Chelsea vs. Newcastle - Community player ratings

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 25: Fernando Torres of Chelsea (R) celebrates in front of fans with Branislav Ivanovic as he scores their second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge on August 25, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Chelsea got their best win of the young season against Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. The team played so well that it's difficult to pick a true standout player -- this was truly a united effort. That said, let's see how well you all thought the boys in blue did. Statistics, ratings and comments after the jump.

Petr Cech - GK 7.3
Minutes played90
Touches47
Passes18/28
Shots faced3
Saves made3
Goalkeeper claims0

Graham says7
Made a major error in the midweek fixture against Reading, but bounced back here with a solid performance. Was only seriously tested three times, twice by Demba Ba and once from a Papiss Cisse effort, and comfortably saved all three shots. Had a very quiet day otherwise -- he didn't even have to claim a cross.

One thing I noticed during the match is that Cech was deliberately going shorter with his passes in the first half. He reverted to some booming kicks in the second, but, in general, shorter is good. We don't want to be giving the ball away on long punts forward with such a diminutive front line.

Ashley Cole - LB 7.0
Minutes played90
Touches67
Passes46/49
Shots0/0
Tackles4
Interceptions2
Clearances2/3
Crosses1/2

Graham says8
When Ashley Cole combines with Ryan Bertrand, the result is, defensively, pretty incredible. Although Newcastle boast a pair of good strikers, their real threat comes from the midfield, specifically Yohan Cabaye and Hatem Ben Arfa. The former is a traditional distributor, which means his play can be disrupted by simply defending well, but Ben Arfa is a different proposition. He's the type of player who loves simply going through the opposition, and that sort of attacker requires some very intelligent defensive play. With Bertrand, Cole completely shut him down, and barely put a foot wrong all match. Nicely done.

David Luiz - CB 6.9
Minutes played90
Touches58
Passes37/47
Shots0/1
Tackles2
Interceptions0
Clearances4/5
Blocked Shots0

Graham says7
The centre backs kept Newcastle quiet, and David Luiz played a decent game. He was rather lackadaisical in possession, giving the ball away ten times with his erratic long passing, and at one point tried to dribble the ball out of the box when he really shouldn't have.

But he was solid enough, and did well against Demba Ba in the air, picking up two head injuries for his troubles. Maybe the concussions will help the sanity issues. But probably not.

Gary Cahill - CB 7.2
Minutes played90
Touches48
Passes32/36
Shots0/0
Tackles1
Interceptions3
Clearances3/5
Blocked Shots1

Graham says8
Very good. Did absolutely nothing noticeable, and when that coincides with a good attack getting completely shut down, that's a great performance from a centre back. Take this big blank space as a ringing endorsement of Cahill's play on Saturday.

Branislav Ivanovic - RB 7.0
Minutes played90
Touches64
Passes35/45
Shots1/1
Tackles3
Interceptions1
Clearances2/3
Crosses0/3

Graham says7
Ivanovic was awful against Reading, but, like Petr Cech, the Serbian bounced back against Newcastle. Had no problem at all with Jonas Gutierrez, possibly because Gutierrez is bad, and when the Magpies attacked down his flank (pretty much the whole of the second half), Ivanovic dealt with the danger despite getting essentially no support from Juan Mata. Oh, and he had a decent header in the first half at 1-0, which Krul did well to stop.

Ramires was eventually brought in to help him, at which point any potential weakness at the back for the Blues vanished.

Raul Meireles - CM 7.4
Minutes played88
Touches74
Passes55/63
Shots0/2
Tackles1
Interceptions3

Graham says8
Raul Meireles gets a lot of stick from Chelsea fans, mostly for being one of Andre Villas-Boas' favourites as Chelsea were going through a bad spell. But he's still a very good player (seriously, watch Portugal vs. Spain from the 2012 Euros) and probably the most tactically aware of any of our deep midfielders. He showed that here as part of an excellent double pivot that stopped Newcastle creating... well, anything. There were a couple of annoying shots from range that shouldn't have happened, but it was an otherwise flawless display from Meireles. Defended well and linked play. Not much more you can ask without him being involved with goals.

John Obi Mikel - CM 7.8
Minutes played90
Touches73
Passes60/63
Shots0/1
Tackles2
Interceptions1

Graham says8
Well that was fun. Like midfield partner Raul Meireles, Mikel has taken a lot of flack from fans, mostly for being a defensive midfielder. And, like Meireles, he was excellent here. He misplaced the ball a total of four times, and he was actually fouled on at least one of those incomplete passes. Never let Newcastle have a sniff through the centre. Like Meireles, the only way he could have been better is if he'd contributed to any of the goals.

Ryan Bertrand - LW 7.0
Minutes played90
Touches55
Passes40/45
Shots2/2
Crosses1/2

Graham says8
Ryan Bertrand was part of the team assigned to shut down Hatem Ben Arfa. He did that. He also fit into the attack pretty seamlessly as well. While in his previous start, against Wigan, Bertrand found himself isolated, here he had a decent amount of touches and was involved in a couple of decent chances.

Yes, he should have done better with that shot following Torres' knockdown, but he did his job superbly. And he wasn't even playing in his recognised position!

Eden Hazard - CM 8.9
Minutes played90
Touches67
Passes48*/54
Shots2*/4
Interceptions1

Graham says8
Yeah, he scored his first goal of the season and picked up another assist, but this wasn't Hazard's best game in a Chelsea shirt -- that one came against Reading on Wednesday. It was, however, very good regardless. His interchange with Mata was fantastic, he's tracking back more than we all thought he would, and the backheel assist for Fernando Torres was absolutely magical.

Back when we signed Hazard, there was some skepticism about spending so much money on a guy out of Ligue 1. Whoops!

Juan Mata - RW 7.2
Minutes played67
Touches54
Passes40/47
Shots0/0
Crosses0/2

Graham says7
Juan Mata might not be able to play on the right wing, but he's more than capable of serving as a roving danger-man, and his understanding with Hazard and Fernando Torres is looking pretty scary at this point. Was involved in some exciting, incisive moves, and is a big part of the reason that Chelsea looked so smooth in the first half. But defensive concerns still need to be addressed -- he failed to give Ivanovic enough support when Newcastle actually had the ball in the second half.

Fernando Torres - CF
8.6
Minutes played90
Touches45
Passes20/30
Shots1*/1

Graham says8
Well hello there. Three days after scoring a dubious winner against Reading, Torres notched an absolute cracker of a goal as well as winning the penalty that led to the opener. There was nothing dubious about said foul, which saw Vernun Anita clip him across both shins as he skipped into the box, no matter what some might say.

Yeah, there were less savoury moments -- he lost the ball a couple of times when he really shouldn't have, and picking up a booking for dissent when a call didn't go his way was annoying, but all in all a very good performance from the centre forward. More of this please.

Ramires - RW 6.2
Minutes played23
Touches11
Passes5/6
Shots1/1
Interceptions1

Graham says5
Looked a little bit lost when he first came on first but emerged as a counterattacking force later. Ramires was deployed to help shore up the right side and take advantage of the space that Davide Santon was leaving on the Newcastle left, and he did his job defensively without ever really doing much for the attack. His best moment came a couple of seconds after David Luiz was injured in a clash with Ba, and if not for Phil Dowd blowing the whistle there he could easily have been clear of the defence. Oh well.

Frank Lampard - CM
5.8
Minutes played2
Touches4
Passes4/4
Shots0/0
Interceptions0
Tackles0

Graham says5
Came in with two minutes to go and didn't really do anything. No penalties for him to score this time!
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