Chelsea v Saints player ratings

Chelsea are second are coming from behind to beat a Southampton side that had won all of the six previous league matches this season in which they scored first. Here’s how we rated the Blues players in their 3-1 victory at Stamford Bridge.

Petr Cech: 6
The one shot on target was the goal after 13 seconds and he was left exposed for that. Kicked well and did what was required.

Branislav Ivanovic: 7
Always desperate to be involved. A real kid-in-a-sweetshop display. Sometimes plays like a frustrated centre-forward and, as well as helping set up the equaliser, he also did his job defensively.

John Terry : 8
Never totally in command against the impressive Jay Rodriguez in the opening 45 minutes, but gradually got on top of his man and was magnificent in a rampant Blues performance after that. Brilliant timing of his run for his headed goal and a perfect connection too. The ideal way to celebrate moving ahead of John Hollins and into fourth place on the club’s all-time appearances list.

Gary Cahill: 7
Another effective display. Caught out a couple of times in the first half but was imposing in the second period and scored the equaliser just when his team needed it.

Cesar Azpilicueta: 6
Not involved much in the final third but concentrated on his defensive job and made sure he was not caught out of position by Southampton’s considerable pace and trickery on the flanks.

Michael Essien: 5
A gargantuan error meant he was in negative equity after 13 seconds and he was also rightly booked for a ridiculous dive. But recovered from his error well enough, used the ball effectively for the most part and was decent before being replaced at the break.

Ramires: 7
His midfield pairing with Essien lacked true cohesion in the first half, but Ramires became increasingly influential after the break when his usual effervescent display and boundless energy wore down Southampton and helped Chelsea get on top. Great persistence for the third goal.

Juan Mata: 7
Looked to be lacking a tiny bit of sharpness in the first half. But is always going to be under severe pressure to deliver instantly, given his bit-part role. As the pressure eased – and with Chelsea in almost complete control – he started to show his old swagger and class.

Eden Hazard: 7
The normal pace and trickery was on display but his most impressive quality was the way he demanded the ball from the start. Never shirks a challenge and has certainly risen to the one set to Chelsea’s flair players by Jose Mourinho.

Oscar: 6
Busy and dangerous before being forced off before half-time. Had a decent strike on goal but should have scored with a close-range header.

Fernando Torres: 8

Magnificent after the break when he seemed to thrive on Demba Ba’s arrival as a second-half substitute. Unlucky not to score with a decent first-half header and his movement, direct running, nous and sheer nuisance factor was equally as crucial in the comeback as Ba’s more obvious contribution.

Frank Lampard: 6
He is beginning to divide opinion in the same way John Mikel Obi used to. It’s easy to criticise the veteran midfielder and he is undoubtedly not at his best when his attacking instincts are curbed by the team demands. But he does all the ugly things pretty well and fills gaps vacated by Ramires and the more creative players in front of him. It was no coincidence that Chelsea totally bossed the match from he moment he came on.

Demba Ba: 8
An awkward customer who can combine good touch and awareness with an eye for goal and a genuine physical presence. This was one of the times when he managed to deliver on all fronts, setting up one goal and scoring another. He is becoming Mourinho’s ‘go-to man’ in times of trouble.

Impressive after being gifted an early lead. They looked compact, tidy and have quality all over the pitch. They possess strength and presence in central areas in Jose Fonte, Victor Wanyama and Rodriguez, plus the guile of Adam Lallana and a great attacking outlet in the highly-rated Luke Shaw. But it would have been interesting to see how they would have fared had Chelsea not started so badly.

Man of the match: Terry



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