Chelsea ratings: Matic dominates as manager gives City the Inter - Barca treatment

Nemanja Matic

Mourinho masterminded a great tactical battle to outwit Manchester City manager Pellegrini and, like he did with Inter when Barcelona were on peak form, contained the attackers.

Petr Cech - 8

His evening shift on Monday, February 3 had proven quiet for the majority of the night. That is, until, David Silva rocketed in a wonderful strike that appeared destined for the top right hand corner had it not been for an agile mitt tipping the ball over the bar for a corner. Saves are often not heralded as valuable as a goal, like Branislav Ivanovic's, but Cech's not only influenced the game, but could have implications on the season as a whole. Produced another great shave to keep his sheet clean when Steven Jovetic fired one goal-ward.

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Cesar Azpilicueta - 6

Was hardly on the ball compared to his team-mates, but did make numerous clearances and interceptions.

John Terry - 8

Perfectly shepherded the ball away from his goal-line and had great communication and a terrific partnership with Gary Cahill.

Gary Cahill - 7.5

Pumped a header into the post of City's goal-frame and, had it just been an inch to the good side, he would have doubled Chelsea's lead. While the header was effectively off-target, it really was exquisitely and powerfully struck. Moments later, he was back in his more natural position - his own penalty box - showing ridiculous positional nous and composure to thwart a probing City. Won 11 aerial tussles and 16 clearances, yet just nine passes completed!

Branislav Ivanovic - 8.5

While Chelsea did afford Kolarov freedom down the left, he was oft stifled by superbly-timed slide challenges - one of which was by Branislav mid-way through the first half. The right back was found not only nullifying left flank attempts by City, but also occasionally in central midfield and even probing further forward so it was no surprise that he had the ball in a 25-yard wondergoal-scoring opportunity but, perhaps, what was a surprise, was that he struck the football with the precision and power of a striker. Mere moments later, he was booked for a challenge on David Silva.

Nemanja Matic - 9

His challenge on Yaya Toure inside the penalty box could have yielded a spot kick for Manchester City but the Ivory Coast international stood on his feet in an attempt to claim a goal from open play. Fortunately for Matic, Yaya not only stayed on his feet, but his supply did not provide an assisted goal. Showed off his terrific left foot when he hit the corner right-hand post with a long-range drive.

David Luiz - 8

Rugby'd his dead ball opportunity well over the bar while an infuriated Jose Mourinho growled in his dugout - the Portuguese will have been well aware that City can be had from free-kicks. Put in a great shift in the middle, particularly more so because, as Robbie Savage noted for the BBC, both he and Matic were very dominant against a line-up that bragged Yaya Toure.

Ramires - 7

Had the ball in the net early in the match but it was chalked off as offside. Chelsea had a counter-attack opportunity which provided a four-on-one chance, yet when Ramires was fed the ball, his shot was too tame and easily savable. Where Ramires did excel was his defensive responsibility, tracking back to put Eden Dzeko off a shooting chance.

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Eden Hazard - 7.5

His adept dribbling posed problems from the City midfield to the rearguard, winning a free kick in a problematic area just before the break. Had the better of Pablo Zabaleta with his dribbling runs.

Willian - 7.5

Was in the right place at the right time when Joe Hart beat a Ramires shot into his path yet the Brazilian donkeyed a bicycle kick attempt in comedic fashion. His greatest contribution throughout the match was his consistent tirelessness - he covered a lot of ground and worked hard in one of the 3 in Jose Mourinho's 4-3-2-1 formation.

Samuel Eto'o - 6

Like Cahill, was accurate with just nine passes, yet probably had less of an influence on Chelsea's attack than the defender, missing the goal with both of his shots.

image: © Yoca91

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