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Player Ratings: Chelsea 0 - 0 Manchester City

Sunday, November 25, 2012, Stamford Bridge

Top of the match – Kompany (City)

Flop of the match – Torres (Chelsea)

Chelsea headed into the match with yet another new manager. This time it is former Liverpool UCL winning manager – Rafael Benitez. And as it turned out, the only thing of note in the 0-0 draw was the “booing” meted out to Rafa by the Chelsea fans.

Chelsea –

P. Cech  - 8

A good solid display from the Czech international. Made some good saves against Zabaleta, Dzeko and Aguero. Fumbled a long range Toure shot but didn’t make a telling mistake and he takes home a clean sheet versus the defending champions.

Azpilicueta – 6

It’s still early times for the Spaniard at the Bridge. But he seems to be growing with each passing match. His pace was always a threat and he made a few crucial interceptions as well. But he had no telling cross to his name.

B. Ivanovic – 8

Ivanovic was a rock in defense. Playing in his preferred Centre-Back position, he dealt well with the threat of Aguero and Dzeko. Made a few robust tackles and was always there to ensure that Cech was hardly troubled from outside the box.

David Luiz – 7.5

Yet another start for the Brazilian. Seems to have matured a bit from last season. Was always a threat moving forward and had a good free kick that was saved by Hart. Showed his aerial prowess in both defending and attacking corners. One of his better “big” games in a while.

A. Cole – 6

Typical Cole performance. Was always there for the interceptions and had a few vital tackles but was beaten a few times. As usual, was a threat moving forward.

Ramires – 7

Another industrial performance. Kept the ball ticking and was all over the pitch trying to stifle the City attack. Offered very little moving forward, but with Mata, Oscar and Hazard ahead of him, you could argue that wasn’t what was expected of him today. That said, he had a good shot that just flew over the bar after good play by Hazard.

Mikel – 6

Strong presence in the middle as he gave the lighter City line a run for their money. Wasn’t very good on the ball and gave away possession cheaply at times.

Mata – 7

Fluent performance from the Spaniard. Got a few mesmerizing dribbles and his partnership with Hazard is looking good. Was involved in most of the chances Chelsea had today.

Hazard – 8

Another good performance from the Belgian at the heart of Chelsea’s midfield. His chemistry with Oscar and Mata looks good at the moment. He dribbles well, has vision and a deadly ball control. Laid it on for Ramires after some good play, whose shot just missed the target. Played a few lovely balls to Torres, which eventually went to waste though.

Oscar – 7

Looked composed in possession and had a good thing going with Hazard. Early days for the young Brazilian but given a good solid run of games, might well prove to be a vital part of the Chelsea forward line for years to come. Helped out his defense too and pressed well to win possession.

Torres – 5

Poor performance from “Nando”. In his first match for Chelsea under ex-Liverpool coach, he was guilty of missing the few chances that Chelsea could carve out. His profligacy may well cost Chelsea in the long run. He has to improve his finishing soon, as there were plenty of opportunities carved out for him by the masterful midfield trio of Oscar, Hazard and Mata. What’s actually shocking is that both Cech and Hart had more touches of the ball than Nando today.

Substitutes

Romeu – 5.5

Brought on in the last 10 minutes in the place of Mikel. Didn’t do anything spectacular.

Moses – 6

Brought on for Hazard and his directness was a threat. Offered something different from the usual pass-pass style of Hazard and co.

Manchester City

Joe Hart – 7

Didn’t have an awful lot to do today. Was comfortable whenever challenged. Not very great passing though.

Zabaleta – 7

Good, energetic display and linked well with Silva moving forward.

Kompany – 9

How Torres hated his company today! Was nothing short of a giant in defense as he coped way too easily with the threat of Torres. Had a lot of vital tackles and interceptions. Quite easily the Man of the Match.

Nastasic – 7

Looked good alongside Kompany in the centre of defense. Was comfortable on the ball and the contrast of his raw energy with Kompany’s assuredness kept the City defense airtight. Had a good chance from a free header in Injury time but could only head it into the arms of Cech.

Kolarov – 6.5

He wasn’t surpassed easily in defense. Was more of a threat moving forward with his crossing that created a lot of problems for the Chelsea defense.

Milner – 6.5

Yet another lung-busting performance from the Englishman. Drifted in to support Barry and Toure as the City midfield kept changing shape as per the situation. But as is always the case with his stay at City, he was lacking in the final third.

Barry – 7

Good performance as the Anchor man as he tidied up well in front of the defense. His confidence in the role enabled Toure to push on forward more often.

Toure – 7

Used his strength and pace well to get past players when attacking and was always there to help out when needed in defending. Yet another solid display from the in-form Ivorian.

Silva – 6.5

Not his usual commanding performance as the Chelsea duo of Ramires and Mikel starved him of any space in the hole. Did put in a few good balls through to Dzeko but hardly made a telling impact today.

Dzeko – 5.5

Frustrating performance. Had none of the drive and precision of the last few matches where he was bought on as a super sub to single handedly turn around matches. Was replaced by Tevez on the 70 minute mark.

Aguero – 6.5

Dropped into the hole behind Dzeko but didn’t have a good game. Missed a sitter from 6 yards as he could only direct his header into the grateful arms of Cech. Replaced by Balotelli with hardly five minutes remaining.

Substitutes

Tevez – 6

Bought on for Dzeko but was hardly any more effective as he didn’t have any chances of worth. But he had a busy shift running around the Chelsea defense and pressing them well when out of possession.

Balotelli – 4.5

Typical performance. After being bought on for the final 5 minutes, all he had to show for his efforts was a yellow card for simulation that seemed debatable. But was not of much use to the City attack as he was stifled well by Luiz and Ivanovic.

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