Corinthians 1-0 Chelsea: Rating Benitez' Players After Club World Cup Defeat
Rafael Benitez will be disappointed at how toothless his side was in front of goal, and once the Timão took the lead, there was a sense of inevitability in the result.
Chelsea huffed and puffed, but despite conjuring up guilt-edged chances—specifically the golden opportunity that fell to Fernando Torres—it never felt like the Blues were in charge of their own destiny and could outplay their Brazilian opponents.
Here, I break down the ratings for the Chelsea side. Let me know your thoughts and whether you agree or disagree in the comments section below.
Goalkeeper and Defence
Petr Cech: 6/10
Not tested at all and faultless for the goal.
Branislav Ivanovic: 5.5/10
Looks unsettled with changing between right-back and centre-back, but positionally did well to cover Emerson's shot in the first half.
Gary Cahill: 3.5/10
Wasted a glorious chance in front of goal and was sent off, uncharacteristically, in the last few minutes for violent conduct.
David Luiz: 6/10
Steps out of defence brilliantly and is a truly special player in this regard, but can often struggle to react to clever movement inside the penalty area and could have been guilty for a slow reaction to the goal.
Ashley Cole: 6/10
Unable to get forward much, as Emerson Sheik pushed him back often. Defensively sound, but would have aided Chelsea's cause with more ambition to get forward.
Frank Lampard: 6/10
Moved the ball well and was accurate with his short passing. He wanted to spray more dangerous balls, but Corinthians were disciplined in marking his options tightly, which frustrated Lampard at times into forcing the issue.
Wasteful on the ball, and although he won possession as often as ever, the Brazilian often overran the ball and left his team exposed to the counter.
Juan Mata: 6/10
Sporadically played some gorgeous passes, but was too often found hiding and rarely imposed himself in and around Ralf and Paulinho.
Eden Hazard: 5.5/10
Some nice touches in deep, non-threatening areas, but aside from this and a decent effort that forced Cassio into a fine save, Hazard was quiet.
Fernando Torres: 4/10
Guilty of missing a wonderful chance in the dying moment to equalise, then thought he had, only to be flagged offside. One to forget for the Spaniard, who looked isolated at the final whistle, seemingly taking responsibility for the defeat.
Victor Moses: 5.5/10
Lively on the right, beating Fabio Santos for fun, even bringing out another great save from Cassio. But Chelsea stopped moving the ball out wide and became sloppy in their passing, nullifying his impact, and the Nigerian became isolated before being substituted.
Picked the ball up in deep areas, often finding every Corinthians player behind the ball, making it very difficult for him to find a teammate. Decided to force it in the closing stages and almost gifted Corinthians a goal on the counter with a sloppy pass.
Marko Marin: n/a
Replaced Hazard toward the very end and barely got a touch.
Cesar Azpilicueta: 6/10
Adds a new dimension to the Blues' attack with his willingness to hug the touchline and combine inside or outside. Will surely assume the right-back role full-time moving forward.