Benfica Vs. Chelsea: Player Ratings

This one goes to eleven

How did Chelsea's players do during the 1-0 win against Benfica on Tuesday? After the match, we polled the readers to find out. Full player ratings and stats from the Blues' performance at the Estadio da Luz (courtesy of WhoScored) are after the jump.

Petr Cech - GK 8.1
Minutes played90
Touches52
Passes5/17
Shots faced8
Saves made7
Goalkeeper claims1

Graham says7
Cech had a strong performance in Lisbon, stopping virtually everything that Benfica threw at him and doing a fine job of commanding his penalty area. Granted, he was bailed out by David Luiz early in the second half when the defender blocked a shot on the line, but any time a goalkeeper keeps a clean sheet you can be reasonably happy with his performance. There was a pretty major flaw, however - look at his passing numbers. According to the stats, Cech managed a hilariously bad 29% pass accuracy rating, mostly because he was spraying aimless long balls forward in the hopes Fernando Torres would chase them. That's not a good strategy, Petr.

Ashley Cole - LB 7.4
Minutes played90
Touches69
Passes25/34
Shots0/0
Tackles8
Interceptions1
Clearances3/4
Crosses0/1

Graham says8
Ashley Cole's had a rough season, much of which can be explained the (lack of) presence of Juan Mata ahead of him for most of the year. Cole's had to do double duty on the left flank, which has meant less time on the attack and more mistakes at the back, but he put a difficult year behind him against Benfica and simply focused on shutting the Primeira Liga side down. No, he didn't do much going forward, but he put in a magnificent shift defensively, making only one major mistake while laying in eight(!) tackles and an interception. This was a brilliant performance from the left back, and the only flaw was that he was so focused on defending he had real trouble providing any sort of link between the defence and Salomon Kalou, who suffered as a result. The last-minute clearance to keep the clean sheet - one that looked like it could easily have resulted in an own goal had Cole not played it perfectly - was particularly noteworthy.

John Terry - CB 7.6
Minutes played90
Touches47
Passes32/35
Shots0/0
Tackles2
Interceptions1
Clearances2/5
Blocked Shots1

Graham says7
When a centre back doesn't do anything that memorable in a match that ended in a clean sheet, that centre back probably had a rather good game. Such is the case with John Terry, who was solid in between two standout defenders and didn't have much to do except put his armband on after it had fallen off midway through the first half. There was a scary moment that could have easily been a penalty when Mexi Perreira thumped a cross off Terry raised arm in the penalty box, but there was also a vital bit of defensive work in the second half too, when he diverted a low cross to Cech with Oscar Cardozo lurking. Other than that, however, there's not too much to report, apart, perhaps, from an amazing run which nearly saw Frank Lampard put him clear through on goal while it was still 0-0. Now that would have been something.

David Luiz - CB 8.7
Minutes played90
Touches69
Passes34/41
Shots0/3
Tackles2
Interceptions1
Clearances5/12
Blocked Shots4

Graham says8
Incredibly, David Luiz is still failing to get the praise he deserves. The centre back was brilliant against Benfica, completely blocking off the centre and playing a huge part in reducing the hosts to speculative half-chances. He did make a mistake or two - his attempted tackle late on against Emerson missed by so much that the Brazilian nearly ran off the pitch, but said mistakes were by no means serious and in no way cancelled out the rest of his good work. The highlights were some phenomenal clearances, a blocked shot on the line, and careful, crisp passing. The mental mistakes are slowly being ironed out of David Luiz's game, and that makes for a superb player. Long may this continue.

Paulo Ferreira - RB 7.4
Minutes played80
Touches45
Passes27/31
Shots0/0
Tackles2
Interceptions3
Clearances0/2
Crosses0/1

Graham says7
When Paulo Ferreira's name was listed as right back, more than a few people were worried. When Chelsea don't field Branislav Ivanovic, they don't tend to play very good football, and although Ferreira's not Jose Bosingwa, there wasn't much faith in the veteran getting things done against Benfica. We needed have worried. Ferreira, ably protected by Ramires on the right flank, played everything by the book. He didn't take risks, he didn't chase Nicolas Gaitan all over the pitch, and he didn't give the ball away. Jose Mourinho once described Ferreira as 'a player who will never be man of the match but will always score 7/10 for his individual display'. Guess what he gets from me here! Not too shabby for someone who hadn't played a minute of first-team football since 2011.

John Obi Mikel - CM 7.3
Minutes played90
Touches61
Passes42/47
Shots0/0
Tackles2
Interceptions2

Graham says7
Hardly John Obi Mikel's best game of late, although that's praising with faint damns considering how good the midfielder's been since Roberto di Matteo took the helm at Chelsea. Mikel was reasonably solid in the double pivot, making some crucial tackles and interceptions, but he was remarkably lax in letting people past him and his passing was a little bit too slow. Furthermore, he had a few very bad giveaways in the Chelsea half, making it difficult to rate him that highly. That said, he played a very solid match on balance, and I could simply have had my Mikel expectations raised too high by his recent performances.

