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Chelsea vs Aston Villa – Player Ratings

Chelsea v Aston Villa - Premier League

LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 23: Fernando Torres of Chelsea (R) celebrates with Victor Moses as he scores their first goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge on December 23, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

CHELSEA

Petr Cech – 6.5
Pretty much a spectator most of the time and had to deal with only tame attempts at goal but produced a world class save to deny Weimann to show that he’s still one the best around.

Branislav Ivanovic – 7.5
Had a reasonably good game. Kept Benteke in check and played the offside trap well. Showed great awareness in the box to knock home a close range header.

Ashley Cole – 7.5
Almost had nothing to do defensively which allowed him to use his pace to move into the attack. Covered up a lot of ground on the left flank with his runs to free space for Hazard.

Gary Cahill – 6.5
Must have spent most of time chatting up with Petr Cech at the Chelsea goal. Largely untroubled but made some excellent blocks and clearances. Made some fantastic tackles and intercepted the pass leading to an almost certain goal for Benteke.

Cesar Azpilicueta – 7.5
Ran the right flank with tenacity and pace. Went forward at every opportunity. Played in the perfect cross for Torres’s 3rd minute goal. His defensive side wasn’t really tested.

David Luiz – 9
Started in the defensive  midfield along with Lampard, the versatile Brazilian played his role to perfection. Passed the ball around well and took very opportunity to move forward. Chelsea greatly benefited by his fantastic work rate and always hunted the ball down when they weren’t in possession. Scored the second goal with a brilliant free kick causing the ball to dip and swerve past Guzan.

Frank Lampard – 8
Making his 500th start in the Premier League, the Chelsea legend pulled the strings spreading the play with Luiz moving around doing the defensive work. Became Chelsea’s all-time top scorer  in top flight football (130 goals) with a gorgeous half volley from outside the box. Was subbed off on the hour mark for Ramires.

Victor Moses – 7.5
Slowly settling into his place in the Chelsea side after being handed another start under Rafa Benitez. Ran at Lichaj constantly and fizzed in several dangerous crosses. Needs to add goals to his game.

Juan Mata – 7.5
Not at his mesmerizing best but that’s the level of expectation he plays under and didn’t disappoint. Moved the ball well and often interchanged positions with Hazard. Was denied a goal due to some fine goalkeeping.

Eden Hazard – 8.5
Used his blistering pace and trickery to great effect against a sorry defense. Kept forcing the opposition into fouling him. The movement with Cole and Mata was a joy to watch. Scored a brilliant goal towards the end from a tight angle.

Fernando Torres – 8
Coming into the match with great pressure after some mediocre performances, he sparked the game into life in the third minute after powering a header past Guzan. Contributed well even defensively and is showing signs of his old self. Seemed to really enjoy his game and started toying with the opposition towards the end. Was replaced by Oscar and walked back to a standing ovation.

Substitutions

Ramires – 8
Came on for Lampard and was at his industrious best. The Villa defense just couldn’t keep up with his pace as he slotted home two goals with some excellent finishing.

Oscar – 7.5
Came on for Torres and dived right into the action linking up well . Scored his first Premier League goal from the spot.

Lucas Piazon – 6.5
Made his debut with a 15 minute cameo coming on for Mata and immediately provided an exceptional through ball to set up Ramirez’s first goal. Took the penalty which he won but was saved.

Chelsea v Aston Villa - Premier League

LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 23: Jordan Bowery and Christian Benteke and Barry Bannan of Aston Villa look dejected after an 8-0 defeat during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge on December 23, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

ASTON VILLA

Bradley Guzan – 6.5
Was ironically Aston Villa’s best player making many excellent saves including Piazon’s penalty. Did his best but was never helped by an inexperienced defense. Prevented the score from going into double digits.

Ciaran Clark – 3.5
Thrust into the center of a 3 man defense against such a potent attack was a recipe for disaster for the young Irishman. Had a field day against Torres and just couldn’t cope up with him.

Nathan Baker – 3
Was beaten by the Chelsea attack in every way, be it in the air or on the ground. Just couldn’t manage to stifle the fluidity of Chelsea’s play.

Eric Lichaj – 3
Was merely a spectator as Moses eased past him at almost every instance and was constantly out of position. Was substituted for Bennett on the hour mark.

Mathew Lowton – 5
Was just put to shame every time Hazard ran at him. Did manage to hold on to the ball for some time but eventually found its way to the feet of a man in blue.

Brett Holman – 4
Kept losing the ball whenever he got it. Didn’t help the mammoth cause of keeping Chelsea at bay. Was replaced by Bowery.

Ashley Westwood – 5
Showed some initial composure on the ball and put in some good tackles but just faded away as the game went along. Was replaced by Ireland after 57 minutes.

Chris Herd – 3
As with his colleagues, he never was able to find himself on the ball for too long. Gave away the free kick that lead to Luiz’s goal and the penalty for Oscar’s.

Barry Bannan – 5
Had a few occasional sparks in midfield when he got the ball (which weren’t many). Totally got overrun and outplayed all around him.

Adreas Weimann – 5.5
Made a real effort to help the lost cause by tracking back but was to no avail. Made the only genuine chance for Villa bringing out a fine save from Cech.

Christian Benteke – 3.5
Was completely anonymous . Was never found by his teammates and was constantly offside. Made no impact on the game whatsoever.

Substitutions

Joseph Bennett – 4
Made some runs but were mostly off the ball as Chelsea just nullified his presence.

Stephen Ireland – 5
Contributed a little to the attack but was just boarding an already sinking ship.

Jordan Bowery – N/A
Came on for the last 10 minutes, Chelsea mustn’t  have even noticed him.

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