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Nemanja Matic named Man of the Match after his highest rated performance of the season

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Stu Forster/Getty Images

1. NEMANJA MATIĆ - MC 9.0
Minutes played90
Touches76
Passes43/49
Take-ons3/3
Tackles9/12
Clearances5/5
Blocks+INTs4
Here's the thing about player ratings -- and not just these ones in particular, but almost all such things done by any media outlet, statistics company, or video game -- they overweight goals and assists (and, in our case, random things like debuts or final games, etc), and underweight the little things.  That's not necessarily a criticism, it's just something to be aware of when looking at these numbers.  As if trying to encapsulate a player's performance to the nearest tenth isn't enough of a fairly meaningless exercise.  Anyway.

What's most impressive about Matić's 9.0 here is that he achieved it without getting a goal or being credited with an assist.  Just like his other 9.0+ day (vs. Yaya Touré in his second Chelsea start), this rating was earned tenth by tenth, minute by minute, tackle by tackle, positive play by positive play.

Sure, he's helped a bit by sentiment (just like others might be hurt by the same) but he's been here for about a year now and has yet to really put a foot wrong.  He rarely plays badly, he rarely makes a mistake or turns the ball over, and he generally looks to play a proactive, positive game.  He is strong, surprisingly quick, with deceptively good technique, and a tremendous football-brain behind it all. He is a true midfield general in every sense of the word.  All hail!

2. CESC FÀBREGAS - MC 8.6
Minutes played90
Touches83
Passes56*/75
Shots2*/2
Tackles3/6
The Cesc Fàbregas as the furthest forward central midfielder (whatever hipster word you want to call him) experiment rolls on for the second straight game, and third out of the last four.  Returns have been positive, I'd say with three wins from three, 8 goals scored, and just 2 conceded).

"Today we decided to play Mikel and Matic so we lose one creative player. We had that stability in the team, and left Fabregas, Willian and Hazard the responsibility to create and they were not afraid to do that."

With Mikel - Matić (22 total tackles, 10 clearances, 8 blocks+interceptions) easily our strongest if not most creative midfield pairing, the burden to generate goals and chances is even greater on Cesc in this more advanced position.  Unsurprisingly, he seems well up for the task, and as we look to juggle the fatigue between our two, historically fade-prone players Oscar and Fàbregas, this is an excellent development that affords us flexibility and multiple solutions to the problem.

3. JOHN TERRY - DC 8.4
Minutes played90
Touches45
Passing28/32
Shots1*/1
Clearances8/8
Let's go back to Mourinho, because he probably summed it up best.

"He's very dangerous at set-pieces. He's a very good player and in the air. When he is on the pitch he is always a threat, but more importantly for me is the way he is playing this season. When I came here last season he was a bit in trouble, his career was a bit up and down and not playing regularly for Chelsea.  Now in the last two years he is playing every game, and for me the same level from 2004-2007 when I was here."

"I think he adapts well to our training methodology, it's a good way for a person with his body type to feel sharp and fast and in good condition. After that it's happiness.  When you're happy and confident it's easier in any job. He knows the way I trust him, and he feels confident and happy and he's playing very well."

OTHERS:
Courtois (8.3), Azpilicueta (7.6), Cahill (7.4), Ivanović (7.3), Mikel (7.2), Hazard (8.2), Willian (6.6), Costa (7.5)

SUBS:
Schürrle (6.9), Drogba (6.7), Zouma (6.7)

OVERALL:

2014/15 Player Ratings - Stoke A