The Serbia international headed in 11 minutes before half-time to ultimately ensure the Premier League leaders secured their first victory of the group stage, adding to the point they won against Schalke earlier in the month.
Much had been made about the defensive midfielders on show, with Matic coming up against Sporting’s outstanding young player William Carvalho.
The two stars would have known each other well from Matic’s time at Benfica, but how did they compare in a variety of areas on the night?
The Chelsea player had the biggest impact, scoring what proved to be the match-winner, but he also made more interceptions than the Portuguese international, had more touches of the ball (if only by one) and had a 100 per cent shot-to-goal ratio.
In comparison, William saw 50 per cent of his shots hit the target but he failed to find the back of the net. He did however have a significantly higher passing accuracy – 86 per cent compared with Matic’s 78 per cent –although playing for the home team he would be expected to.
William also made one more effective clearance than the Chelsea player, while the two men won two tackles each.
In short, neither player embarrassed themselves on the night, but Matic gets the nod for making the difference in a match that Chelsea knew they could not lose.