Here's a quick look at how the lads shaped up in what proved to be a cagey 2-1 win at Burnley. Thank God for John Terry -- at least on the pitch.
GK - Petr Cech 6
Nothing to really do. Attempted to close the angle on the equalizer, but was hung out to dry by Alex.
RB - Branislav Ivanovic 7
I'm getting sick of using solid to describe this man. How about reliable? Dependable? Just plain class.
CB - Alex 6
Undid a great amount of good work with his indecision in the moment that led to Steven Fletcher's leveller.
CB - John Terry 8 (MOTM)
What can be said that hasn't already? Inpenetrable defensively and unearthed the much-needed moment of inspiration. Appears his off-field indescretions will have no effect on club morale.
LB - Ashley Cole 6.5
Slight ankle injury forced an early departure. While on the pitch provided what has been typical this season, bombardment down the left flank and plenty of industry and guile.
MF - Michael Ballack 6
Not quite up to the recent standard the German has set, though he was imployed in the deep-lying role. Careless at times. His distribution, too, suffered. Side continues to flourish with him in it, however.
MF - Frank Lampard 7
The work rate was outstanding, even if the goals weren't.
MF - Yuri Zhirkov 7
A selection headache has arrived. Continues to improve and impress. Display his versatility when forced to drop in at left fullback with minimum problem.
MF - Joe Cole 7
Like Zhirkov, Joey is on the up. His form from Birmingham carried over to Turf Moor where he roamed dangerously all night. A superb crossing pass to Malouda to set up the opening goal.
MF - Florent Malouda 7
Do you get the feeling that the term solid could used for most of our XI? Flo, after a brief trial period, is rediscovering the form that made him one of our best to close out last term.
FWD - Anelka 7
Not at his recent blinding best, but efficient nonetheless. His effectiveness was subdued, but the movement was still there.
Not much time to impress.
Was involved but, like Deco, didn't really have the time to influence.