Somebody had to win the Man of the Match award, so it might as well be Eden Hazard

Shaun Botterill

Back-to-back terrible performances have really lowered the bar on what it means to be "man of the match."

1. EDEN HAZARD - AML 6.3
Minutes played90
Touches56
Passes35/40
Shots1*/3
Take-ons3/3
Fouls suffered4
Football matches are a series of turning points - Vendepunkts, as MiB like to say - more so than any other sport I can readily think of.  One moment, be that a shot, a pass, a run, a decision, can have far-reaching effects and influence the rest of the proceedings to quite a large degree.  It's a huge part of sport's appeal, and no small part of why statistical analysis of football is coming along very slowly.  Take Hazard's wonderful volley that pinged off the far post.  If that goes in and Chelsea take a 2-1 lead, we are almost certainly looking at a vastly different situation today.  But that's the way the cookie crumbles.

I do wonder when opposing goalkeepers will figure out just to stand in the middle and not make a move for Hazard's penalty kicks.  It's not like he hits them with tremendous power nor does he place them into the unreachable corners of the net.  He just rolls it to the other side once he sees the keeper's movement.  If they stood still, they'd have a much better chance of reacting quickly and getting down to save.

Even if Torres wasn't Torres, we'd still have to find a way to strand him on a deserted island for the sole reason of there being zero chemistry between him and Hazard.  Take those back-to-back counters in the second half, with Hazard shooting when he should've passed to Torres and passing to Torres when he should've just shot.  M-m-m-m-madness.

2. GARY CAHILL - DC 6.2
Minutes played90
Touches55
Passes39/46
Clearances4/4
Tackles2/2
If I had to pick a defender out of the clowncar that was the Chelsea defense on Wednesday night, I would've picked Branislav Ivanovic.  But y'all picked Gary Cahill, so here's Gary Cahill.

Incidentally, in the battle of DareToZlatan vs. DareToCahill, I think DareToCahill may just have edged it.  Take that, Even Zlatan!

3. CÉSAR AZPILICUETA - DL 6.1
Minutes played90
Touches60
Passes29/37
Clearances6/6
Tackles1/3
Aerial duels1/4
It was a busy (and not a good) day for Dave, as he was constantly tested by PSG's rotating trio of doom.  So when the fourth guy came on, the one with the jetpacks in the heels of his boots, it's no wonder that Dave decided to just have a sit and admire Pastore's dancing magic feet.  If only you would've cleared that one or made the successful tackle or whatever it is that Opta assigned to that action...

With everybody's ratings slipping lately, only three regulars remain at or above 7.0 for the season:  Hazard, Matic, and Azpilicueta.  One of those guys will be your Player of the Year come May.

OTHERS:
Cech (3.7), Terry (5.1), Ivanovic (5.8), David Luiz (5.2), Ramires (4.4), Oscar (5.6), Willian (5.9), Schürrle (5.1)

SUBS:
Torres (3.6), Lampard (4.4)

OVERALL:
201314-04-03_-_ratings_medium

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