Sunderland legend Niall Quinn believes that Lee Cattermole looked far better than Chelsea's Nemanja Matic during the two sides' fixture on Saturday.
The Black Cats and Chelsea played out a goalless draw and Quinn was impressed by the performance of Cattermole in the heart of the Sunderland midfield.
The 26-year-old led by example, as he helped limit Jose Mourinho's side attacking threat.
Cattermole's performance was a major reason behind Sunderland picking up a point, and Quinn was clearly very impressed by the defensive midfielder.
“I thought Matic would be the stand-out player on Saturday with all Chelsea’s flair, but Catts snuffed that out and if anything looked way above him," Quinn told Sunderland's official site.
“He stuck to the task well and upset Matic, upset [Cesc] Fabregas and upset Chelsea at the right time to put them off their game. The other players seemed to follow suit.”
Matic is widely regarded as the finest defensive midfielder in the Premier League, so Quinn's praise of Cattermole is evidence of the reputation he is developing.
A once volatile character, he is progressed hugely in recent times and has become one of Gus Poyet's key players, as a result.
However, Quinn's praise of the combative midfielder does seem a little hyperbolic when looking at the stats.
|Interceptions||Headers won||Tackles won||Accurate passes||Passing Accuracy||Appearances||Mins Played|
Cattermole was well behind Matic in a number of areas and although the Serbian may not have caught Quinn's eye, he was certainly effective in his role.
Matic won more headers, made more interceptions and won more tackles than Cattermole, despite Chelsea being on the front-foot for most of the contest.
In a passing sense he was also far superior to Cattermole, proving to find a teammate more regularly and with greater accuracy.
It shows how far Cattermole still has to go to be a match for the very best, but he will still be encouraged by the scale of the progression he has made in recent times.