Chelsea 3-1 Norwich: Rating the Chelsea Players on Show

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Chelsea 3-1 Norwich: Rating the Chelsea Players on Show
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

It is often said that winning when not playing well is the mark of champions. That may or may not be true, but what is definitely true is that Chelsea were well below their best against newly-promoted Norwich City at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

The Blues got the job done in the end, but did it the hard way yet again.

Didier Drogba was stretched-off after a nasty collision with Canaries goalkeeper John Ruddy, while Juan Mata netted his first goal in his first appearance in a blue shirt.

Here's how I rated the Chelsea players on show. 

 

Henrique Hilario, 5

Made some important saves. However, he came rushing off his line to collect a hopeful cross, when Ivanovic was better placed to clear the danger. The two players collided and the ball fell to Holt, who volleyed home the equalizer. 

 

Jose Bosingwa, 8

Jose's cracker from outside the box put Chelsea into an early lead. He bombed forward whenever possible, causing Norwich plenty of problems. He was sound defensively. 

 

John Terry, 6

The talismanic skipper was unsettled by his opponent, Holt. Not his best game in blue, that's for sure. 

 

Branislav Ivanovic, 5.5

His mix-up with Hilario helped Norwich to level things up, and he wasn't his usual dominant self. Missed a sitter in injury time, after a pinpoint cross from Lampard. 

 

Ashley Cole, 6.5

Wasn't troubled much in defense. As usual, he streamed forward to help the attack and did so effectively. 

 

Jon Obi Mikel, 6

Typical display by the Nigerian. Kept things simple, made the easy passes and allowed the more attack-minded players to go forward and create.

 

Frank Lampard, 6.5

Had his moments, including a cooly-taken penalty kick and a peach of a cross for Ivanovic, which the Serbian somehow didn't finish. However, he's still not back to his best. 

 

Ramires, 7

Always full of running. He won the penalty that decisively put Chelsea back in the lead, latching on to a through ball and then being brought down by Ruddy. 

 

Florent Malouda, 6

Put in a decent performance, but wasn't much of a creative influence down the left flank. Was eventually brought off for new-boy Mata. 

 

Didier Drogba, 6

Drogba was a handful for the Norwich defense, but didn't have much to show for his efforts. He had to be stretched-off after being knocked unconscious by Ruddy.

 

Fernando Torres, 5

Another anonymous display by the Spaniard. Didn't link up well with Drogba. He needs to stop trying too hard, and start following his instincts.

 

Substitutes 

 

Nicolas Anelka, 7

Didn't see much of the ball, but was neat in possession. Brilliant pass to Ramires in the build-up to the penalty. Also found space down the middle to set up a Lukaku shot. 

 

Romelu Lukaku, 6

Showed power, speed and control in his game for Chelsea. Had a diving header fly just wide and his later shot at Ruddy was spilled, almost falling at Lampard's feet. Has a bright future ahead. 

 

Juan Mata, 7.5

Fantastic cameo from the debutant, and he capped his impressive performance with a goal, showing his alertness. He set up a headed chance for Torres.

 

There was a difference in the way Chelsea played after he came on.

All in all, Chelsea can be happy with 7 points from 3 games. However, to compete with the two sides from Manchester, they really need to up their game.

Meanwhile, Juan Mata looks the real deal for Chelsea. The Blues looked a better side with him on the pitch. He displayed the sort of creativity that Chelsea were missing all this time.

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