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Samuel Eto'o: Hat-trick Hero, Man of the Match

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Caption contest; go!
Caption contest; go!
Mike Hewitt

1. SAMUEL ETO'O - ST 9.5
Minutes played78
Touches31
Shots3*/4
Passes15/19
Take-ons1/5
2014 sure has been a vintage year for Chelsea strikers. Five of the ten goals, including all of the last four, have come off the boot of either Eto'o or Fernando Torres. (Of course now Torres is injured because homie Laws of the Football Universe don't play that.)

Eto'o's hat-trick is the first Chelsea hat-trick against Manchester United for six decades. It's the first hat-trick by a Chelsea player (not on loan so pipe down, Detentacled One) since Torres did it against QPR a year and a half ago. All jokes about United's struggles aside, conceding hat-tricks isn't a common occurrence.

The first goal was a slightly deflected long shot created by a nice piece of skill. The second was the result of a proper run to take advantage of a defensive breakdown. The third was a true poacher's effort. Not quite the perfect hat-trick of left foot, right foot, header, but the variety of execution does speak to the quality of Eto'o's overall game. At this point in his career, we might not see the true quality every time out, but when it does make an appearance, it's quite beautiful. £100m £5m repaid? £5m repaid.

2. GARY CAHILL - DC 8.0
Minutes played90
Touches51
Passes26*/33
Clearances11/12
The quiet, steady man has quietly, steadily put together a rather excellent run of form, making it easy for Mourinho to pick his center back partnerships and making it hard for me to say anything truly bad about him as I like to normally do.

I bet his feet smell though and tells bad jokes in the locker room.

3. EDEN HAZARD - AML, FL 7.6
Minutes played90
Touches55
Shots0/1
Passes27/33
Take-ons2/4
Considering how high he's set the bar for himself, this one was almost a subdued performance from Eddie at the Garden of Eden. Which still makes him about the third best player on the pitch.

Every time he picks up the ball, anticipation grows. A collective intake of breath, a deft dip or two of the shoulder, a shot fake, a quick change of pace ... so much fun!

OTHERS:
Cech (7.2), Azpilicueta (7.2), Terry (7.6), Ivanovic (6.8), David Luiz (6.6), Ramires (7.0), Willian (7.5), Oscar (6.5)

SUBS:
Mikel (6.4), Torres (6.1), Matic (6.9)

OVERALL:
201314-01-20_-_ratings_medium