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Dynamo Kiev vs. Chelsea, Player Ratings: Matic sparkles in the middle of the pitch

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1. NEMANJA MATIC - MC 8.0
Minutes played90
Touches67
Passes40/52
Shots0/1
Take-ons3/3
Clearances3/4
Tackles3
Blocks+INTs2
Nemanja Matic was making just his second start in our last six games.  The only thing more inconceivable than that sentence would've been over the past season and a half, would've been the level of performance Matic was producing to land himself in said predicament in the first place.

Mourinho has spent plenty of time talking about rebuilding the Spiderbeast's confidence, to get him back to making smart decisions on the ball, to making smart decisions off the ball and in closing down, to keeping things simple when necessary and going for the spectacular when appropriate.  Tuesday's match was perhaps testament that the personal attention and the manager's methods are working.  It was the best Matic has looked since before the Burnley incident last February.

2. WILLIAN - AMR 7.9
Minutes played90
Touches45
Passes20/32
Shots1/3
Take-ons3/5
Fouls drawn3
Tackles4
Just missing out on a fourth Man of the Match in a row -- a feat that's only ever been accomplished by Hazard and Mata, once each, in the three-year history of these player ratings -- Willian has to settle for second.

I'm not sure how long he can keep this sort of form going.  You can tell his confidence is sky high after opting to choose to shoot a couple times in situations where before he may have passed or even stopped, put his foot on the ball, and let the defense recover its shape instead.  But previous experience would suggest that the goals will dry up and we'll be once again left with somebody who's a very hard worker, but perhaps not quite so influential in the final third.

Until then, score all the set pieces!

3. CÉSAR AZPILICUETA - DR 7.8
Minutes played90
Touches59
Passes41/61
Clearances5/7
Tackles7
Blocks+INTs3
Azpilicueta completes the top three once again, just as he's done four times before already this season.  And this time, it was more than fully justified.

Just as Matic was back to his usual level, and Hazard finally showed consistent initiative as well, Azpilicueta dusted off the rust, and finally provided us with good great full back play for the first time this season.  Sorry, Andriy Yarmolenko; it's not you, it's him.

STARTERS:
Begović (7.4), Azpilicueta (7.8), Terry (6.7), Cahill (6.9), Zouma (6.7), Matic (8.0), Ramires (7.1), Hazard (7.0), Fabregas (6.4), Willian (7.9), Costa (6.3)

SUBS:
Oscar (5.8)

OVERALL:

2015-16 player ratings - dynamo kiev A