Petr Cech – 7.5
Although he did ship three, Petr Cech could not have been expected to save even one of the goals, but maybe he could have been a bit more vocal as captain in order to marshal his frankly rickety defence. While he pulled off some good stops, especially the save from Van Persie leading up to Hernandez’ goal, he was not as busy as his counterpart in the United goal.
Ashley Cole – 6
For the most part, Ashley Cole was his usually solid self. However, he was deeply at fault for letting Valencia through into the space behind him, which led to the second goal. At the point at which Chelsea as a whole began to show a bit more tenacity, Ashley Cole also upped his game, and provided a good, albeit unused, attacking outlet once Chelsea had gone down to 9 men.
David Luiz – 4.5
The point at which the ball cannoned in off Luiz was sadly the high point of his day. Lacking in both discipline and, uncommonly for him, work rate, he was probably one of Chelsea’s worst performers on the day. The only thing that saves him from a rock bottom rating is some of the good work he did on the ball and going forward, especially on the longer free kicks.
Gary Cahill – 6.5
Most probably the least leaky suspect in the back four, he had a fairly average day at the office. He worked well in the corners as an aerial threat, made some good tackles, and was positionally sound, he did nothing particularly noteworthy to merit a higher rating than this.
Branislav Ivanovic – 6
With the red card, one would expect this rating to drop like a stone, but that would disregard the seriously good work that Ivanovic did getting forward. He provided some much needed width for Chelsea, and was a main outlet to shift from defending to attacking. That said, the red card must be taken into account. Although it was only a tiny slip, it arguably cost Chelsea the game, and as a world-class right back, one would expect him to do better in the circumstances.
Ramires – 8
The wiry Brazilian was exemplary today in what finished as a dismal day for the Blues. He maintained an astonishingly high work rate up until the end, and was one of the main reasons that Chelsea were able to both peg back United and to only lose one more goal after that. He was constantly making darting runs in and around the United central midfield, climbed incredibly high to power home the equalizer, and put in a great shift defensively as well.
John Obi Mikel – 6.5
When Chelsea had 11, and maybe even 10, Mikel was a rock in midfield, constantly raising his game to match that of United’s quicksilver strikeforce. However this is mitigated by the fact that once Chelsea went down to 9, and Mikel was subsequently expected to contribute to the attacking side of things, he looked unsure of himself, and threw away several promising breaks with a careless through ball, or misplaced pass.
Eden Hazard – 7
Hazard was the consummate trequartista against the Red Devils, and was a big threat to United’s admittedly shaky back four. That said, when required to defend along with the rest of the team, he rivaled Luiz for lack of discipline, deigning only to press, not to engage in the tough nitty-gritty of defending. While this became even more pronounced in the short period that he was on the field once Chelsea had gone down to 9, he provided Chelsea’s sole attacking threat, and in my opinion should not have been taken off by Di Matteo.
Oscar – 7.5
His performance was similar to Hazard’s in that as he sparkled offensively, he was not so effective defensively. That being so, his pass to instigate the second goal was an excellent one lofted into the box, and his cross for Ramires to head home was accurate, quick, and gave him his first assist in the Premier League for Chelsea. He continually harassed United, and was a thorn in their sides from the first whistle to when he was taken off.
Juan Mata – 8
Another brilliant performance by the little Spaniard was a shining light on a stormy night for Chelsea, as he played incisive passes, made clever runs to draw away defenders, and pulled off a stunning free kick for Chelsea’s first goal. But, like his fellow midfield maestros, his defensive work left a little to be desired. He was caught guilty of ball watching on a number of occasions, and one or two of them proved very costly to Chelsea.
Fernando Torres – 6.5
The battle about his second yellow rages on, but, truth be told, he was lucky to escape a red for an extremely reckless high footed challenge on Tom Cleverly, for which he was only booked. He put in a good shift both in attack and defense, but failed to provide the spark that we have glimpsed from him in recent games. He did some good work in diverting attention and creating space for his teammates, but the fact remains that even if it is not his fault, he has to be held at least a little bit to account for his sending off.
Cesar Azpilicueta – 6
Something of a baptism of fire for the Spaniard on his league debut, he nevertheless was an enterprising full-back, providing width and options for the side once down to 10. However, once at 9 men, he looked a little bit caught up, and it became obvious that his teammates were covering for him a little bit at the back.
Daniel Sturridge – 5.5
He created some promising half-chances but did not really make the desired impact on the game, although the task with which he had been presented was admittedly a very tall task for the England striker.
Ryan Bertrand – N/A
Seeing as though all he was put in to do was to shore up the lines, it is unfair to judge him on such a cameo appearance with such little purpose.
By Nikhil Krishna