Chelsea v WBA player ratings

All eyes were on Rafael Benitez, but his team produced a commanding performance to see off the Baggies. Here’s how we rated Chelsea’s players in their 1-0 victory against Steve Clarke’s West Brom.

Petr Cech: 7
Produced two fine tip-over saves and a brilliant reaction stop from team-mate Cesar Azpilicueta. Showed commendable concentration to make those stops as he was a spectator for most of the game.

Cesar Azpilicueta: 7
Nearly scored an unfortunate own goal, but another encouraging display from the busy Spaniard. Gave nothing away, tidy on the ball and always eager to support the attack.

David Luiz: 7
Defensively sound and no really worrying moments. Unlucky with a well-struck free-kick. Looked a little bored at times as if desperate to be more involved, but managed to play responsibly.

Branislav Ivanovic: 7
One of his best games in recent weeks. Looked imposing in what little he had to do and played as though his confidence has returned after a tricky spell.

Ashley Cole: 6
Played within himself. Everything he did was assured but he was barely involved defensively and hardly needed going forward as Chelsea’s midfield attacking trio caused plenty of havoc on their own.

Ramires: 7
Did all the ugly stuff beautifully. Won the ball, gave the ball and provided the platform without catching the eye as much as some of his colleagues.

Frank Lampard: 8
Another selfless display for the team. Once again identified what was needed and played accordingly. Moved the ball quickly and always made himself available. Had the ball in the net but provider Juan Mata was three yards offside so will have to wait for his 200th Chelsea goal.

Juan Mata: 9
Predictably brilliant. When given any sort of time and space he is unstoppable. West Brom did not know who to pick up from Chelsea’s midfield trio and Mata thrived. He was able to drift into space and occupy the room created by the tireless forward running from Oscar and Eden Hazard. Craft, guile, quality and workrate; a special footballer.

Oscar: 8
Always involved, always wanted the ball and prepared to win it back when he or someone else lost it. Got in some wonderful positions but the only blot on his display was that he missed two glorious chances and a couple of other decent opportunities.

Eden Hazard: 8
Dangerous and lively throughout. Brilliant pace and trickery with several eye-catching turns and spins that thrilled the crowd. Made the most of his freedom.

Demba Ba: 8
His presence was key to giving the attacking midfield trio confidence as they poured forward at every opportunity knowing the ball would stick up front. Plenty of running off the ball, took his goal well and his distribution was excellent. Provided a brilliant cross that Oscar should have converted.



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