Chelsea Vs. Benfica: Player Ratings

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 04: Frank Lampard of Chelsea celebrates scoring his penalty during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final second leg match between Chelsea and Benfica at Stamford Bridge on April 4, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Sorry these are late. We Ain't Got No History's command centre has been beset by technical problems recently, which nearly resulted in a certain intrepid blogger (who will go nameless for the purposes of this post) very nearly dying a cold, miserable and lonely death. Which, coincidentally, is what happened to Benfica's Champions League hopes on Wednesday. Ha ha!

Petr Cech - GK 6.8
Minutes played90
Touches49
Passes10/22
Shots faced9
Saves made7
Goalkeeper claims2

Graham says7
The veteran goalkeeper was on top of his game for most of the match and was more than equal to the few Benfica shots that actually posed a challenge. And then... well, I'm not entirely sure what happened on Benfica's goal - it was almost as though Cech just stopped paying attention on a ball that he probably should have come out to claim. His distribution was also poor, with only three of his fifteen long punts finding a blue shirt. It's baffling that we continue to treat Fernando Torres as though he is Didier Drogba, but there you go.

Ashley Cole - LB 7.1
Minutes played90
Touches65
Passes43/46
Shots0/0
Tackles2
Interceptions1
Clearances2/4
Crosses0/0

Graham says8
For the entire first half Benfica seemed to have absolutely no answer to Ashley Cole, who was running the show on the left (Chelsea conducted 53% of their attacks down that flank). He did a sublime defensive job on Bruno Cesar and completely flummoxed right back Maxi Perreira until the Benfica captain got himself sent off for a foul on John Obi Mikel. Eventually his runs would make a difference when Javi Garcia knocked him over for that penalty. Cole was less effective in the second half, presumably because Jorge Jesus made an adjustment during the break, but he was the main Chelsea threat for much of the game anyway, and was solid defensively too.

John Terry - CB 7.2
Minutes played60
Touches41
Passes30/32
Shots0/1
Tackles0
Interceptions2
Clearances2/4
Blocked Shots2

Graham says8
Terry was all over the place (in a good way) on Wednesday. A strong defensive presence while he was on the pitch, Terry also played the pass over the top of the defence that resulted in Ashley Cole's penalty. Prevented an early goal from Oscar Cardozo with a block on the line. Was substitued an hour in - it turns out Terry had been playing with two cracked ribs and 'breathing difficulties' which, wow. Team looked very shaky with him out.

David Luiz - CB 6.4
Minutes played90
Touches61
Passes35/45
Shots0/1
Tackles1
Interceptions2
Clearances5/8
Blocked Shots1

Graham says5
We hadn't had a truly shaky David Luiz performance in some time, but the Brazilian regressed back to his old self here. Although he started the game in commanding fashion, he then lost the plot a little bit, trying entirely too fancy tricks near his own penalty box and eventually presenting Benfica with a gilt-edged chance to score late in the first half. Wasn't much better in the second - he looked a little spooked when the visitors came forward, and his poor game came close to costing Chelsea dear. Oh, and his passing was fairly poor too.

Branislav Ivanovic - RB 6.7
Minutes played80
Touches61
Passes33/39
Shots0/0
Tackles3
Interceptions2
Clearances4/8
Crosses2/2

Graham says5
An odd game for Ivanovic, who had a difficult time marking Nicolas Gaitan all match. Benfica were targeting Gaitan with long diagonals all night, and Argentine was allowed far too much time and space to cross the ball by Ivanovic. 48% of Benfica's attacks came against Ivanovic, and his shaky play was perhaps the main reason the visitors looked dangerous at all. Didn't do much on the attacking end either - when you're outplayed by Paulo Ferreira, that's a bad sign.

Frank Lampard - CM 6.6
Minutes played90
Touches64
Passes41/47
Shots1*/2
Tackles3
Interceptions4

Graham says6
A strange game for Lampard, who scored the penalty and made some incredibly useful plays (including mopping up after a David Luiz catastrophe) but also looked amazingly out of sync with midfield partner John Obi Mikel. The last time Lampard played in a pivot in a European game, he played a huge part in obliterating Napoli - this time he didn't look like he had a clue what he was supposed to be doing. Did score a penalty, but you're supposed to score penalties.

