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Chelsea vs. Maccabi Tel-Aviv, Player Ratings: A new hero emerges

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1. RUBEN LOFTUS-CHEEK - MC 8.4
Minutes played75
Touches77
Passes56/61
Take-ons6/8
Fouls drawn4
Tackles3
Welcome to the show, son.

This wasn't RLC's first ever Chelsea start.  It wasn't even his first appearance this season or his first appearance in the Champions League.  But it feels like is this is his breakout party.  Welcome to the big time!

Of course, we've been here before.  I see ya, Joshie.  So the trick will be to build on this — both as a team in a bid to recover the season, and individually, for the 19-year-old to keep growing, to keep playing, to keep developing as we all hope he can.

2. CÉSAR AZPILICUETA - DR 7.8
Minutes played90
Touches69
Passes60/70
Aerial duels3/3
Blocks+INTs3
According to my quick count, this was just the 15th time Azpilicueta started as a right back for Chelsea since Jose Mourinho took over 2+ seasons ago.  We claim he's a right back and Mourinho often mentions the added versatility this gives our squad as well, but in truth, Azpiliuceta has become much more of a left back over the last couple years.

Fortunately, based on the evidence of this match (just his second start in this position in 2015), he still remembers how to play there.  Hurray!  That said, his gung-ho pressing and attacking, while adding terrifically to our overall strategy on Wednesday, will get exposed against better teams and then we're just back into Ivanovic-esque territory.  It would certainly be a surprise if Mourinho opted for double attacking full backs against Arsenal, for example...

3. OSCAR - AMC 7.8
Minutes played63
Touches61
Passes42/58
Shots1*/2
Tackles2
Oscar was back, and it was all good.  Hallelujah!

Better yet, he seems to have come through unscathed, without any new niggles or injuries, and hopefully is ready to continue his traditional scintillating early season form against big bad Arsenal on the weekend.

Maybe he'll even get to play the full match for once!

(On a sidenote, special shout-out to Fabregas and his rather ridiculous 140 touches in this match.)

OTHERS:
Begović (6.9), Baba (7.1), Cahill (7.5), Zouma (7.1), Fàbregas (7.2), Hazard (5.6), Willian (7.6), Rémy (6.9)

SUBS:
Costa (7.4), Ramires (6.2), Traoré (6.4)

OVERALL:

2015-16 Player Ratings - Maccabi H