Chelsea vs Manchester United: Man for man marking


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The Independent Football

How the players fared in the topsy-turvey game at Stamford Bridge.


PETR CECH (6/10) A couple of poor kicks earlier in first half but made good saves from Ashley Young and Rooney before the break. Not to blame for any of United’s goals.

BRANISLAV IVANOVIC (5) Booked for late tackle on Young and gave away penalty for United’s second, leaving a leg out for Welbeck to cannily fall over.

GARY CAHILL (6) The debutant was eager to impress on but fortunate not to cede free-kick for late challenge on Welbeck just outside the box. Left Hernandez alone for equaliser before going close to a winner.

DAVID LUIZ (6) Showed best and worst sides of his game. Enjoyed aerial challenges with Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck and thumped home header but nowhere near Hernandez for the equaliser

JOSE BOSINGWA (5) The first left-back in a Chelsea league game not called Ashley Cole for 65 games. Looked what he was, a stand-in, and fortunate not to be punished for pulling back Ashley Young.

MICHAEL ESSIEN (6) Looked rusty early on in first start for nine months, catching Evra. Grew in influence and forced De Gea to punch over as Chelsea looked to reassert hold on game after being pulled back to 3-3.

RAUL MEIRELES (5) A calm presence in mopping up United’s early attacks and held possession well. Had fine chance to win the game late on but powered a poor header over when well placed.

FLORENT MALOUDA (5) Quiet display and too often chose the wrong ball with Chelsea in promising positions, remains a shadow of the player he was when first arrived on these shores.

DANIEL STURRIDGE (7) Superb footwork to outfox Evra and set up Chelsea’s opener and almost added a second soon after. Left leg in on Evra to concede penalty and unhappy to be sacrificed after United’s second.

FERNANDO TORRES (6) Appeared a little too up for the occasion early on, lashing one effort wide before being booked for a needless push on Evans. Began second half better with a superb cross for Mata’s goal but wasted the opportunity to wrap the game up with scores at 3-2, opting to cut inside when clear on goal.

JUAN MATA (7) Unable to influence matters greatly before the break but his sumptuous volley within seconds of the restart won the game and he went on to set up Luiz’s header minutes later. Unlucky to see injury-time free-kick palmed away from top corner by De Gea.

Subs: ORIOL ROMEU (5) Brought on to see out victory but unable to gain foothold in fast paced game.

Manchester United

DAVID DE GEA (6) Appeared nervous when coming to punch out an early corner. Drawn out of goal too easily for Chelsea’s opener and no chance with Mata’s volley. Sublime save from Mata free-kick in injury-time.

RAFAEL DA SILVA (6) The Brazilian was making just his fifth start of the season. Was quick to cover in the middle and advance up when required but was caught out of position at times

JONNY EVANS (5) Hurt back after being struck shielding ball from Torres. Poorly positioned in bundling in Sturridge’s cutback for own goal and almost allowed Torres to score hosts’ fourth as he stood off.

RIO FERDINAND (6) Looked usual calm presence but was too easily out manoeuvred by Luiz for Chelsea’s third. Overall a steady presence amid off-field headlines surrounding family.

PATRICE EVRA (6) Too easily passed by Sturridge for Chelsea’s opener but got forward to earn penalty. Always provided an attacking outlet.

ANTONIO VALENCIA (6) Industrious and adventurous, the former Wigan winger came inside at will in opening half-hour, interchanging well with Rooney. Cleared from Torres in a dangerous position late on.

MICHAEL CARRICK (6) Swept up loose balls and began attacks well. Came into the game more in the second half as United surged back to gain a point.

RYAN GIGGS (6) Chosen for his big-game experience and was a useful outlet on the wing but pace of a frenetic game passed him by at times. Together with Scholes helped turn around game.

ASHLEY YOUNG (6) Fine through ball to Rooney came to nothing. Bundle of energy and unlucky not to win penalty when pulled back by Bosingwa. Provided stream of crosses into box before going off for Hernandez.

WAYNE ROONEY (8) England man’s up and down season took an upward curve at the Bridge. Sent an early free-kick wide of Cech’s goal before twice combining well with Welbeck. Showed ice cool nerves to score two penalties inside 11 minutes that helped inspire United to an eventual draw.

DANNY WELBECK (7) A lively presence throughout. Unable to meet Rooney’s ball across box in first half and forced Cech to push clear. Did well to earn second penalty in much the same fashion as Adam Johnson did for City 24 hours earlier, leaving leg across defender.

Subs: JAVIER HERNANDEZ (6) Did his job off the bench with a fine jump and header to grab equaliser, taking advantage of slack marking. Ferguson rued decision not to start the Mexican.

PAUL SCHOLES (6) Extra touch of class and experience helped engender turnaround from two goal deficit to level pegging in his time on the pitch.

JI-SUNG PARK (5) Limited time on the pitch for South Korean international.