MARKS OUT OF TEN – MANCHESTER CITY

By Russell Baldry
Oct 29th, 2007

Kicking off a new feature for CFCnet, Russell Baldry will be giving you his run down on the performance of each player in the previous game. A 6-0 victory over City was Saturday’s game, and is the perfect match to start off with!

Petr Cech – 8
Another solid performance from the world’s best goalkeeper. Reliable as ever when called upon, did everything he had to do extremely efficiently, and was fantastically alert after long periods of having nothing to do, keeping out a surprise Stephen Ireland header from close range against the run of play, as well as a blistering free kick from Martin Petrov early on in the first half. A faultless performance and with two great saves which had they went in, could have changed the whole complexion of the match.

Juliano Belletti – 6
An average performance from the Brazilian full back, the ex-Barcelona defender made a few good interceptions and got up and down the flanks well at times. A 6 could seem unfair as Belletti made no mistakes and did everything that was asked of him, however due to the uncharacteristically low standard of the Manchester City attack, and the fact that Belletti had little to do, It’s hard to look past a 6/10.

Alex – 7
Standing in for the injured John Terry, I’m sure it’s safe to say that this man is a more than capable understudy to our captain fantastic. Whilst the Brazilian had little to do in the way of defending this afternoon, he still did enough to make his presence felt by the Manchester City players. With his overwhelming height, he managed to unnerve the city defence in the opposite box by winning the ball superbly on a number of corners ahead of Micah Richards and Richard Dunne, a center back partnership itself with great aerial capabilities.

Carvalho – 6
An easy shift for Carvalho this afternoon in all fairness, out of the game for long periods due to the flamboyance of the Chelsea attack, and a pretty lacklustre performance from the City strike-force. All this aside, the Portuguese center-back was solid when called upon, passing the ball around superbly and on occasion making the pass to turn attack into defence.

Ferreira – 7
Preferred recently to the new right back Belletti, Ferreira today once again proved this to be a good decision made by Avram Grant. Playing out of position and on his weaker side, Ferreira worked his socks off down the left hand side, stopping numerous city attacks before they developed, making vital interceptions and delivering world-class crosses that caught even our own attack by surprise. Even on the slight occasion in which he misplaced a pass, Paulo showed a hunger to regain possession. If he continues to play as well, Belletti will have a big problem.

Mikel – 7
A consistent performance from the holding midfielder, making those simple but intelligent passes, and for the most part of the game, Mikel patrolled the area just ahead of the defence efficiently. Mikel also played a small but vital part in the build up to the 1st goal, with a smart pass infield to Frank Lampard. For this, as well as effectively breaking down a couple of potential City attacks, Mikel gets a 7/10 for his part in this afternoons rout.

Lampard – 9 (MOTM)
“Will the real Frank Lampard please stand up?” is something a lot of Chelsea fans have been asking recently, well he did against City. My personal choice for man of the match, as the chants would suggest he isn’t slim, and he certainly wasn’t shady against City today, with two world class assists, a master class exhibition in short and long range passing, and two brilliant efforts on goal, only thwarted by two class saves from Joe Hart. Every time this man got the ball you felt like something was going to happen, and generally it did. A slightly undeserved yellow card is the only negative suggestion one could possibly make to Super Frank’s performance this afternoon.

Essien – 8
A real powerhouse in midfield, and a class performance from the maestro which saw him cap a magnificent Chelsea move early on with a quality finish, as well as being the catalyst for a number of Chelsea attacks, most of which ended up in the back of the net. Essien also showed his versatility against City today, on a rare occasion when John Obi Mikel neglected his role in front of the defence, Essien showed great anticipation and awareness to get back and break things down. A quality and consistent performance from the man they call “The Train”.

Joe Cole – 7
Growing each week with a consistent run in the side, it looks as if we are starting to see the best of Joey Cole again. Made those trademark turns inside the field and runs against the defence brilliantly, and took his goal very well indeed. If he continues to improve his performances he could well become one of the “untouchables” again. A fine performance, not yet back to his best, but taking massive strides towards it.

Drogba – 9
If he wanted to apologise to the fans about his off-colour comments recently, he is certainly going about it in the correct manner. An outstanding performance yet again from the Ivorian, who really isn’t playing like somebody who wants to leave the club. Took his two goals superbly, especially the second, where he showed real determination, hunger and power to get to the ball before anybody else and bang one home. Great movement and attacking link up play.

Kalou – 7
Compared to some of his performances in recent weeks, Kalou showed us more of what he is about this afternoon. A Better performance, showing great vision and understanding to get in the positions he did and also taking his goal with a very calm and composed finish, almost reminiscent of Thierry Henry. There was a chance mid way through the second half that he squandered, shooting over when unchallenged from 18 yards. Not quite hitting the money yet, but definitely improving.

Substitutes:

Shevchenko – 7
Coming on as a substitute after much of the Chelsea onslaught had died down, he looked a lot sharper against Man City it has to be said. Andriy Shevchenko seemingly had little chance to make his mark, however he did after making a sharp run and latching onto the end of a Essien pass, and finishing in the manner of Shevchenko of old.

Pizzaro – 5
Wasn’t on the pitch for long, and only had three of four touches.

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