Two goals and Man of the Match: Fernando Torres Magical Mystery Tour rolls on

WAGNH

1. FERNANDO TORRES - FC 9.2
Minutes played90
Touches44
Passes13/24
Shots2**/4
Take-ons2/4
Tackles3/3
Nice things7
Facepalms2
Picking up where he left off versus Tottenham Hotspur, Torres had himself arguably one his best ever Chelsea performances.  Two goals, one crossbar, and plenty of generally striker-like play from Torres FC's Torres (FC).  Who'd-a thunk it!

He continues to defy the odds this season and is not only scoring goals - four in six starts, one of which was cut short after 10 minutes - but also winning your hearts votes.  This is now his third Man of the Match award on the new season (in 10 appearances), and his seventh in his last 22 rated appearances stretching back to last season.

In addition to his offensive prowess (wait, what?), he put in a good shift defensively as well, harrying and hassling, making a couple clearances, and a few well-timed tackles.  Well done, Fernando!

2. EDEN HAZARD - AMR 8.4
Minutes played88
Touches55
Passes35/37
Shots1*/1
Take-ons3/5
Tackles1/2
Fouls drawn4
Nice things3
Facepalms1
Perhaps slightly underrated (although not nearly as much as Frank Lampard), Hazard had himself a pretty good game.  In the first half, he looked the most lively player in Blue; in the second half he started the move and got himself a secondary assist on Chelsea's second and put the very well-taken icing on the cake with Chelsea's third.

His 95% pass completion is also rather ridiculous for an attacking player on a night where Chelsea set up to play direct, counter-attacking football.  Ridiculously good, just so we're clear.

Four goals in his last three matches, and at least one assist, Eden Hazard's having a good time out there right now.

3. PETR CECH - GK 8.3
Minutes played90
Touches40
Distribution24/33
Saves5
Clearances2/2
Nice things1
Facepalms0
Goalkeepers need love, too, and we're lucky to have one as lovable as Petr Cech.

Five saves on the night, which doesn't even tell the whole story since his best one did not officially count as Dennis Aogo was offside.  Even his distribution was passable, especially when he didn't insist on punting it well beyond the halfway line.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, with Thibaut Courtois poised and ready, Petr Cech has really stepped up his game this season.  Stop making this decision so tough, Petr!  Actually, on second thought, keep on keeping on.  Please and thank you.

OTHERS:
Azpilicueta (6.4), Terry (7.5), Cahill (7.3), Ivanovic (7.2), Lampard (6.5), Ramires (7.1), Schürrle (6.0), Oscar (7.3)

SUBS:
Mikel (6.4), David Luiz (6.0), Eto'o (5.6)

---

NICE THINGS:

  • Torres (7):
    1. 5' - a real striker's/poacher's effort, to be right place at the right time, taking a gamble towards the far post on Ivanovic's header rather than just staying static and hanging out in the box.
    2. 24' - telling Hazard where he wants the pass:  not to his feet, but down the channel to let him run onto it
    3. 49' - hatches a plan; tells Lampard about the plan; Lampard delivers to the plan; Torres executes the plan with the looping header from 13 yards.  Alas, it clangs off the bar.
    4. 58' - from Cech's restart, wins header (twice!), holds up ball, and helps retain possession - albeit all that against Atsuto Uchida who is more "Dave" than "ManBear"
    5. 62' - makes perfect run down the right channel, takes control of Hazard's pass (see: 24') and occupies two defenders while the rest of the team catch up
    6. 71' - it's Torres's turn to beast some poor Schalke sop out near the far touchline
    7. 87' - excellent (decoy) run to draw Matip away from Hazard
  • Oscar (3):
    1. 14' - wins ball back with a slide tackle after losing it to stop Schalke break and start a Chelsea break instead
    2. 51' - pumps the ball into Jermaine Jones's face.  Ha ha!
    3. 68' - BEASTMODE vs. Jermaine Jones.  Ha ha! Sets up Torres's second goal.
  • Hazard (3)
    1. 19' - flicky-flicky backheel to Oscar
    2. 36' - Playstation-mode, engage
    3. 87' - Cool as you like finish, excellent play and decision-making for his goal
  • Ramires (2):
    1. 44' - leads/runs the counter, playing 1-2s with Hazard & Oscar
    2. 87' - his third or fourth excellent ball to start a Chelsea counter
  • Onesies
    • Cech, 18' - excellent save on Aogo, called back for offside
    • Schurrle, 29' - with zero support, takes on three; beats them for a second, but then runs out of room

FACEPALMS:

  • Azpilicueta (2)
    1. 3' - FOOTball, Dave, not HANDball.
    2. 38' - Poor clearance, not for the first time, keeping Schalke pressure on
  • Oscar (2)
    1. 20' - shot?  pass to Schürrle?  It was bad either way.
    2. 21' - terrible decision, with Hazard running free on the right, chooses tough pass over the top to Torres who is double-marked.
  • Schürrle (2)
    1. 26' - falls asleep as Uchida cuts in behind him for a good chance; fortunate to see the wingback's shot fly well high
    2. 55' - gives the ball away for the second time in two minutes, earning himself a talking-to from Mourinho
  • Torres (2)
    1. 31' - lazy, lazy offside just as Chelsea had a decent spell of possession
    2. 53' - hilariously bad clearance from a corner, gifting Prince a chance to cross dangerously
  • Ramires (2)
    1. 39' - tries to take Prince's head off with a high boot inside the Chelsea penalty area
    2. 56' - gives the ball away twice in quick succession with poor first touches
  • Ivanovic (2)
    1. 42' - all sixes and sevens as he's given the runaround by Draxler, Aogo, and Prince; left a bit stranded by Hazard in all fairness.
    2. 76' - why would he even think about crossing at this (or any other) point?
  • Onesies
    • Hazard, 18' - lets Aogo go (instructions?)
    • Terry, 39' - beaten badly by Neustädter on the first corner; falls down again the second corner
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