John Obi Mikel - CM 6.9
Minutes played90
Touches71
Passes49/52
Shots0/0
Tackles5
Interceptions2

Graham says7
Was left exposed by midfield partner Lampard for much of the first half, and didn't look like he knew how to track Pablo Aimar. That was a little odd, since he did a fine job of doing that very same thing against Benfica in Lisbon a week ago. That said, he still managed to put in a few important tackles even when he was playing badly, and his passing was solid throughout. Not bad at all.

Salomon Kalou - LAM 5.5
Minutes played90
Touches49
Passes23/25
Shots1/5
Interceptions1
Crosses0/2

Graham says6
Kalou was good in the first half, when Maxi Perreira and Bruno Cesar completely failed to do anything about his and Cole's excusions down the left flank. Kalou's presence allowed Cole to raid forward far more often than we've been used to seeing this season. In the second half, he went up against Axel Witsel, where he oscillated between brilliant (setting up chances for Juan Mata and Ramires) and woefully incompetent (blowing two chances of his own and completely messing up a cross). Not as bad as folks were saying, but not good either.

Juan Mata - CAM 6.8
Minutes played79
Touches62
Passes39/48
Shots1/2
Interceptions1
Crosses3/5
Through Balls0/0

Graham says7
After a great game against Aston Villa, Mata was fairly solid here. Had a major role in Chelsea's buildup play when they were on top of the game just after the break, but like the rest of the forward line had real difficulty actually finishing his chances. His passes inside the penalty area are becoming increasingly awesome though - how fantastic is it to see the likes of Mata and Salomon Kalou weave tight one-twos through masses of defenders? At any rate, Mata could probably do with figuring out the offside rule.

Ramires - RAM 6.0
Minutes played90
Touches39
Passes21/24
Shots0/0 (?)
Interceptions2
Crosses1/1

Graham says5

Fernando Torres - CF 6.2
Minutes played88
Touches24
Passes6/9
Shots0/3
Crosses0/2

Graham says4
Fernando Torres was pretty good against Aston Villa last Saturday. He was not pretty good against Benfica on Wednesday. In fact, he was barely even playing against Benfica on Wednesday. Virtually none of Chelsea's play went through him, and Torres seemed apologetic to be anywhere near the ball during the rare times he was involved in the play. He did nearly score a couple of times, and if he'd turned one of his chances into a goal we'd all be much happier with him, but the numbers speak for themselves - he basically did nothing all game. Aight then.

Gary Cahill - CB
5.8
Minutes played30
Touches19
Passes14/15
Shots0/0
Tackles0
Interceptions0
Blocked Shots1

Graham says5
It's hard to be too hard on Cahill over the last half hour - coming in during the middle of a match is a very difficult thing for a centre back to do. That said, he was on the pitch for a defensive meltdown and John Terry wasn't, so he presumably had something to do with Chelsea being really bad and giving us all a collective heart attack. The fact that he had zero tackles and zero interceptions during half an hour of all-hands on deck action is also fairly damning.

Raul Meireles - CM 7.1
Minutes played11
Touches17
Passes8/9
Shots1*/3
Tackles1
Interceptions0

Graham says7
Raul Meireles went from the ridiculous to the sublime, committing a footballing atrocity almost immediately after coming in before pulling off one of the individual moves of the season to wrap up the quarterfinal entirely during injury time. I know we're all going to remember that goal, but the man hit a cross out of play for a throw-in without it touching the ground, something that I don't think I've ever seen at any level. I mean, I forgive him because holy [fun] his goal was neat, but yikes.

Didier Drogba - CF 5.6
Minutes played2
Touches0
Passes0/0
Shots0/0
Crosses0/0

Graham says4
According to WhoScored, Didier Drogba didn't touch the ball at all. That sounds about right.
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