Chelsea vs. Stoke: Complete Player Ratings for the Blues

Dan RenfroCorrespondent IIISeptember 22, 2012

Chelsea vs. Stoke: Complete Player Ratings for the Blues

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    After 85 minutes of deadlock, Chelsea finally broke through and defeated Stoke City 1-0.

    It was a relatively dull match, but Chelsea played pretty well. Even though the Blues controlled possession, Stoke had the more threatening chances. With that said, Chelsea didn't push the issue too much (almost to their disadvantage), and their patience was rewarded with a late goal courtesy of Ashley Cole.

    It was enough to earn the Blues three points to keep them alone at the top of the table.

GK: Petr Cech, 7.5

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    It was a pretty quiet day for Petr Cech.

    He was only called upon to save three shots, and he was helped out by the crossbar on another occasion. Stoke City only threatened a few other times, which was very beneficial for the Blues.

    Cech recorded another clean sheet, which was the fourth in five Premier League matches this year.

RB: Branislav Ivanovic, 7.0

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    With Stoke City not pressing forward too much, Branislav Ivanovic took the liberty of pushing up the right side.

    He helped the attack well, and he provided Chelsea with some width on numerous occasions. Other than his little scuffle at the end of the match, it wasn't a noteworthy night from Ivanovic; sometimes, though, that's better for a defender.

CB: Gary Cahill, 7.0

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    Sometimes Gary Cahill just looks lost.

    Although he played a decent match, he just didn't look confident in a Chelsea shirt.

    At Bolton, he did everything: make strong tackles, win aerial battles and start the attack from the back. At Chelsea, though, Cahill simply doesn't look that confident.

    At 26 years old, he needs to recover that confidence, or he might just be a lost cause.

CB: David Luiz, 7.0

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    David Luiz had a typical David Luiz day.

    He was up in the attack, sending shots wide and high. He was scrambling in the back, tackling to save himself. And he managed to look good, bad and decent all in the course of 90 minutes.

    Luiz is an incredible player to watch, for better or for worse. Today, it was more for the better.

LB: Ashley Cole, 8.5

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    When you score the lone goal, you're likely to win the match ball.

    When you do it from the defense, you've definitely earned the match ball.

    Ashley Cole plays left-back as well as anyone in the world, and he proved it again on Saturday. After a nifty back heel from Juan Mata, Cole coolly finished in front of the net, earning Chelsea three tough points at Stamford Bridge.

CDM: John Obi Mikel, 6.0

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    After a long week, Mikel didn't look very sharp.

    Sure, he was guilty of setting up the equalizer against Juventus, but he (and no one, for that matter) did not deserve to be racially abused on Twitter. It's disgusting that people would do that, because nothing, let alone football, should bring that hate from one human to another.

    With that said, Mikel was subpar on Saturday, and he was taken off after 81 minutes.

CDM: Ramires, 7.0

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    To me, Ramires will always play better on the outside.

    However, given the skill Chelsea now have on the wings, there's no reason the Brazilian will play out there again. He moved into a central holding role against Stoke, and he played relatively well.

    He could've played a little quicker, as he was guilty of taking too many touches on multiple occasions. Still, Ramires played well and helped Chelsea get all three points.

RAM: Juan Mata, 8.0

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    Juan Mata was at it again.

    Last year, he was the only creative player on Chelsea's roster. This year, he's looked tired and slow. But that changed against Stoke City.

    Mata was moving around the pitch well. He didn't look very comfortable with the other attacking midfielders, but he certainly looked good playing direct football. Mata found Torres on a beautiful sand-wedge pass, and his heel kick set up the winner.

    It was a good day for Mata, and it was nice to see him looking dangerous again.

CAM: Oscar, 7.0

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    After a sensational Champions League debut, Oscar wasn't quite as effective against Stoke City.

    He couldn't seem to get in a rhythm with his midfield partners, and the attack looked disjointed all day. Oscar did threaten the goalkeeper on multiple occasions, though, demonstrating how effective he can be doing it alone.

    He was unfairly yellow-carded early in the second half, and he looked like a different player afterward. It was nice to see how well he can play when he's offended, but I would've rather seen that play from the opening whistle.

LAM: Eden Hazard, 6.0

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    In the last two slides, I alluded to Chelsea's attack looking disjointed, and this is the reason why.

    For the first time in a Chelsea shirt, Eden Hazard turned in a pretty poor performance. He simply looked lost going forward. It was odd to watch a player of his caliber take himself out of the game.

    Granted, it was the first time he ever played Stoke City, which is pretty tough for someone who's a mere 5'7".

    It's nothing to be alarmed about, but Hazard simply wasn't very good on Saturday.

ST: Fernando Torres, 6.5

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    Fernando Torres looked uncomfortable yet again against Stoke City.

    The Spaniard seemed a step slow, and Stoke were all over him for the entire match. Torres would take too many touches, send a pass awry or dribble into a defender over and over.

    It was a frustrating day for Torres, highlighted by his miss after a wonderful Mata pass. He did enough to get in the right place, but he couldn't finish. At this point, that's practically Torres' motto.

Substitutes

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    Victor Moses, 7.5: Moses came in and changed the game for Chelsea. He brought new life and pace, which was exactly what the Blues needed.

    If Moses can offer Chelsea 30 strong minutes in every appearance, he will be a spectacular asset. 

    Frank Lampard, 6.5: Super Frank didn't change the game much once he came in. I would've rather seen him a bit earlier because John Obi Mikel was so ineffective. Given the amount of time Lamps was in, it's understandable that he didn't offer much.

    John Terry, N/A: Terry came in to assure the victory, but he didn't do much in only five minutes.