|1. MARK SCHWARZER - GK||9.0|
I can only imagine what a strange season this must have been and still must be for Schwarzer.
After sixteen years of being the undisputed number one at Middlesborough and Fulham, he joined Chelsea to basically be Petr Čech's training partner. Some questioned the move in a World Cup year and while Mark spoke of his desire to still help the Socceroos in Brazil, a few months later he announced his international retirement. Meanwhile, he got to taste Champions League football for the first time as well as serve as Chelsea's League Cup and early-round FA Cup goalkeeper. Once the Blues were out of both cups however, the 41-year-old goalkeeper's season, Chelsea career, and perhaps playing career looked to be, for all intents and purposes, over.
And then, Čech fell ill.
And then, Čech dislocated his shoulder.
And now, Schwarzer has the task of backstopping Chelsea to a Champions League title and perhaps an even more unlikely Premier League title. If he plays as assuredly as he did on Sunday, our goalkeeping situation will not miss a beat. And what a save that was on Joe Allen, by the way!
Incidentally, Schwarzer has kept a clean sheet in 7 of his 9 appearances. The other two matches were when he faced Sunderland and lost 2-1 both times. Football is weird.
|2. TOMÁŠ KALAS - DC||8.8|
Blocks + INTs3
Many of us have been calling for the full debut for young Tomáš Kalas, but nobody expected it to arrive in just such circumstances. I guess now we know why in January, Mourinho refused to let him leave on loan. That's long-range planning that'd make even the Politburo proud.
I'm not sure I'm a fan of that joke, actually. We don't much like the Soviets.
Kalas basically had one job: stick to PFA Player of the Year Luis Suárez (and/or Goal Machine Daniel Sturridge) like glue. He only touched the ball 18 times* and attempted 5 passes but except for a few nervous minutes in the first half, he played as if making your debut away to the Premier League leaders was the most normal and natural thing one could ever expect from a 20-year-old. Well done, Tommy Gun.
* And one of those touches was a wide-open header in front of the Liverpool goal on which he really should've scored. A millisecond late, a millimeter short.
|3. NEMANJA MATIĆ - MC||8.8|
Blocks + INTs3
Nemanja Matic seems to be ever-present on the player ratings podium and I'm tired of writing about him. Why must you be so good? WHY!
To top it off, he did this. Who needs Eden Hazard?
A.Cole (8.5), Ivanovic* (8.4), Azpilicueta (8.8), Lampard (8.0), Mikel (8.1), Schurrle (8.0), Ba (8.5), Salah (7.5)
Willian (8.4), Cahill (8.0), Torres (8.2)