Chelsea Vs. Barcelona: Player Ratings

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 18: The Chelsea team pose for the cameras prior to kickoff during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final first leg match between Chelsea and Barcelona at Stamford Bridge on April 18, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

We beat Barcelona 1-0 at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday. I think that was pretty cool. You can find community player ratings for the Chelsea boys (along with all the stats you could possibly want, courtesy of WhoScored.com) after the jump.

Yay!

Petr Cech - GK 8.9
Minutes played90
Touches37
Passes10/17
Shots faced6
Saves made5
Goalkeeper claims1

Graham says8
Kept a clean sheet against Barcelona. Read that again. Teams don't do that very often. Petr Cech was up to the challenge whenever Barcelona came calling, although in truth they never really forced him into any world-class saves. A Carles Puyol header was about the best on-target effort the Catalans could muster, and although his woodwork was rattled twice over the course of the ninety minutes and he was especially lucky that Alexis Sanchez failed to score. His distribution may not have been consistent, but his punts forward to Didier Drogba gave Barcelona a few problems to worry about, especially in the very early stages.

Ashley Cole - LB 8.8
Minutes played90
Touches46
Passes13/15
Shots0/0
Tackles4
Interceptions1
Clearances2/3
Crosses0/1

Graham says9
For my money, the best performance of any Chelsea player, although there were a few warts. The defender responsible for both Alexis Sanchez chances, with the first particularly egregious as he failed to spot the run until too late and thus played the Chilean on side. Those were the only mistakes Cole made - he was otherwise superb in locking down a flank that contained both Sanchez and Dani Alves, stopping Barcelona from using that wing as a conduit into the penalty box. His ability to move the ball out of our half was also hugely important, and his workrate was incredibly impressive for a player who's had such a hard time of things this year.

John Terry - CB 8.5
Minutes played90
Touches39
Passes24/27
Shots0/0
Tackles1
Interceptions5
Clearances0/2
Blocked Shots1

Graham says9
A really strong performance from Terry, whose superb positioning made it impossible for Barcelona to do much damage to his side of the penalty box. Led the team with five interceptions, and rarely was called on to make a tackle because Barcelona were too scared to attack him. A really strong performance from a centre back who needed to spend all 90 minutes defending, something Chelsea really aren't used to doing.

Gary Cahill - CB 8.6
Minutes played90
Touches30
Passes16/19
Shots0/1
Tackles1 (?)
Interceptions0
Clearances2/4
Blocked Shots3

Graham says8
Cahill played very well, although I don't think he put in quite the man of the match performance that he's being credited with. Made a few key tackles (I think Whoscored is counting them incorrectly, frankly, because they only credit him with one), but at least two came after positional mistakes on his part and another was a borderline foul on the edge of our box that could, with a little bit of bad luck, have resulted in a penalty. That said, he did what he needed to do, made up for his mistakes whenever he made any, and forced Barcelona to avoid the cross with some emphatic headed clearances. And he had a shot!

Branislav Ivanovic - RB 7.5
Minutes played90
Touches30
Passes9/16
Shots0/0
Tackles0
Interceptions1
Clearances0/3
Crosses0/0

Graham says6
Probably the weakest member of the defensive line, although the reason why is fairly obvious - he was the most isolated of the four. While Ashley Cole had Ramires directly in front of him, Ivanovic could not rely on Juan Mata tracking back and as a result was put into more precarious situations. Unsurprisingly Barcelona took some advantage of this, but the big Serbian managed to hold his own against them anyway with some important blocked shots. Poor passing in the middle third made for some scary watching in the second half, and I'm docking him heavily for his intercepted backwards passes because they nearly resulted in my death.

Raul Meireles - CM 7.1
Minutes played90
Touches37
Passes16/24
Shots0/1
Tackles4
Interceptions4

Graham says9
Raul Meireles' inclusion in the starting eleven resulted, predictably, in plenty of complaining, but Chelsea needed a terrierlike player in midfield, and with Michael Essien both rusty and slowed down by injuries, Meireles was about as close as they could come. Unsurprisingly, when asked to harrass and annoy the entire Barcelona midfield, Meireles was up to the task, winning the ball as many times as any Chelsea player on the night, although committing the most fouls as well. His passing wasn't great, but that wasn't what he was there for.

