|1. WILLIAN - AMR||8.0|
On first glance, substituting Juan Mata at any point may look silly, but Mourinho's decisions proved to be masterful in this case.
At least a third of Willian's touches on Sunday were directly responsible for Chelsea goals. There were the two headers before Chelsea's winning goal, the first to control Hazard's header(!), the second to send Oscar on his way to provide the pass that forced Alexander Tettey into a crucial mistake. And there was the dribble, the pass to Eto'o, and finally the world class finish for Chelsea's third.
Not bad for ten minutes of work on your Premier League debut. Not bad at all.
Willian's goal and secondary assist may not be enough to justify his outrageous, sudden, and head-scratching transfer, but they're certainly a good start. We may lack depth or quality elsewhere, but in the attacking band, the Six Amigos should provide plenty of skill, excitement, and entertainment.
|2. OSCAR - AM||8.0|
Losing by only fractions of a point to his fellow Brazilian, Oscar continued his excellent run of form on Sunday.
The opening goal was as slick as can be, Chelsea's number ten executing the technical, outside-of-the-boot finish with ease and aplomb. Hilariously, his other shot from almost the same exact position was the exact opposite, joining one of his midweek efforts in Low Earth Orbit.
Other than that, it was smooth sailing for the 22-year-old: good passing, good tackling, and even a bout or two (much more so than usual) of taking his man on directly.
|3. EDEN HAZARD - AML||7.6|
Rounding out the top of three, both in terms of player ratings and in terms of impressive goals scored, it's the slightly injured Eddie (or is it Tintin?). Hazard had been battling an Achilles knock and was only fit for the bench, but was still able to make an impact when it mattered.
He may have gotten a bit lucky on his goal - Tettey's unforced error combining with John Ruddy's continuation of the trend of semi-questionable goalkeeping from anybody who's worn an England jersey lately - but just the effort to get into position to have that shot on the break that he himself helped start 75 yards earlier with a crucial aerial duel win was almost worth a goal in and of itself.
Hazard's performances have been a bit uneven so far this season, the perception of which have not been helped by him looking a bit out of shape early on as well. He looked very good in this one though.
Cech (7.1), Cole (5.8), Terry (7.2), David Luiz (6.9), Ivanovic (6.7), Lampard (6.3), Ramires (6.9), Schürrle (6.8), Mata (6.8), Ba (7.0)
You may have noticed two rather strange "statistics" in the top three's ratings. These stem from a comment on the Steaua ratings post, about how we should keep track of "facepalms" by each player. So I did.
To balance it out, I also have "nice things," which were things that made go "wow" or "ooh" or "aah" or "nice!" Highly subjective. Then again, so are player ratings.
Since this is the first time (and last, depending on time & feedback) and to show that I didn't just pull the numbers above out of thin air as I was writing this, I'll actually detail them out.
- 4' - goal/shot with the outside of the boot. Lovely.
- 25' - skill to get out of trouble, push ball past Norwich player's left, run around on the player's right
- 62' - heel-turn to get out of trouble, with four closing down, but fouled (not called)
- 63' - flick-on header while playing center forward for a moment
- 79' - touch, turn, snapshot with left from top of the box goes wide
- 85' - wins header, starts break, finishes break + celebration
- 90' - flick to lift the ball over Norwich defender's leg to Oscar down near the corner flag
- 7' - first touch/control of Lampard's unnecessarily complicated high ball
- 75' - crucial 1-v-1 tackle in the box immediately following switch to three at the back
David Luiz (2):
- 29' - long ball to Mata down the left wing following a reset from a cleared Mata corner
- 45' - tries to score from halfway, misses crossbar by a foot
- 52' - trademark first-time long ball curling over the top of the defense, for the manyeth time (just a bit long)
- 69' - flicked 1-2 for Schurrle (who got fouled before reaching the return pass)
- 76' - controls David Luiz's wild, high cross-field ball on his chest
- 88' - plays left back, plays left back well, wins tackle, wins goal kick for Chelsea
- 86' - that goal + celebration
- 90+2' - creates turnover by winning ball off Bassong
- A.Cole, 9' - tracking back to cut out Norwich's final ball
- Ramires, 33' - medium-length pass down right wing for Ba, excellent vision
- Ba, 34' - closing down to win ball in center circle
- Mata, 64' - interplay with A.Cole, Oscar; pass to Oscar inside the penalty area
- Cech, 82' - save from Redmond
- 18' - errant pass to David Luiz; almost disastrous giveaway
- 58' - destroys defensive line; blows offside trap
- 60' - tries to clear, does something stupid instead, almost tripping over himself
- 19' - following Ruddy's error, opts to shoot (not set) from top of the box (blocked) instead of easy layoff to Lampard
- 33' - "shot"
- Ivanovic, 8' - stupid pass/giveaway down the right wing towards Mata
- Cech, 11' - horrible flat clearance goes straight to Norwich player in Chelsea's half
- David Luiz, 31' - giveaway in the center circle
- Schürrle, 38' - overcommitting (not for the first time); turned way too easily right in front of Chelsea bench
- Mata, 40' - a step slow (not for the first time) and Norwich nip in to keep pressure/possession
- Oscar, 63' - "shot"
- Terry, 68' - might want to actually try to jump and challenge Van Wolfswinkel next time
- Ramires, 83' - pants'd by Redmond on Chelsea's right flank