Chelsea 1 Crystal Palace 0: Player ratings as Nemanja Matic stars

Player ratings as Nemanja Matic shields the Chelsea defence to help the Blues win the Premier League title

By Dipak Patel

Chelsea

Thibaut Courtois A reasonably comfortable afternoon for the Belgium as Palace only threatened occasionally. Made a good save from Zaha late in the game. 6/10

Branislav Ivanovic Still the most complete right-back in the Premier League and has also improved in an attacking sense this season. Had an effort on goal from 25 yards but in went wide of the goal. 7

Gary Cahill Solid in defence but also nearly scored a rare goal. His shot from inside the area was superbly blocked by Ward. 7

John Terry Made a great recovery challenge to block Puncheon’s effort which looked to be heading into the net. A performance that demonstrates his quality even at 34, he was commanding in the area and a leader on the pitch. 7

Cesar Azpilicueta Unusually made a defensive error with a weak header on the edge of his box, but Ward could only volley wide from the resulting chance. 6

Cesc Fabregas Not as effective as he was earlier in the season but that is due to the amount of games he has played. Still produced moments of brilliance with some fantastic through balls. 6

Nemanja Matic (Man of the match) Made sure that Puncheon could have no influence in the centre of midfield. Was totally dominant and nearly scored a goal in what was a good performance. His shot from an acute angle was stopped by both Speroni and a defender. 8

Juan Cuadrado His performance a reflection of his time at Chelsea so far, very disappointing. Gave a lot of energy and tried to pressurise with his pace but look quite hopeless in possession of the ball. Did have a speculative effort from 25 yards that marginally went over. 5

Willian Another good performance from the Brazilian. When he uses his dribbling skills he can be a real threat and should have scored when he cut inside a few defenders, only to hit his shot just wide of the post. 7

Eden Hazard Not his best game but again proved to be the match winner. He headed the ball in after his penalty was initially saved by Speroni. 7

Didier Drogba Not the force he once was but can still pose problems to defences. Had a few efforts on goal but none of them really troubled the goalkeeper. 6

Substitutes

John Obi Mikel n/a

Kurt Zouma n/a

Filipe Luis n/a

Crystal Palace

Julian Speroni A few moments of indecision cost his side. His penalty save was good from Hazard but also gave him the opportunity to score from the rebound. Also a few handling errors which led to Chelsea chances. 6

Adrian Mariappa Has steadily improved his game over the last few months but still not of the required standard for a Premier League defender. Caught out of position quite a few times which gave Willian impetus to move forward. 5

Scott Dann Is one of the most improved defenders in the Premier League but Drogba did cause him some problems in this match. 6

Damien Delaney Like his partner, Dann, he struggled to come to terms with the movement of Chelsea’s attacking players. 5

Joel Ward Made a sublime block from Cahill ‘s effort and generally put in quite a good performance. Made three successful challenges in the match. 6

James McArthur Technically limited but offers energy in a box-to-box role. Struggled against Matic and Fabregas who picked up space around him to initiate attacks. 5

Joe Ledley Works very hard and covered a lot of ground in the match. Passed the ball sensibly in possession and also made five successful tackles during the game. 6

Jordan Mutch His career has yet to really ignite since moving from Cardiff City and this was another disappointing performance from the midfielder. Gave the ball away quite a few times and was completely anonymous in attacking positions. 5

Jason Puncheon Seems to have added a new dimension to his game in a central role but wasn’t able to influence proceedings due to Matic, who dominated him throughout the game restricting the space in which he could operate. 5

Yannick Bolasie Still inconsistent as he has the ability to win games with his pace and power. Was nullified by Chelsea’s fantastic defence who limited the space. 6

Wilfried Zaha Rarely involved but still capable of scoring goals. Latched onto a cross from Murray but his effort was well-saved by Courtois. 6

Substitutes

Martin Kelly More solid than Mariappa in a full-back role but still has yet to develop into a consistent defender. 5

Glenn Murray His cross set up a chance for Zaha but other than that he rarely featured after coming off the bench. His team-mates didn’t help matters by not creating any chances for him. 6

Yaya Sanogo n/a

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