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Player Ratings: Mikel, Matic, Loftus-Cheek showcase Chelsea's power in midfield

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Happy happy joy joy
Happy happy joy joy
Paul Gilham/Getty Images

1. MIKEL - It must be love 8.2
Minutes played90
Touches72
Passes50/58
Shots1*/1
Take-ons2/2
Fouls drawn2
Tackles5/7
Clearances3/3
13 of the last 16 Man of the Match awards had gone to either Oscar (4), Hazard (4), Drogba (3), or Courtois (2), none of whom played against Sporting (and only Drogba was even in the matchday squad).  So who would step up in their absence?  Who would swoop down to ensure that the 3-1 win would be one of the more fun 90 minutes we've had all year?

Mikel.  Nothing more, nothing less.

But of course!

2. NEMANJA MATIC - Our house 8.1
Minutes played90
Touches73
Passes53*/57
Shots0/2
Tackles6/9
Blocks+INTs2
Matic wears his Sunday Wednesday best ... sing it with me!

Ma-tic
In the middle of our pitch
Ma-tic
In the middle of our pitch
Ma-tic...

3. RUBEN LOFTUS-CHEEK - One step beyond 8.1
Minutes played8
Touches14
Passing9/10
Take-ons2/2
Tackles1/1
Thanks in part to Jose parading the boy around at the pre-match press conference, Loftus-Cheek's Chelsea debut was the most hyped debut for an academy product in some time.  Unfortunately, that also meant that the 10 minutes young Ruben got at the end of the match wasn't quite enough to satisfy many observers (and not just fans) who were urging Mourinho to make the substitution much, much earlier.

Sky Sports have fallen head over heels and already called him up to national team, even.  Well, almost.  For Queen and Country!

Either way, RLC looked every bit the part in his cameo, quickly putting a terrible first ever touch at first-team level behind him to make a positive impact both defensively and offensively.  He almost scored, and even got to take a corner kick, which I don't ever recall him doing in the U21s.  Madness!

OTHERS:
Cech(7.4), Filipe Luis (6.9), Cahill (7.1), Zouma (7.7), Azpilicueta (7.5), Fabregas (7.9), Schurrle (8.0), Salah (7.1), Costa (6.3)

SUBS:
Remy (6.6), Ramires (6.3), Loftus-Cheek (8.1)

OVERALL:

2014/15 Player Ratings - Sporting H