Petr Cech – 6.5
The stand-in captain did a great job of motivating the younger players, and stepped smartly up to the big occasion. His job was made no easier by his defence gifting United two of their goals, but he stood firm between the sticks against all else. That said, he made no saves that one would not expect a world-class keeper to make, and I believe he could have done a little better in some of the one on one situations.
Ryan Bertrand – 7
A more than worthy replacement for Ashley Cole at left-back, Bertrand worked tirelessly from start to finish. He was constantly bombing down the left hand side far up the pitch to provide an attacking outlet, and was solid and stable in defence. He made a good case for more frequent starts, especially since the man he was deputising for is not getting any younger.
David Luiz – 6
In a performance slightly improved from that of his previous debacle against Manchester United, David Luiz’s ball work was again good, scoring a good penalty, and getting himself out of some tricky situations. However, his reckless bombing forward turned out to be very costly early on, as United took advantage of the hole he left behind him in order to net a goal that should have been avoided.
Gary Cahill – 6.5
Another dependable, disciplined, but markedly unspectacular performance from the England man. He scored a towering header to bring the score to two all, and was not afraid to venture forward, albeit in a more disciplined fashion than his Brazilian colleague. He snuffed out many a promising attack from the Red Devils, who were still a force to be reckoned with going forward, with Chicharito, Welbeck and Giggs plugging away at him.
Cesar Azpilicueta – 7
The Spaniard pulled out a great performance against a marauding Welbeck, using both his superior strength and pace to limit the Englishman’s effectiveness. He worked hard in attack, but spurned two God-given chances in succession in the second half, which could and should have put Chelsea level, skying both a volley then a header at point blank range.
John Obi Mikel – 6
While, as always, defensively sound, the Nigerian, one of the more senior players on the pitch that night, was deservedly booked for a trip on Welbeck in the first half, and subsequently taken off for fear of a second yellow card. He was once again impotent in attack and his passing was sadly limited to hopeful long balls and punting the ball back to Cech when under pressure.
Oriol Romeu – 5
The young Spanish midfielder never really looked comfortable, and looked a little relieved to be subbed off for Oscar in the second half. He was deeply at fault for the first goal, failing to orient himself properly enough to halt the onrushing Anderson from nicking the ball. He was cautioned soon after for a frankly hopeful lunge at Welbeck, and cut a forlorn figure trudging off the field.
Lucas Piazon – 6
While playing slightly out of position on the left hand side, he seemed a little overcome by the occasion and did not really contribute to the attacking side of things. That said, he did not shirk defensive responsibility, and helped Bertrand out a great deal down his flank. He did provide an energetic outlet though, and made a few promising runs across the front of the box.
Juan Mata – 7.5
He looked a little lethargic, did the little Spaniard, but nevertheless played some good, incisive passes, and formed the fulcrum of Chelsea’s attack. He helped out some of the younger ones to no end, but tired significantly towards the end of extra time. Nevertheless, Juan Mata’s good form looks set to continue.
Victor Moses – 8.5
The big, burly Nigerian terrorised Alexander Buttner all day long down the right flank, and his good work drew fruition when he was fouled inside the box by the United left back. His hunger and energy never diminished throughout the match, and he partnered well with Sturridge to run rings around the opposing defence. His movement was fantastic, and the pass he played early on to put through Sturridge was one that only a few people in the world can do on command.
Daniel Sturridge – 6
The England striker had a very hit and miss afternoon, his eagerness to impress and gain more starts as the central striker making his touches clumsy and his shots skewed. He spurned several chances that had been given to him on a plate, the most hilarious of which being the delightful ball played in by Victor Moses getting caught under his feet and parking him promptly upon the floor. Nevertheless, his poacher’s instincts led him to eagerly capitalise upon Wooton’s error in extra time.
Ramires – 7.5
Chipping in with an assist and a goal, he made an effective partnership with both Romeu and Oscar. He looked lively all day long, and his seemingly endless stamina allowed him to exploit what became an extremely fatigued United defence at the death.
Oscar – 8.5
Ramires’ fellow countryman did not disappoint after coming on, and his every touch radiated class and purpose. He showed a new side to himself as a holding midfielder, and put in a surprisingly good shift defensively.
Eden Hazard – 8
Like Oscar, his talent showed through in contrast to a tiring and inexperienced United back line. He scored a brilliant penalty in added time, and put through Ramires with a brilliant run through the middle of the opposition defence.
By Nikhil Krishna