Europa League - Player ratings: Fabulous Fernando

Our man in Amsterdam gives his verdict on the players who shone and the ones who struggled in the Europa League final., with Fernando Torres playing a starring role when it counted.

Eurosport
Europa League - Player ratings: Fabulous Fernando
.

View photo

CHELSEA

GK: Petr Cech (7) – Did not have all that much to do in the first half, even though Benfica dominated possession. Made some smart saves in the second, and was fairly dominant in his box.

DR: Cesar Azpilicueta (5) – Good going forward and put in some important challenges, but part of a defence that collectively came under too much pressure initially. Terrible error to concede the penalty, a weak link in relative terms.

DL: Ashley Cole (7) – As ever able to raise his game for the occasion, the only one of Chelsea’s defenders not to look unflustered. Made vital blocks when his team-mates toiled.

DC: Gary Cahill (6) – Looked shaky both under the physical presence of Cardozo and when Benfica passed rings around him and Ivanovic.

DC: Branislav Ivanovic (7) – Booked for a wild lunge at Rodrigo and looked uncharacteristically ruffled under pressure in the first half, but improved in the second and capped it off with a dramatic winner.

DM: David Luiz (6) – Quiet for much of the game as he failed to exert his usual dominance on midfield, but was at least positionally astute and helped his stretched defence out.

MC: Ramires (7) – Always a willing runner, he was the main attacking outlet at times for Chelsea but was guilty of not supporting Torres enough, although this improved in the second half.

MC: Frank Lampard (6) - A very quiet game from Chelsea’s record scorer, captain for the day in Terry’s absence. Quiet until he rattled the bar in the closing stages.

AMC: Juan Mata (6) – Poor in the first half as he struggled to get enough touches on the ball, and failed to impress when he did. Improved in the second and it was his corner that yielded the winner.

AMC: Oscar (6) – Booked for a cynical tug on Perez but was lively in attack and willing to track back. Still a work in progress but clearly one of the most talented youngsters in the game.

FC: Fernando Torres (8) – Isolated for much of the first half although gave his all chasing every cause and was rewarded handsomely with a fantastic goal that was all his own work. Life in the old dog yet.

SUBS: None

BENFICA

GK: Artur (6) – Eccentric is a word often bandied around keepers, but he made some particularly wild flaps that were effective enough. Possibly could have done better in the one-on-one with Torres but not really at fault for either goal.

DR: Andre Almeida (7) – The stand-in right-back was disciplined and solid, with Mata and Oscar not getting much joy on that flank.

DL: Melgarejo (5) – Was good going forward but regularly exposed by Ramires and came off in the second half.

DC: Luisao (5) - Solid in the first half but was exposed by Torres for the goal. Almost gave away a penalty when manhandling the Spaniard later.

DC: Ezequiel Garay (6) – Excellent in the first half, repeatedly foiling Ramires and Torres and his professional foul on Oscar just before the break was brilliantly cynical. However his slip-up allowed Torres to race away for the goal, and – after a few more good challenges – went off injured.

DM: Nemanja Matic (7) – A physical specimen who can pass the ball, the ex-Chelsea man was key to Benfica’s midfield dominance.

MC: Enzo Perez (7) – A livewire with the ball, he was constantly in the action, drawing fouls and finding team-mates with deft touches.

AM: Nicolas Gaitan (6) – Unusually he was quieter than some of his team-mates but still caused Chelsea problems, hitting one effort over and seeing another deflected wide as he provided support to Cardozo.

AM: Rodrigo (6) – Like Perez was always in the thick of the action, although he was perhaps the guiltiest of overplaying things.

AM: Eduardo Salvio (6) – Buzzy and entertaining but showed little end product. Deserved to be substituted but wasn’t.

FC: Oscar Cardozo (7) – A bustling irritant for Cahill in particular, the burly striker made a nuisance of himself with some fantastic hold-up play, although his shooting was suspect. Buried a header early in the second half but was offside, converted his penalty with aplomb.

SUBS: Lima (6), Ola John (6), Jardel (6)

View Comments