[Player Ratings] Chelsea 1-0: Terry Inspires A Blues Forces Injury-Time Winner
John Terry was credited with the last minute goal that extended Chelsea’s lead at the top of Premier League as they beat Everton 1-0. Here are player ratings.
John Terry claimed the last minute goal that extended Chelsea’s lead at the top of Premier League as they beat Everton 1-0.
The Toffees proved to be sticky opponents as Chelsea struggled to create chances in the first half. But the introduction of Ramires in the second half changed the game and the Blues kept going right to the end, with Terry claiming the winner from a Frank Lampard free-kick.
Everton were impressive at Stamford Bridge- a venue they have not won at since 1994- and made it difficult for Chelsea to express themselves, keeping the ball for long spells and shutting the Blues down quickly when play was turned over.
Petr Cech made a brilliant save from a Leon Osman volley in the first half and was again at hand after the break when Osman’s shot was diverted on it’s way to goal by Kevin Mirallas.
Chelsea had more urgency in the second half when the sulky Oscar made way for Ramires and Branislav Ivanovic was denied by Tim Howard from point blank after the American repelled a fierce volley. Eden Hazard- who had a quiet game- might have come closer with a volley had substitute Fernando Torres not gotten in his way, and Ramires nearly won it himself with a long-range shot that whistled just past the post.
But it was from the Brazilian’s direct running with the clock ticking down which forced Phil Jagielka to foul him. Lampard fired the resulting free-kick into the box and Terry did enough to put off Howard before it found the back of the net. The skipper ran away claiming a touch but replays show their was no contact.
The win maintains Chelsea’s place at the top of the pile, a point ahead of Arsenal in second and three points ahead of Manchester City in third, although Manuel Pellegrini’s side do have a game in hand.
Cech- 7- less to do than Howard, but stopped two certain goals from Osman with two top drawer saves.
Azpilicueta- 7- struggled with Mirallas in the first half but improved in the second and was never beaten on his outside.
Terry- 9- a strong and commanding performance from Chelsea’s leader. They very rarely concede when he plays and it was his pressure on Howard which forced the ball into the net for 3 vital points. Man of the Match.
Cahill- 8- a very good show from another dependable defender. Dealt with Steven Naismith.
Ivanovic- 6- Steven Pienaar and Leighton Baines caused him problems in the first half but looked more assured after the break. Defended well.
Matic- 6- appeared to be losing the midfield battle in the first half but screened his defenders superbly, snuffing out danger and showing immense strength.
Lampard- 7- struggled to make an impact in the game until the later stages. Showed his worth with a dangerous free-kick which led to the goal.
Hazard- 6- nowhere near his best. Currently suffering a dip in form but still showed glimpses of brilliance.
Oscar- 4- a very poor first half in which he was virtually non-existent. Didn’t look up for the midfield battle which Everton won in the first half and was hooked off at half time.
Willian- 6- another attacking midfielder to struggle in this game. Gareth Barry and James McCarthy worked like terriers to close Chelsea down and win the ball back and Willian suffered.
Eto’o- 6- his all-round game was good, showing neat touched to try and bring others into the game but never got himself into the right areas to score.
Ramires- 8- changed the game for Chelsea when he came on and was more influential as the half progressed. Not scared to run at players and make them commit to the challenge, which resulted in Jagielka bringing him down for the goal.
Torres- 5- almost not worth him turning up. Despite showing energy at times, nothing he tried came off and he even got in Hazard’s way when the Belgian tried to shoot at goal.
Schurrle- 6- made a nuisance of himself when he came on for Eto’o.
This game won’t be remembered for Chelsea’s performance, but how important was the result?…How happy are you that the Blues can grind out results even when they don’t play well?…Have they got enough to go all the way and lift the Premier League trophy come May?…What about their chances in the Champions League?…Are you looking forward to seeing Didier Drogba play against Chelsea in Galatasaray?…Chelsea are lacking fire-power up front- do they need a Drogba-style centre forward in their team?…please leave your comments below…
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