks and was comfortable in possession.
Ramires- 7- a true box-to-box midfielder. Helped screen defence when Hull came forward and was first to bring the ball forward and support Chelsea attacks.
Willian- 7- a very good display, showing trickery on the wing. Starting to show he can be a first team regular.
Oscar- 6- not at his best but was still important in Chelsea’s football. Should have scored in the first half from just yards out.
Hazard- 9- a superb performance from the winger. Had Hull defenders on the back foot throughout and before the goal a spark looked most likely to come from the Belgian. A brilliant finish to open the scoring. Man of the Match.
Torres- 7- drifted in an out of the game but came alive in and around the box. Looked the Torres of old picking the ball up in the 87th minute and running one on one at Bruce before finishing.
Mikel- 6- came on for Oscar with 10 minutes to make sure of the three points.
Schurrle- replaced Willian in an obvious tactic to waste time. Not enough time for a rating.
Essien- injury time sub for Ramires. A time wasting ploy.
Were you impressed with the hard-fought victory at Hull?…How important is Hazard to Chelsea’s title ambitions?…Would you agree that he is carrying the team at the moment?…What other players would you like to see shelve the burden of responsibility?…please leave your comments below…
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