Raul Meireles - CM 6.0
Minutes played68
Touches39
Passes17/24
Shots0/1
Tackles2
Interceptions4

Graham says6
Raul Meireles started brightly but faded fast, settling into a pattern of poor passes and rash tackles that saw him booked early on and eventually substituted. Meireles is a fascinating player - he demonstrated real intelligence and vision in the very early stages only to discard the positives in favour of being rather bad at football from about the 20th minute onwards. Even after that, he wasn't totally useless, defending reasonbly well (for Meireles) until being replaced by Frank Lampard shortly after the hour mark. All in all, Meireles remains a bit of an enigma.

Salomon Kalou - LAM 7.3
Minutes played82
Touches28
Passes14/19
Shots1*/2
Interceptions0
Crosses0/0

Graham says6
Kalou scored the winning goal, which is something that's going to give him a little bit of a boost in the player ratings. Let's not take away from the finish, either - it was cool, composed and most of all important, so I'm very glad the Ivorian was on hand to slide home Fernando Torres' cross. That said, he didn't really do much else in the match (apart from miss a header from a different Torres cross). Not all of that was his fault. Chelsea had real trouble moving the ball down the left flank, and not everything can be pinned on Kalou, but there were several moments when he did have possession in promising positions only to completely waste it. The first minute set the tone for most of the match, but fortunately Kalou was able to redeem an on-balance poor performance with that goal.

Juan Mata - CAM 6.0
Minutes played90
Touches39
Passes20/26
Shots0/2
Interceptions1
Crosses1/6
Through Balls0/1

Graham says5
This refrain is getting old very fast, but Juan Mata, who really should be our best player, wasn't very good against Benfica. There are a number of reasons why this might be. Most of the play was going through the right wing. Benfica's double pivot of Axel Witsel and Javi Garcia were marking him closely. Mata's simply exhausted from too much football. No matter what excuse you care to use, the simple fact of the matter is that Mata is underperforming, and that's hurting the team pretty badly. I'm not going to hold the open goal miss against him, since the chance was from a very tough angle and he did the work to round Artur all on his own, but the blown 5-on-3 chance towards the end of the match was deeply annoying. Too many missed passes and poor decisions for a player so bright.

Ramires - RAM 7.9
Minutes played90
Touches48
Passes17/20
Shots0/0
Interceptions4
Crosses1/2

Graham says9
Ramires might have been the best player on the pitch at the Estadio da Luz. He was clearly Chelsea's top attacking outlet, regularly destroying Emerson on the right flank, and it was his run that led to Salomon Kalou's opening goal (although he apparently didn't notice, having been injured in the buildup). Ramires was more than just an attacking force, however - he made five tackles and four interceptions as he and Paulo Ferreira completely shut down Benfica's left. A player with the ability to terrorise the opposition defence and stop them doing the same to us? Yes please! The only criticism, and it's slight, is that he really needs to be shooting more when he's playing wide. There's no reason he can't do it.

Fernando Torres - CF 8.2
Minutes played90
Touches38
Passes9*/15
Shots1/3
Crosses3/6

Graham says8
It's sometimes tempting to give Torres more praise than he strictly deserves, simply on account of most of us feeling pretty sorry for the dude's struggles in a Chelsea shirt. I don't think this is one of those times. Torres was involved with much of Chelsea's good play, he set up the goal with a lovely cross, and nearly did the same earlier only for Kalou to waste an excellent chance. Beyond that, he was looking to beat defenders and shoot, and although his accuracy wasn't quite there, the complete lack of cutting back and waiting to be tackled was pretty refreshing. Good stuff from Torres - let's just hope he keeps it up.

Frank Lampard - CM
6.1
Minutes played27
Touches11
Passes6/8
Shots0/0
Tackles1
Interceptions0

Graham says6
Frank Lampard came on for Raul Meireles in the 68th minute. He didn't really do very much, but his haircut's much better.

Jose Bosingwa - RB 5.5
Minutes played10
Touches11
Passes3/4
Shots0/0
Tackles2
Interceptions0

Graham says6
Bosingwa was a late substitute after right back Paulo Ferreira went down with cramp 80 minutes in, and he followed in his compatriot's footsteps in helping Ramires hold Benfica completely quiet on the Chelsea right. Two tackles in ten minutes? That's not half bad, although some out-of-position-itis did raise its ugly head.

Daniel Sturridge - LAM 5.8
Minutes played8
Touches5
Passes3/4
Shots0/0
Crosses0/0

Graham says6
Sturridge didn't really have much chance to play, coming on for Salomon Kalou with eight minutes left, although he was involved in an incredibly opportunity to make it 2-0 that the Blues completely squandered. That mostly wasn't his fault, however - his pass to Mata wasn't great, but Mata's the one who made the decision to go for that silly chip - so I'm not going to ding him too much for it. And at least he didn't try to shoot on his own, which would have been in character.
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