Chelsea v 'Pool Player Ratings


Well that was nice wasn't it? The first half was extremely sloppy from both sides, but luckily in the second only one side pulled their heads from their arses. Considering the scheduling as well as the travel, this was a fantastic victory. They really ran Chelsea ragged. Granted both sides were playing with a number of fringe players, but I really think our fringe players were better. In addition, Lampard was silent and he who shall not be named was completely shut down. This was a good victory for Liverpool and it is great to see them playing so well going into the holiday fixture list. Let's hope they can keep it up.

Ratings as I saw them after the jump/poll:

Reina - 8 - Perhaps a bit generous, but he did make two fantastic saves, one as a sweeper, and one on Benedict Arnold. He is so solid. It is a shame that he can hardly get a game for Spain.

Kelly - 8 - He scored, and he defended very well. I can't ask for much more than that. I wish he would get a few more games to keep up his match fitness and give Johnson a break. In my eyes, he is the future right back of the club.

Coates - 8 - A bit of a nervy start, but he gained his composure and turned into a rock. Blocked a sure goal, was an immense presence in the box, and he gave Torres a forearm shiver (I should give him a 10 for that). That is a complete game. Perhaps he needs a lesson from Agger on how to LEGALLY mash Torres' face with a forearm.

Carragher - 7 - As usual, he kept the reigns on Coates and was likely an important part of why Coates played so well. We didn't hear much from him for most of the game, but I do remember in the first half how he darted from his position to close down Lukaku near the corner as if he was shot from a cannon. I have never seen Carra move that fast in my life. Perhaps he does need to play every other week.

Enrique - 7 - I was surprised to see him start, but he did his usual bit, defending fairly well and providing an attacking threat including the cross that wont he penalty. He is so strong and uses his body better than 99% of the defenders out there. Another solid display.

Bellamy - 8 - I guess he was playing wide left, but the first half left me very confused as to who was playing where in the midfield. He was responsible for the opening goal with a fantastic run. He also won the free kick and delivered it to Kelly's unmarked head for the second. An inspired performance.

Lucas - 8 - When he went down, George Carlin's 7 dirty words came flying out. We desperately need him fit. He was having another crunching game and was in complete control of the midfield until his injury. So much so, that I had forgotten Lampard was on pitch. Get well soon...very soon.

Spearing - 7 - Wee Jay Spearing made some great moves and also put in some fine tackles. He is no Lucas, but he also isn't afraid to get stuck in. He distributed the ball well and paired well with Lucas. A solid outing. I hope he is ready to play against Fulham

Henderson - 6 - He only gets a 6 because of the exquisite through ball he played to Bellamy for the first. He did almost sacrifice his leg to get Lukaku sent off (and he likely should have gone), but he was again fairly anonymous (although not as bad as the City game). I agree with Sam's assessment that a 4-3-3 would suit him much better.

Maxi - 7 - Well he will eat what is put in front of him, that's for sure. I didn't think he was that great overall and without the goal I would have rated him much lower. He just had trouble asserting himself in the game, even though there was plenty of space and opportunity. However, he popped up when he needed to and the rest is history. In addition, that South American unity dance, or whatever that was, was just awful (I should probably deduct a point from Lucas and Coates as well). There will be no "Dancing with the Stars" call up for them when he retires.

Carroll - 6 - *Sigh* What could have been. I agree with the decision to let him take the penalty. The boy needs a confidence boost. However, that sure backfired. I am fine with going down the middle, but you have to get it off the ground if this is what you are going to do. He did win the penalty with good positioning in the box. I actually thought Alex should have been sent off for that. It was a blatant handball to deny a goal scoring opportunity. Either way, Carroll looked like he has been taking footballing lessons from Drogba. The biggest man on the pitch was going down with every shift in the wind. He is a strong boy and needs to fight through that stuff. He did work hard though, I will give him that.

SUBS:

Adam - 6 - Came on for Lucas, didn't really do much right or wrong.

Kuyt - N/A - On for Bellamy, not much time to do anything.

Skrtel - N/A - Shored up the back for the final few minutes.

GUEST RATING:

Benedict Arnold - 2 - He is a shell of his former self. The thing is, he would likely be thriving with Suarez, the two feeding off of each other. I have no idea why he was so quick to run, but it certainly has bitten him in the ass. He is not getting any younger, and has completely regressed into a reserve team player. He had one good chance on a quick corner that required a top notch save. Other than that, he was more anonymous than Henderson. Being that anonymous as a striker is far worse than as a midfielder where 3 other guys can pick up your slack. Oh well, not our problem now!

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