Chelsea saw off German outfit Schalke in an impressive 3-0 win at Stamford Bridge, thanks to goals from Eto'o and Ba.
Chelsea went into the match comfortable favourites and duly delivered unlike their previous game against Newcastle. A number of changes were made to the side that lost on Tyneside, Saturday with the likes of Mikel, Cahill and Eto'o coming into the starting 11. Jose Mourinho will feel his changes were justified as they cruised through the game, and never looked in doubt.
Chelsea Player Ratings:
Petr Cech – 6/10 – Really has had a quiet afternoon, played behind an outstanding defensive effort and didn’t make any wayward kicks, wasn’t really tested but showed his usual commanding presence.
Branislav Ivanovic – 5/10 – An astute defensive effort was under-minded by awful distribution problems. The Serbian still looked solid at the back, but whenever he got the chance to break with the ball he was quick to lose it. A performance he’ll want to forget, no doubt.
Gary Cahill – 8/10 – MOTM - He couldn’t have done much better on his return to the first team, very intelligent passing and movement and frustrated the Schalke attackers by giving them nothing to work with. High class performance.
John Terry – 8/10 – The Chelsea skipper looked like a leader through-out the game and assisted Cahill superbly, first to everything and constantly organising the defence which looked water-tight for the majority of the game.
Cesar Azpilicueta – 7/10 – The Spanish international showed good ability down the left hand side of the pitch, defensively astute and showed good character to bounce back after a shaky start.
John Obi Mikel – 7/10 – The Nigerian midfielder came in and performed admirably, being the key man for Chelsea in the middle of the park on the night. He’s presence and passing was key to the build-up’s Chelsea created.
Ramires – 4/10 – The worst player on the night for me, looked suspect in possession and made a catalogue of stray passes, the Brazilian will want to forget about this match and quickly. In fairness, the character of his play was always there and he never went shy, asking for the ball and trying difficult passes.
Andre Schurrle – 7/10 – It was a very energetic performance from the German, who played on the left hand side of an attacking three. The pace and movement coming from out wide to cut in side was a cause for concern for Schalke.
Oscar – 5/10 – It was a quiet performance from Brazilian, where he struggled to make his presence known. Working hard for the team and still offering an option, it just wasn’t happening for him.
Willian – 8/10 – The pick of the bunch out of Chelsea’s attacking players, the constant energy he brought to the side, and quality ensured that Chelsea were going to run out winners. The hunger, drive and ability to set the second goal up was nothing short of sublime.
Samuel Eto’o – 6/10 – The former Barcelona striker rolled back the years with a Champions League brace. The first goal was far from a classic, but showed good awareness to jump on the stuttering keeper and the second was a classic Eto’o goal, running through the back-line showing an incredible first touch and finish.
Kevin De Bruyne – 6/10 – Coming on with 15 minutes to go, he didn’t have a lot to do. It was his Chelsea debut in the Champions League, having played for Genk in the competition previously but apart from a few neat touches and passes there wasn’t much to say.
Frank Lampard – 7/10 – Came on with 10 minutes to go, and with an exquisite pass to Ba he set-up Chelsea’s 3rd so in my eyes deserves a good 7 for the match. The veteran goal scorer showed his intelligence around the box, and where most people would have shot he just played a dink over the top to set Demba Ba on his way.
Demba Ba – 7/10 – Came on for his second appearance for Chelsea in the Champions League and it’s not one he is likely going to forget. He played a major role in the build-up play to his goal to then finish sublimely, kissing the ground in celebration. The forgotten man puts himself back on the radar.
image: © geetarchurchy