[Player Ratings] Man City 0-1 Chelsea: How Mourinho’s Men Rated At The Etihad
Jose Mourinho got his tactics spot-on as his Chelsea side beat free-scoring Manchester City 1-0 at the Etihad Stadium. Here are our player ratings from the game
Jose Mourinho got his tactics spot-on as his Chelsea side beat free-scoring Manchester City 1-0 at the Etihad Stadium.
Branislav Ivanovic scored the only goal of the game with a sumptuous half-volley in the 32nd minute but it could so easily have been more for a Chelsea side looking for their first Premier League title since 2010.
Chelsea hit the woodwork on no fewer than three occasions, with Samuel Eto’o striking the post just before half-time after being played through by the scintillating Eden Hazard. After the break Nemanja Matic’s long-range thunder-bolt crashed back off Joe Hart’s crossbar while Gary Cahill hit the post from a corner.
Man City were a shadow of the team that have taken the Premier League by storm this season. The Citizens have scored 68 league goals this campaign and before Monday night they had not conceded at home in the league since 2010.
Their best two chances came before Ivanovic’s opener, first Yaya Toure shooting over from just inside the area. Shortly after Toure turned provider cutting back from a tight angle for David Silva to slice inches wide.
But Man City were fragile at the back and when Ramires’ close-range shot bounced back to Ivanovic the Serbian made no mistake, letting fly with a sweetly-struck half volley which flew into Hart’s bottom right corner.
The result puts the Blues level on points with Man City on 53, just two behind league leaders Arsenal.
Cech- 7- a little nervous in the opening minutes but was largely untroubled. Aerially strong from corners when it was called for.
Azpilicueta- 7- was a vital brick in the defensive wall that repelled everything Man City had. Stopped Jesus Navas getting crosses in.
Terry- 7- a solid display from Chelsea’s captain. Showed the leadership qualities we know he possesses in big games.
Cahill- 8- looking more and more a future Chelsea captain and nearly scored in the second half, crashing a header against the post.
Ivanovic- 8- took advantage of the space on City’s left-hand side afforded by the wandering David Silva. Defended well and popped up with a stunning and well deserved goal to win the game.
Luiz- 7- performed admirably in the holding position alongside new boy Matic. Looked best when doing the simple things.
Matic- 9- the Serbian’s first league start since re-signing in January. Never put a foot wrong and showed that he could become a main-stay of this Chelsea team. A brilliant passer of the ball and snuffed out the danger before it materialised. Almost scored with a thumping long-range effort. Man of the Match
Ramires- 7- always eager to bomb forward but kept his discipline in the later stages to help defend his side’s lead.
Willian- 7- added to his brilliant attacking urges with a committed defensive performance when Man City had the ball for long periods.
Hazard- 8- another stand out performer. Was so often the attacking focus of the Chelsea side with some bold running and pacy runs that terrified the Man City defence.
Eto’o- 6- shame that he never had too many goal-scoring opportunities but was unlucky with one in the first half which struck the post.
Oscar- 6- believed to be carrying a knock which led to Mourinho starting the Brazilian on the bench. Came on with seven minutes to go for Eto’o which pushed Hazard further forward.
Mikel- 5- a time-wasting tactic from Mourinho. On for Willian in the second minute of injury time.
Ba- 5- came on for Hazard in the last minute of injury time. Not enough to make any impression.
What does this result do for the prospects of the title racing pack?…Was this as good as you’ve seen Chelsea?…Can Chelsea now believe that they can win the title?…Who was your man of the match?…Did Matic impress on his first league start?…please leave your comments below…
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