Villa v Chelsea player ratings

Frank Lampard broke Chelsea’s all-time scoring record and effectively clinched their Champions League place as they came from behind to win at Villa Park. Here’s how we rated the Blues players in their 2-1 victory.

Petr Cech: 5
A couple of decent saves but too easily beaten at his near post by Christian Benteke for Villa’s goal. Has been in superb form this season but would have expected to have done better.

Cesar Azpilicueta: 8
Another excellent display from the Spaniard. Was heavily involved for the opening goal, always available and effective in attack and decent in defence. Is playing with such confidence and is a vital part of the side now.

John Terry: 7
An assured display from a player who remains as inspirational as ever when he gets the nod to play. Took a necessary first-half gamble with a cynical foul on Yacouba Sylla and cleverly made sure Benteke’s high kick was noticed. Brought organisation, experience and confidence to the back line before the unfortunate ankle injury which could well end his season.

Gary Cahill: 6
Was too easily beaten by Benteke for the goal but otherwise typically steady. Made a couple of timely blocks and was commanding in the air.

Ashley Cole: 7
Provided good support in attack, and even though his diminishing pace means he can no longer overlap in the same way as years gone by, his positional play, calmness and use of the ball is better than it’s ever been.

Ramires: 5
Impossible not to be critical of him after his potentially game-changing and needless red card. Was bailed out by Lampard and was very lucky his colleague came to his rescue. His first yellow card for a scything tackle was the challenge of a frustrated man and stupid. He was deservedly booked and although his second caution for a high leap on Gaby Agbonlahor was slightly unfortunate because he did not touch him, the Brazilian should never have put himself at risk of seeing red. He has been brilliant this season but that was a real low point.

Frank Lampard: 9
Was arguably Chelsea’s most important player even without the goals, but grew in stature after the opener and fully exploited the greater freedom he gained after Benteke’s dismissal. Hit the post with a first-half free-kick, crashed Chelsea level and then dictated play in the closing stages before popping up with the late winner after beginning the move. Chelsea’s top goalscorer and possibly greatest ever player.

Victor Moses: 6
Rarely involved before his early withdrawal, but plenty of willing running. Unlucky to be substituted before he had a proper chance. However, Eden Hazard’s injury may mean he has the chance to make his mark in Amsterdam on Wednesday.

Juan Mata: 8
It’s easy to ignore his workrate while watching Chelsea’s key man effortlessly glide around the pitch, but his endeavour is an example to all. Set up both goals with some exquisite play and his range of passing and ability to find and create space – particularly when the match opened up – was key to the win.

Eden Hazard: 8
Like Mata, involved in both goals and was a threat throughout. Has had an incredible season and it will be tragic if he does not recover from his hamstring injury in time for Wednesday. Worryingly it looks as though he will struggle to make it.

Demba Ba: 6
Pretty quiet and did not look particularly sharp. Did ‘score’ when his stretch poked the ball just over the line, but impossible to be certain it had crossed. Always a handful but looks like he needs a run of games to be at his most effective.

David Luiz: 8
A vital 45 minutes from the Brazilian enabled Chelsea to get back in the game. Brought some measure of stability when the team were a man down and quickly adapted to drive the Blues forward, while freeing up Lampard when the numbers were evened up.



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