|1. CESAR AZPILICUETA - DL||7.8|
Ahead of the game, in a video for adidas Football, Jose Mourinho joked that a team of eleven Cesar Azpilicuetas probably could win the Champions League. Wednesday's performance did nothing to dissuade any such notions, as our best full back once again displayed the type of two-way game that is required of any top class modern player at that position (and, increasingly, at any position).
While he's spent much of the season playing the more defensive role in comparison with Branislav Ivanovic's more attacking role on the right, in Istanbul, the roles were flipped. This tactical switch allowed Ivanovic to help in stopping Didier Drogba, Burak Yilmaz, and Wesley Sneijder, and Dave to put his (relatively) considerable attacking talents to use. It was his overlapping run of André Schürrle and pass to Torres that gave us the all-important away goal.
After an anonymous start to the season, Azpilicueta has become one of the first names on Jose's team sheet. Solid in attack and solid in defense (second only to Willian's six (6!) tackles on the day), his second man of the match award in three games (and second overall for the season) was well-earned.
|2. FERNANDO TORRES - FC||7.4|
He may not be the man for the big occasion, but Fernando Torres has really started to enjoy his European nights since last season's Europa League campaign. Four goals in five European matches this season. Twelve goals in 19 Champions and Europa League contests over the last two seasons.
His Premier League record may be laughable, his general play may leave a lot to be desired (to be kind), but at least he's scoring at acceptable rates nowadays. He's found the back of the net in four of his five starts. Would it blow your mind if I told you that he's scored a goal for every 167 minutes of playing time, which is best among any regular players in the squad?
I'm not sure he'd keep that pace up in larger samples, but at the rate he's picking up injuries - three multi-week ones already this season and the sole motivation behind his early substitution on Wednesday - we may not ever find out anyway. But on a day when Eden Hazard once again took zero shots and was hesitant to take on his man, at least Torres wasn't afraid of having a go.
|3. GARY CAHILL - DC||6.7|
Starting his 13th straight match, Cahill was once again his usual, solid self. And unlike his partner in the center of defense or his goalkeeper, he didn't completely screw us over on that corner kick.
In the words of Didier Drogba, "even Cahill!"
Cech (5.9), Terry (6.2), Ivanovic (6.6), Lampard (6.1), Ramires (6.2), Schürrle (6.5), Willian (6.0), Hazard (6.0)
Mikel (5.5), Eto'o (5.1), Oscar (5.3)