Chelsea v Man United player & manager ratings and verdict

Date published: Sunday 7th February 2016 6:55

Willian: Tracked by Cameron Borthwick-Jackson

Willian: Tracked by Cameron Borthwick-Jackson

We rate the Chelsea and Manchester United players’ performances, discuss the coaches’ selections and give our big-match verdict following Sunday’s 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea player ratings

Diego Costa: On the mark against Man United

Thibaut Courtois: Made a top-class save to deny Martial early on and another from Rooney and Lingard in the second half, but was powerless to keep out Lingard’s goal. 7

Branislav Ivanovic: Looking back to his best under Hiddink and managed to keep a lively Martial relatively quiet. Unlucky not to score with a rasping volley. 6.5

John Terry: Showed his willingness to get forward and can consider himself slightly unfortunate not to win a penalty when his shot was blocked by the arm of Daley Blind on the stroke of half-time. Did his defensive work as reliably as ever; surely Chelsea will be making a mammoth mistake by letting him leave in the summer?! 7

Kurt Zouma: Relatively untroubled and looked to have Rooney under control until a painful knee injury ended his match early. (Subbed on 59) 6.5

Cesar Azpilicueta: Stuck to his task well but rarely managed to get forward. 6

Nemanja Matic: After a subdued start, he grew into the match and got himself forward more than we’d come to expect under Jose Mourinho. Appeared to tire though after the break as Mata and Fellaini began to take control of the middle of the park. (Subbed on 67). 6

John Obi Mikel: Now a regular starter under Hiddink and was handed the task of keeping a close eye on former Bridge hero Mata. Did OK, and was his usual steady but unspectacular self. 6

Oscar: Forced on the backfoot in the early stages and drifted in and out of the game thereafter. Blazed over when well placed on 32 minutes. (Subbed on 53). 5

Cesc Fabregas: Looking back to his old form under Hiddink and kept the United defence on their toes. Set up Costa for the equaliser and can be happy with his afternoon’s work. 7.5

Willian: Bright when in possession and sold Borthwick-Jackson a brilliant dummy to leave the young full-back on his backside. Created a number of good chances and fully worth his place in the side. 6.5

Diego Costa: Worked hard throughout and held up the play really well throughout. Spurned a good opening in the first half when he dragged a shot wide, but made amends with a well-taken equaliser – his sixth goal in his last seven Premier League games. 7


Eden Hazard (on for Oscar, 53): Did OK, but remains a shadow of the player who was crowned the Premier League’s best last season. 5.5

Gary Cahill (on for Zouma, 59): Worked hard, but showed his rustiness and might have got tighter to Lingard for United’s opener. 5.5

Pedro (on for Matic, 67): The fifth choice in Chelsea’s attacking trio behind frontman Costa, and it showed. 5

Coach: Guus Hiddink opted for the usual 4-2-3-1 formation and certainly has Chelsea playing with more freedom than under his predecessor Jose Mourinho. Oscar, Matic and Costa continue to defy their early-season struggles, but the lack of effectiveness from reigning Player of the Year Eden Hazard will continue to be a concern.

Verdict: Overall, he can take huge satisfaction for the never-say-die spirit from his side and he’s clearly enjoying his spell back in the limelight at Stamford Bridge.

Eleven games unbeaten tells its own story and shows what a good man-manager he is. The knee injury sustained by Zouma, however, will be a concern.

Manchester United ratings

Daley Blind: Watched by John Obi Mikel

David De Gea: Safe hands throughout and made a quite-brilliant save to keep out a rasping Ivanovic volley and a fierce Fabregas drive. Could do nothing about Costa’s equaliser after Borthwick-Jackson inadvertently took the keeper out of the equation. 7.5

Matteo Darmian: Looked solid throughout and made several key interceptions, as well as getting forward to good effect. Looking like the player who first arrived at Old Trafford at the start of the season and can be pleased with his display. 7

Chris Smalling: Given a tough afternoon by Costa but largely handled the bruising Blues No 9 well. 7

Daley Blind: Possibly fortunate not to concede a penalty on the stroke of half-time but had a solid game in the heart of defence and continues to make centre-half look like his best position for United. 6.5

Cameron Borthwick-Jackson: Given a thorough examination by Willian but stuck to his task manfully and did not look out of place in the United defence, despite inadvertently poking the ball past De Gea to allow Costa to tap home the equaliser. 6.5

Marouane Fellaini: As with Mikel for Chelsea, given the task of protecting the defence, though turned over possession a little bit better than his opposite number. (Subbed on 80). 6.5

Michael Carrick: His composed presence from central midfield makes such a difference for United, who improve significantly when he is fit because of his influence on his team-mates. 7

Jesse Lingard: Struggled to make an impact early on, but really came into the game in the second half with a brilliant goal and two other decent efforts. (Subbed on 86). 8 – MOTM

Juan Mata: His quality is obvious from his touches but – perhaps due to manager Louis van Gaal’s system – did not quite exert his influence in the way he used to at Stamford Bridge. Voted Sky’s man of the match, but not ours! (Subbed on 90+6). 7

Anthony Martial: Tested Courtois early on and although drifted in and out of the game, looked United’s most dangerous player for the first hour. Still looks like he’s pose a far bigger threat through the middle, but for now, you can understand why he’s given the role on the left. 7

Wayne Rooney: Worked hard but looked isolated in the lone striker role and did not ever look close to adding to his recent flurry of goals. 6


Morgan Schneiderlin (on for Fellaini, 80): Did OK in the limited time he had on the pitch, but still has much to prove that he should start ahead of Fellaini. 6

Memphis Depay (on for Lingard, 86): Wasteful in possession and appears to lack big-match intelligence. 5

Ander Herrera (on for Mata, 90+6): Got his appearance bonus at least. 5

Coach: Louis van Gaal opted for the much-maligned Marouane Fellaini ahead of Morgan Schneiderlin, while again put his trust in youth down the left with Borthwick-Jackson and Martial. Was clearly irked by United’s failure not to claim the victory, but will his decision to start with Lingard was justified.

Verdict: Another improved display from United, but the frustration was written all over the manager’s face at full-time after their failure to hang on for all three points

He can, however, take satisfaction from a well-organised United display, and while pressure would have eased further had they hung on for the win, the Dutchman probably needs to be judged at the end of the season. Amid all the rumours of Jose Mourinho, the decision to replace him will surely be made for him should United finish outside the top four.


By James Marshment


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