[Player Ratings] Chelsea 1-0 Stoke City: Oscar’s Brilliance See’s Blues Through
Oscar’s stunning free-kick was enough to see Chelsea past a sorry Stoke in the FA Cup- and set up a ‘Clash of the Titans’ 5th round tie with Man City.
Oscar’s stunning free-kick was enough to see Chelsea past a sorry Stoke City in the FA Cup- and set up a ‘Clash of the Titans’ 5th round tie with Manchester City.
Chelsea were ahead at Stamford Bridge after 27 minutes thanks to Oscar’s sublime free-kick and it proved to be the only goal of the game, despite the hosts wasting numerous chances and striking the woodwork twice.
Chelsea started brightly and Samuel Eto’o- a man high on confidence after his hat-trick against Manchester United- nearly scored as early as the 2nd minute with a snap-shot on the turn. Stoke threatened briefly when Peter Crouch headed wide from a Jonathan Walters cross but it was more or less one-way traffic for the Blues.
After Oscar had broken the deadlock with a seemingly impossible set-piece which deceived keeper Asmir Begovic, Chelsea sought to wrap up the win.
Oscar went closest before the half-time whistle with a thumping effort which smacked Begovic’s near post and Andre Schurrle did likewise in the second half from a tight angle following a good run.
Eto’o will look back on his 77th minute chance knowing he should have scored; the Cameroonian unable to get the ball from beneath his feet in time to convert from 6 yards with the goal at his mercy.
There was time for a David Luiz free-kick which Begovic did tremendously to palm away but despite there only being one goal in it, there was only one way this FA Cup tie was headed.
Chelsea were rewarded with arguably the tie of the round as they head to the Etihad Stadium to face title rivals Man City in the 5th round.
Schwarzer- 6- was left to his own devices for much of the game as the back five were untroubled by Stoke.
Cole- 6- a good game from the man hoping to impress enough to claim the England left-back spot at this year’s World Cup
Luiz- 6- allowed Crouch to get in front of him for an early header, which could have given Stoke the lead.
Cahill- 7- showed all the qualities necessary to lead the defence: was strong in the tackle and read the game well. Handled Crouch expertly.
Ivanovic – 6- matched Walters for work-rate on the right side and rarely let him get the better of him.
Lampard- 6- a dependable performance without coming anywhere near the impressive category. Unlucky not to get on the score sheet.
Matic- 7- an impressive first start in his second stint in Blue. Brought composure and class to the midfield and helped build attacks.
Schurrle- 7- the German is maturing in to an excellent Premier League player and showed his qualities again here, showing real willingness to get at full-backs either on the outside or inside.
Oscar- 9- Chelsea’s stand out performer and match-winner. His incredible free-kick went across Begovic, catching him completely unaware. He was unlucky not to get a second goal and was full of attacking flair. Man of the Match.
Hazard- 8- another brilliant display from the Belgian. His speed and balance are a nightmare for defenders and he cut through Stoke on many occasions.
Eto’o- 7- held the ball up well in tight areas. The only thing wrong with his performance was the lack of goals. Good display.
Willian- 6- on for Schurrle, looked a direct threat.
Ramires- 6- replaced Oscar at the end and had claims for a penalty which referee Chris Foy dismissed.
Ba- 5- on for Eto’o but showed little promise during the time he had.
Were you pleased with the performance against Stoke City?…Are you disappointed the win wasn’t by a bigger margin?…What did you think of Oscar’s performance?…Is he currently Chelsea’s best player?…Do you think Chelsea can go to the Etihad Stadium in the next round and progress?…please leave you comments below…
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