Petr Cech – 7
A rock between the posts tonight, Petr Cech had some serious action against a strong Shakhtar side. In the gradually more familiar captain’s role, he marshalled as well as he could an at times shaky defence, and pulled off some smart saves. Although saved by the woodwork once or twice, a good night for the Czech.
Ryan Bertrand – 7
A good, strong performance from Ashley Cole’s stand-in. Aside from his unfortunate slip to let Fernandinho through, from which he dragged the ball back for Willian to slip home the equaliser, he was not overawed by the task facing him. He got forward well to assist Eden Hazard, and did not expose his relative inexperience in Europe. That said, debuting against Bayern Munich in the Champion’s league final does sort of trump this particular match. However, against Shakhtar’s fluid passing system his opposite number Srna was allowed far too much space in behind the Chelsea line. A good showing though from the England left back.
Gary Cahill – 7.5
The England international had a very good game. Not only was he solid and uncompromising at the back, he looked good going forward, and played some good passes out from the back to get the ball rolling for the Blues. His ever-improving aerial strength seriously scared the Shakhtar defence; at times attracting three or four markers in the box, but sadly the ball was never really crossed over to him, and so that threat largely went unnoticed. Strong game though, for the Englishman.
David Luiz – 6
A typical Luiz performance. Brilliant on the ball, a good free kick or two and some frankly awful defending. It seemed at times that he simply decided not to run. His usual haphazard forays forward rarely yielded fruit, and often left his fellows exposed at the back. He made a meal of several easy balls, too many times trying to dribble the ball out of danger instead of clearing, passing, or even letting the ball go back to his keeper, as he should have done in one such instance.
Branislav Ivanovic – 7.5
An excellent showing from the Serb, he played a major role in Chelsea’s second goal, his bombing run down the centre pressuring Andriy Pyatov into heading his clearance straight at Oscar. This kind of movement was an example of Ivanovic’s attacking philosophy at the Bridge. He constantly provided an overlap for the three attacking midfielders, and his early crosses were a big threat to Shakhtar.
John Obi Mikel – 6.5
It was no easy task for the Nigerian against the skilled Brazilian offense against him, but he held his own remarkably well. This rating would have gone through the roof had he not fluffed several of his attacking opportunities throughout the game, even being called offside for what would have been his first for five years. Although his defensive work was good, his woeful crosses and helpless shots sadly downgrade his assessment.
Ramires – 8
The lung-busting Brazilian was a pivotal part of the Chelsea attack, brilliantly aiding the transition from defence to attack that was so important to Chelsea. His brilliant stamina really showed in the final few minutes of the match, his ability to tackle brightly against the fatigued Shakhtar offence crippling the Ukrainian side in the endgame of the match. Despite his relatively short stature, he won a good number of aerial duels and he was not pulled out of position by Willian and co.
Eden Hazard – 9
The Belgian deserves my man of the match rating. Even in the dark periods of the team performance, he always looked as if he had a spark for Chelsea. His quality really showed through during the whole ninety minutes, as his pace really terrified the Shakhtar defence. Not only were his dribbling talents overtly showcased, his passing was also exemplary as he played Ramires into the box, leading to a denied penalty claim.
Oscar – 8.5
He was not in the game all of the time, but when he was, the results were marvellous to behold. He often tracked back to receive the ball from the back four in order to more quickly start the attack, but these seem insignificant compared to his stunning goal. Maybe 40 or 50 yards out, the technique, confidence, and vision required for a strike like that were phenomenal, but the number eleven made it look easy as the ball sailed into the net.
Juan Mata – 7.5
Perhaps the least impressive of the stellar attacking three midfielders, but still a great performance. Although he looked a little weak on the ball at times, the Spaniard nevertheless impressed with his set piece delivery, allowing both Mikel and Moses to head the ball home, although only one of these was rewarded. A less than brilliant performance is always expected on return from injury, but October’s player of the month was by no means a passenger at the Bridge.
Fernando Torres – 7
Some glorious opportunism led to his first Champions league goal this season. Although it looked plain lucky, replays show that Torres moves his leg into the path of the ball and manages to catch it on the end of the boot. He refused to become isolated, and often migrated out to the right wing in order to receive the ball. He kept the pressure up on Pyatov, aiming to capitalise on the keepers low confidence, and put in a solid game for di Matteo.
Victor Moses – 8
Becoming something of a super sub for Chelsea, the Nigerian’s brief cameo proved all important to Chelsea’s hopes of qualification, his bullet header giving Chelsea the all-important three points.