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Chelsea 1-0 Stoke: Player Ratings

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Chelsea maintained their 100% home record in the Premier League thanks to a very late from an unlikely source as Ashley Cole netted the 85th minute winner to defeat Stoke City 1-0 at Stamford Bridge. Cole’s 7th goal in the blue of Chelsea handed them an undeserved victory as Roberto Di Mattero’s side were lacklustre against a hard-working Stoke side, who created the better openings in the game. Had Jon Walters and Michael Kightly managed to put away their gilt-edged chances in the 1st half, Tony Pulis might have been celebrating his 1st win of the season, but instead the Potters remain winless and drop to 13th spot while Chelsea continue atop the standings.  (Full Match Report)

Chelsea:

Petr Cech: 7/10

The veteran keep was kept busy in the 1st half, making a fine save to deny Kightly, while also having deal with regular crosses.

Branislav Ivanovic: 6/10

Defensively the Serbian was solid, first keeping Kightly at bay before marking Etherington. He also made surging runs forward, but was guilty of diving in the penalty box on more than one occasion.

David Luiz: 6/10

The Brazilian didn’t commit too many mistakes, although he didn’t endear himself to Tony Pulis after his shocking two-footed tackle on Walters.

Gary Cahill: 7/10

The former Bolton defender did a good job against the counter-attacking Stoke forwards and made a vital clearance to prevent Crouch from crashing in the opener in the 1st half.

Ashley Cole: 7/10

Cole had a quiet day until his goal, when he broke free of the shackles to ghost into the box.

Ramires: 6/10

The Brazilian was deployed in a much deeper position than normal, but still acquitted himself well by breaking up Stoke’s play.

Jon Obi Mikel: 5/10

Mikel hasn’t enjoyed the best of times on the pitch or with the Chelsea fans and he did little to change things with a inept performance.

Juan Mata: 7/10

Chelsea’s most effective attacker by some distance, Mata featured heavily in almost every Chelsea attack and even fed Cole for the goal with a delightful flick.

Oscar: 6/10

The young Brazilian is the star of the show at the moment in Chelsea and he showed further glimpses of his talents by constantly peppering the Stoke goal with shots.

Eden Hazard: 5/10

An off-day for the Belgian star as he couldn’t find his groove either on the left or right wing.

Fernando Torres: 4/10

The Spaniard’s troubles continue as he was again haunted by poor touches, a fact highlighted by his embarrassing miskick when put clean through on goal.

Substitutes:

Victor Moses: 5/10

Moses came on for Hazard around the hour mark, but apart from a few direct runs he didn’t influence the game a great deal.

Frank Lampard: 4/10

Lampard wasn’t called upon until the 80th minute, but he soon got into the act by being involved in the build-up to the goal.

John Terry: N/A

The Chelsea captain came on with only a couple of minutes remaining.

Stoke City:

Asmir Begovic: 6/10

He didn’t have too many saves to make, but controlled the penalty area with authority and couldn’t do much about the goal.

Geoff Cameron: 6/10

The American wasn’t subjected to constant bombardments, but he still played a part in a Stoke defence that kept a tight ship for most of the game.

Ryan Shawcross: 7/10

Shawcross was immense at the back, making numerous vital interceptions while also ensuring Chelsea stayed narrow.

Robert Huth: 7/10

The ex-Chelsea man had Torres in his pocket for most of the game and had a solid outing on the whole.

Marc Wilson: 6/10

The left-back wasn’t stretched to a great extent and even had a couple of pops at goal in the 1st half.

Jon Walters: 8/10

Walters had the best chance of the game until Cole’s goal, striking the crossbar with a free-header from a few yards out. A typically high-energy performance from the attacker.

Glenn Whelan: 6/10

A vital presence in central midfield, Whelan was the man sitting between Chelsea’s attackers and the Stoke defence.

Charlie Adam: 3/10

A very poor afternoon for the Liverpool-reject, who played higher up the pitch and was substituted in the 1ns half just as he was increasing in influence.

Steven Nzonzi: 6/10

A lanky presence in the centre, Nzonzi gave Stoke the legs in midfield to turn defence into attack.

Michael Kightly: 5/10

He made a bright start to the game and was denied by Cech in the 1st half, but faded away by the 2nd period.

Peter Crouch: 6/10

Crouch did well to lead the line, occupying Chelsea’s defenders every time the ball was lobbed up to him but couldn’t fashion clear-cut chances.

Substitutes:

Michael Owen: 3/10

Owen came on with over 30 minutes left, but did very little to suggest that he can still cut it out at the top level.

Matthew Etherington: 4/10

He came on at a time when the game was stretched and came close to scoring when he flashed a shot wide of goal.

Kenwyne Jones: 4/10

Jones’ physicality caused Chelsea a few problems late on, but nothing they couldn’t handle.