|1. THIBAUT COURTOIS - GK||8.7|
For 18 shots (6 on target), Thibaut Courtois and Chelsea were in the clear. And then on the seventh day, the seventh shot on target -- an unsavable point-blank rocket from Robin van Persie -- denied our seventh straight win. And our fifth clean sheet in the last six. I suppose these things happen.
Still, Courtois's six saves were of the highest order, thrice denying eventual heart-breaker Van Persie, twice stopping international teammate Marouane Fellaini (who teased our goalkeeper with a noogie and some play-fighting during the post-match niceties, no doubt for a job well done), and confidently holding a skimming Angel Di Maria knuckler as well.
In the meantime, he was his usual dominating self in the air and showed better distribution as well, both short (mostly to Ivanovic and Cahill) and long (usually to Drogba). Didier Drogba used to always help out Petr Cech's distribution game, and it was a nice throwback to see him do the same for young Courtois as well.
|2. NEMANJA MATIC - MC||8.0|
Nemanja Matic has now put his early season struggles firmly behind him, and on a day when neither Cesc Fabregas nor Oscar played up to anywhere near their capabilities, Matic did and carried the whole Chelsea midfield. You know that one moment when Fellaini managed to get the better of him on the touchline? The fact that's being held up as a fantastic achievement for the United man speaks volumes of just how well Matic is regarded by fans and pundits alike.
And he's ours. And you can't have him.
|3. EDEN HAZARD - AML||7.9|
Mourinho spoke of Hazard's continued evolution after the game, and while we didn't think it was Eden's most impressive performance ever, he still struck more fear into United hearts than the rest of the Chelsea team combined. Which unfortunately also meant that he was double- or triple-teamed quite often, reducing his overall effectiveness, especially as he was afforded very little protection by the referee (unlike, say, Angel Di Maria).
But oh that missed chance... Gotta score those; in the biggest games, those chances must not go begging if he truly wants to become the world's best.
Filipe Luis (7.3), Terry (7.3), Cahill (7.0), Ivanović (6.8), Fabregas (6.5), Oscar (6.6), Willian (7.0), Drogba (7.9)
Mikel (5.8), Schurrle (5.9), Zouma (5.6)