Man of the match and two-goal hero Eden Hazard anchors Chelsea's win over Cardiff City

Scott Heavey

Above unsung heroes Ryan Bertrand and Samuel Eto'o, usual suspects Eden Hazard (2 goals, 1 assist) and Oscar (1 goal) led the way for Chelsea.

1. EDEN HAZARD - AML 8.7
Minutes played90
Touches73
Passes45*/54
Shots3**/3
Take-ons4/7
Nice things2
Facepalms2
The stats show that almost half (48%) of Chelsea's attacks came down the left flank.  While that wasn't all down to just Hazard - Bertrand and Eto'o certainly contributed their fair share - the Belgian superstar is finally looking close to rediscovering his best form.

While he did score in either half - his two goals representing a new Chelsea-career best, though both relying on David Marshall's goalkeeping "efforts" to some degree - it was in the second where he did his most impressive work on the ball, displaying some of the directness (combined with a bit of pass-n-move to make your knees weak) we've come to know and love in his 15 months at Stamford Bridge.

2. OSCAR - AM 7.9
Minutes played32
Touches24
Passes14/17
Shots1*/1
Take-ons1/2
Tackles1/1
Nice things2
Facepalms0
Chelsea's leading scorer (now with five total and four in his last six) and arguably most consistently excellent performer on the season makes an appearance on yet another top three list.

In addition to his fantastic effort - kissed in off the underside of the crossbar - his introduction added just that bit of energy into the mix that proved crucial in putting the match out of Cardiff's reach.

3. JOHN TERRY - DC 7.9
Minutes played90
Touches103
Passes82/84
Shots0/2
Clearances11/11
Nice things2
Facepalms0
Unlike his harshly-rated center back partner, the Chelsea captain lapped up your plaudits post-game, continuing his fine form that's been on display so far in this second Mourinho Era.

Thanks to Cardiff sitting back in their half third, Terry saw plenty of the ball as Chelsea recycled possession over and over, looking for those elusive openings.  His 103 touches led all players, although Ryan Bertrand did have him beat on a per-minute basis (79 in 63 minutes for the backup left back).

Terry came close with a couple headers off set pieces as well, and generally marshaled the back line well enough to deal with non-David-Luiz-brainfarty moments.

OTHERS:
Cech (7.4), Ivanovic (6.3), David Luiz (4.8), Bertrand (6.9), Ramires (6.8), Lampard (6.4), Willian (6.3), Mata (6.5), Eto'o (7.5)

SUBS:
Torres (6.2), Azpilicueta (6.5)

---

NICE THINGS:

  • Willian (4):
    1. 6' - plays 1-2 with Lampard to relieve pressure and change defense into attack
    2. 24' - tracks back to win ball in deep, defensive midfield zone
    3. 36' - through ball picks out Eto'o running the right channel
    4. 62' - playing right back (before three-man defense switch)
  • Eto'o (4):
    1. 9' - pass/low-cross from left win to wide open Juan Mata near the penalty spot.  Who misses.  The ball, not just the goal.
    2. 33' - bringing the playground into the Bridge with the steal of the bounced ball.
    3. 52' - pulls out wide left, showing good control and vision; second time in second half, following several such plays in the first half
    4. 67' - that shot power and fun/enthusiastic celebration
  • Terry (2)
    1. 5' - cool as can be; backwars header into Cech's waiting arms.
    2. 23' - Braveheart moment when half of his face got chalked up after landing on the six-yard box line on a diving header/effort on goal.
  • Cech (2):
    1. 21' - acrobatic save with the left hand on Peter Odemwingie's looping flick
    2. 75' - important and tough save from a tight-ish angle from Kim
  • Hazard (2)
    1. 32' - almost creates an easy chance by playing 1-2s with Lampard than Mata.
    2. 33' - managing to stay onside (Eto'o as well) after Eto'o forced the turnover.
  • Oscar (2)
    1. 78' - pulls another stupendous effort out of the hat.
    2. 86' - leads counter via Hazard & Fernando Torres, but ends up fouling.
  • Lampard (2)
    1. 41' - first, second, third touches all great under pressure as he handles tough layoff from Mata
    2. 69' - another 1-2, this time ending in a lovely through ball for Hazard down the left wing.
  • Bertrand (2)
    1. 43' - there he goes again, the English Messi, dribbling past three-four players rather heart-stoppingly
    2. 61' - for the manyeth time, joins attack effectively, this time with a clever run & dribble past the Cardiff right winger.
  • Onesies
    • Ivanovic, 22' - Ivanovic leads the charge down the middle on the counter after Cech catches the corner and releases the hounds.
    • David Luiz, 37' - after several raking cross-field balls, joins the attack personally, has a look from long distance.
    • Ramires, 40' - lovely first-time ball out to the right wing for Ivanovic
    • Mata, 53' - tries a bicycle kick

FACEPALMS:

  • Hazard (2)
    1. 6' - gives up petulantly (frustratedly?) after losing ball (uncalled foul?) in center circle
    2. 72' - chooses right (Torres) instead of left (Oscar) on the break; pass not the best in any case.
  • David Luiz (2)
    1. 10' - five-second stupid.  Jordon Mutch accepts the gift.
    2. 50' - cheap giveaway on a short pass in the offensive zone; does somehow manage to avoid second booking while chasing down Mutch again.
  • Ivanovic (2)
    1. 25' - third terrible cross in three minutes
    2. 45'+2' - continues to make seemingly every bad choice whenever on offense, this time passing straight out of bounds instead of to Willian.
  • Eto'o (2)
    1. 33' - doesn't take chance first time, letting Cardiff recover slightly before Hazard slots home
    2. 51' - having serious issues with clearing headers at the near post on defensive corners.
  • Onesies
    • Mata, 9' - swing and a miss!
    • Bertrand, 43' - there he goes again, the English Messi, dribbling past three-four players rather heart-stoppingly.
    • Ramires, 76' - commits his umpteenth foul of the day
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