Rating the Chelsea Players Against Reading
Looking at this tie, you would have expected a comfortable Chelsea win, but no, Chelsea let down the fans and themselves again by squandering a two-goal lead.
I was almost unable to write this article because as the second Reading goal went in, I nearly threw my laptop clean out of my window.
Had I been asked to rate the Chelsea players as soon as the full-time whistle went, I would probably given everyone a one or a two if I was being generous.
But as the red mist settles from my mind, I will attempt to rate the players throughout the whole 90 minutes.
Were there any standout performances for the Blues in a generally mediocre performance?
Ross Turnbull - 5
Overall, Ross Turnbull will not have convinced any of his doubters that he is up to the standard of Petr Cech or any top-flight keeper for that matter.
His distribution was okay during the game, but he flapped at crosses, one of which could have been dangerous had Mark Halsey not blown his whistle.
He can't be blamed too much for the Reading goals but no keeper likes to be beaten at their near post, as he was for Reading's first goal.
There isn't really much else to say about his performance, as he was a spectator for the majority of the game.
Cesar Azpilicueta - 5.5
Cesar Azpilicueta is usually quite an impressive force going forward, but his ball control was poor on more than one occasion Wednesday. His link-up play with Mata and Oscar didn't quite come off and became nullified as an attacking threat for most of the game.
Defensively, he did slightly better dealing with the threats on Reading's left wing fairly easily.
Branislav Ivanovic - 6
During the first half, Branislav Ivanovic was a little shaky and lost possession a few times during his battles with Pogrebnyak. The Reading striker can be a handful when he uses his size and power, but Ivanovic did a good job keeping him quiet and keeping his attempts at goal at zero.
Gary Cahill - 6
His evening was very similar to Ivanovic's in terms of performance. He had some shaky moments, but overall, he dealt with the Reading forward threat relatively easily for 85 minutes.
Ashley Cole - 6
So often over his Chelsea career, Ashley Cole has been the standout performer for the Blues even in poor team showings. But unfortunately, Wednesday he was just as average as everyone else.
He let Reading attackers in behind him on a few occasions, but on the plus side, he made some brilliant interceptions. His finishing Wednesday night is not worth mentioning, but it was very poor.
Ramires - 6.5
I always find it hard to criticise a Ramires performance due to the effort he puts in during every single game. Wednesday was no different; he ran his heart out and got stuck in where he could. He did lose possession on a couple of occasions, though, and got a booking for a silly foul late on.
Frank Lampard - 6.5
Frank Lampard was one of the better players in a Chelsea shirt this afternoon, again proving that his impact on the side is still an important one.
He played the ball around well in the midfield an nearly a set up a goal for Gary Cahill in the second half. Lampard got on the score sheet once again with a powerful header which would usually have wrapped up the points for Chelsea.
Oscar - 6.5
The young Brazilian had a mixed evening, playing the ball round nicely in some instances, but left a lot to be desired in front of goal. The all-rounder has made a decent start to his Chelsea career, but if there is one criticism of him, it would be his lack of goals. This problem was evident against Reading with him missing two glorious chances to extend Chelsea's lead.
Ryan Bertrand - 6
Much like Oscar, Ryan Bertrand had a nightmare in front of goal on Wednesday, with his two efforts on goal going nearer to the corner flag. He wasn't in the game as much as he would have liked to be going forward but did find some space and time to play the ball when he drifted across the midfield.
Juan Mata - 7
He didn't have the best start to the game and didn't look like his usual composed self, giving the ball away on a number of occasions. As he settled down, he began to pull the strings, and from then on, nearly all of Chelsea's meaningful attacking play went through him.
After a beautiful assist from Torres, Juan Mata took his goal very well.
Fernando Torres - 7.5
Wednesday was a difficult one for Fernando Torres, with his opportunities in front of goal extremely limited.
But his general play was some of the best I've seen of him in a Chelsea shirt. He was formidable in the air, winning the majority of his aerial duels and linked up wonderfully with the three attacking midfielders in behind him. His flicked pass for Mata's goal was a thing of beauty and will hopefully get some of his confidence back.