John Obi Mikel - CM 7.3
Minutes played90
Touches38
Passes28/32
Shots0/0
Tackles2
Interceptions0

Graham says7
Some bad giveaways in the middle of the pitch mar Mikel's performance, which was good but not nearly as good as his two flanking midfielders, Raul Meireles and Frank Lampard. Snapped at anything that moved, dropped back into the area when required, even blocked a pair of shots. The main reason he didn't intercept as often as Meireles or Lampard was because he was so disciplined in holding his position, and the non-Lionel Messi parts of Barcelona had to work around him. A very solid performance from Mikel all told, even if there were a couple of errors.

Frank Lampard - CM 7.9
Minutes played90
Touches36
Passes14/17
Shots0/0
Tackles5
Interceptions3

Graham says9
The evolution of Frank Lampard into a midfielder capable of playing in the double pivot has come much, much faster than expected. We've always been aware of his ability to spray crossfield passes for advancing fullbacks (or defensive wingers, in this case), but his ability to give the Barcelona midfield problems off the ball comes as something as a surprise. Combined both in the move that started the game-winning goal, robbing Lionel Messi of all people before quickly hitting an onrushing Ramires on the left flank. Five tackles from Frank Lampard, a 33-year-old attacking midfielder who played 90 minutes three days prior to Wednesday's match. Who'd have thought it? Superb.

Ramires - LW 8.4
Minutes played88
Touches31
Passes14*/17
Shots0/0
Interceptions1
Crosses0/0 (?)

Graham says9
If Ashley Cole gave Chelsea's best individual performance on the night, Ramires' role was the most important. He had two responsibilities - to stop Dani Alves ripping through the line on the left while also taking advantage of Alves' tendancy to stray too high up the pitch. He did both perfectly, keeping Barcelona's right back deadly quiet while also setting up the winner. You couldn't realistically ask for much more, although if you wanted to nitpick he did give away a very dangerous free kick in the second half, one that earned him a booking. Subbed for Jose Bosingwa at the very end.

Didier Drogba - CF
8.8
Minutes played90
Touches39
Passes4/11
Shots1*/1
Crosses0/0

Graham says9
Gave a fascinating performance. The (assumed) playacting was unpleasant to watch but infuriated Barcelona, a team that really really deserves to be wound up. Although it was exceptionally useful on Wednesday, I hope that little tactic vanishes into thin air after the match at Camp Nou. I was a bit worried about Drogba at the beginning of the match, because he managed to screw up two clear scoring opportunities with poor touches very early on, but his all-around play was magnificent. His aerial ability gave Javier Mascherano and Carles Puyol fits, he scored the winning goal, and he was both available to help with defence and the outlet whenever Chelsea won the ball.

Juan Mata - CF 6.1
Minutes played74
Touches16
Passes9/11
Shots0/1
Crosses1/1

Graham says4
Touched the ball 16 times, which averages once every four minutes thirty-eight seconds. That figure seems high to me, because apart from a speculative first-half shot, I don't remember Mata doing anything on or off the ball. Apparently he tackled someone at some point, which yay? Mostly useless, but did the best he could reasonably be expected to do regardless.

Salomon Kalou - RW/LW
6.1
Minutes played16
Touches4
Passes1/1
Shots0/0
Interceptions0
Crosses0/0

Graham says5
He tackled Lionel Messi! Without conceding a foul! Also had a 100% pass accuracy, 5% higher than Xavi's. Kalou for Barcelona!

Jose Bosingwa - RW 5.6
Minutes played2
Touches1
Passes0/0
Shots0/0
Interceptions0
Crosses0/0

Graham says5
Came on to play right wing with two minutes to go. Touched the ball once when he tackled someone, which means he was on pace for 45 tackles over the full 90 minutes. Maths!
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