Manchester City vs Chelsea: Man-for-man marking
James Mariner is a journalist who has been boring The Independent sports desk with mindless statistics for over four years. Helping with various, wide-ranging desk duties and the endless researching of panels, James has an unnatural love of all things football, and in particular the Premier League. He cites Brian Sears among his heroes and can even find something interesting in Stoke v Blackburn Rovers. On a good day.
Sunday 14 April 2013
PETR CECH: Helped keep Chelsea in game early on with two crucial stops. Not to blame for either goal. 7/10
BRANISLAV IVANOVIC: Crucial block from Aguero but lost his man as the Argentine notched City's second. 6
DAVID LUIZ: Not the type of game that brings out his best. Came more into game after break. Close with free-kick. 6
CESAR AZPILICUETA: Unable to help stop City's attacking verve and unwittingly set up Nasri for opener. 5
RYAN BERTRAND: Filling in for Ashley Cole, the left-back blocked a Tevez shot. Kept busy at back and unable to go forward. 5
RAMIRES: Ineffective in first half and ceded the free-kick that led to City's second. Wasted header in front of goal. 6
JUAN MATA: Curled over before the break but forced to drop back and help out in defence more than he would have liked. 6
OSCAR: Subtle flicks and tricks but Brazilian was unable to utilise his skills to any great effect until City tired. 6
JOHN OBI MIKEL: Struggled to cope with power of City's attacking force. Sacrificed for Torres as Chelsea chased game. 5
EDEN HAZARD: Had effort cleared off line by Kompany but more influential after the break as Chelsea rallied. 6
DEMBA BA: Wonderful movement for Chelsea's goal but too often left isolated. 7
Best off the bench: Fernando Torres
Instant impact without touching ball. Presence created space for Ba to capitalise. 6
COSTEL PANTILIMON: Saved by Kompany early on but contributed a couple of vital saves to keep Chelsea out. 7/10
VINCENT KOMPANY: Headed Hazard shot off line but sliced wide at other end. Fortunate not to give away a penalty against Torres. 8
PABLO ZABALETA: Offered usual reliable presence, both in defence and going forward. Steady display from the Argentine. 6
GAEL CLICHY: Fine run forward in opening minutes set the tone for City's play but struggled to contain late Chelsea rallies. 6
MATIJA NASTASIC: Serb has greatly impressed in recent months and shone both in the air and on the ground yesterday. 7
James Milner: Motored forward on the left wing at every opportunity but was caught in two minds when wasting a counter-attack. 7
Samir Nasri: Linked up well with Yaya Touré in centre. Fortunate with ricochet for opener but cool finish under pressure. 7
Gareth Barry: First in the book for foul on Ramires. Lofted cross set up Aguero for City's second goal after the interval. 7
Yaya Toure: Ivorian has gathered a second wind in recent weeks and sauntered through Chelsea's midfield at will. 8
Sergio Aguero: Clever throughout. Lovely ball for Nasri opener and strong header for second. Nasty lunge on Luiz late on. 8
Carlos Tevez: Energetic display behind Aguero and had Chelsea defence in all sorts of trouble. 8
Best off the bench: JAVI GARCIA
Brought on to help stifle Chelsea's attempts for an equaliser. Aided defensive efforts. 6
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