Willian may have taken the plaudits as Chelsea struck late to seal a 1-0 win over a stubborn Everton on Wednesday evening, but it was Nemanja Matic who deserves the majority share of the credit. The Blues looked set to drop two points before the Brazilian winger struck one minute from time to send Stamford Bridge delirious, but he was by no means his side's outstanding performer.
Matic dictated proceedings in the centre of the park, and it is fair to say he had both Gareth Barry and Ross Barkley in his back pocket for the entirety of the match. He made a number of key actions to break up the Toffees' attacking play, while contributing regularly to his side’s exploits going forward, to cap an excellent display.
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The Serb was absolutely imperious in attack. He completed a match-best seven take-ons and three key passes, while weighing in with a further three shots at goal; one of which - a dangerously struck free-kick - challenged Tim Howard in the Everton goal.
He impressed in a defensive manner, too, recovering possession on 13 occasions for Jose Mourinho's side. His tackling proved less prolific than usual - he won just one of four attempts - but his ability to read the game was as evident as ever; he made two interceptions in total.
Few can fault Matic's capability in possession; a notion that is supported by the statistical evidence. He completed 89.8% of his 59 attempted passes against the Toffees, while finding success in two of five attempted crosses. Meanwhile, he gave the ball away on just two occasions; one of which came down to an unsuccessful touch.
This was yet another commanding display from the Serbian, who took home a thoroughly deserved Man of the Match award.