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Premier League Player Ratings: Chelsea 1-0 Manchester United

By Alex Dimond

CHELSEA

Petr Cech - 6.5 - A spectator for much of the match, as United's only meaningful attempts missed the target. Did make one solid save from Rooney's curling effort, and looked comfortable from set pieces.

Ashley Cole - 6.5 - Forward runs were more limited than in recent games, but he was solid defensively despite the constant attentions of Valencia.

John Terry - 8 - Put his body on the line as always, and dealt well with United's attempts to break through. Perhaps lucky not to give a penalty away in the first half, but crucial header from Lampard's free-kick proved the difference.

Ricardo Carvalho - 8 - Burst forward from the off. Roamed around the pitch as he seemed to sense where the danger was going to come from. Dealt well with an in-form Rooney, and made a number of exceptional blocks as opponents got shots off.

Branislav Ivanovic - 6.5 - Early shot was a warning sign for United, but his attacking play was not always as measured as the game wore on. Defensively, United looked the most threatening when attacking his flank.

Michael Essien - 7 - Initially looked confused as Anderson followed his every move, but grew into the game and somewhat took over the tempo of his side. Another impressive shift in the engine room.

Michael Ballack - 6.5 - Looked slightly out of sorts under pressure from United's midfield quintet, as passes sometimes went astray. But solid defensive work anchored his side efficiently.

Frank Lampard - 7 - Fairly anonymous as an attacking force, as United flooded the midfield well. Assist for goal showed value of decent set piece delivery. Defensive work, particularly after his side went ahead, was admirable.

Deco - 5 - Often dropped deep in order to see some of the ball. His side needed a big performance from him as they looked for a breakthrough, but the Portuguese international was poor throughout.

Nicolas Anelka - 7 - Good movement all game from the Frenchman, who always looked likely to create an opening for Chelsea. Frustrating evening personally, but put team first as he has done this season.

Didier Drogba - 6 - Shackled by both Evans and Brown, the striker struggled to really make an impact on the match, and was eventually withdrawn late on. Presence more significant than performance.

Substitutes

Joe Cole
- 6 - Unsurprising swap with Deco on the hour. Failed to really get into the game, much like the man he replaced

Salomon Kalou - 6 - Replaced Drogba late on but was deployed as an extra defensive presence.

Alex - n/a - Late defensive reinforcement


MANCHESTER UNITED


Edwin van der Sar
- 6.5 - Made a couple of smart saves from Ivanovic and Anelka. Solid performance from the big stopper, who was undoubtedly distracted by Drogba for Terry's crucial goal.

Patrice Evra - 7 - Opposite number Cole will have been jealous with Evra's freedom to roam forward. Solid defensively and looked dangerous on frequent expeditions into opposition territory.

Jonny Evans - 6.5 -  Put in an effective marking job of Drogba alongside Brown, with the Ivorian enduring a frustrating afternoon. Aerial presence was often used to good effect, but will be disappointed to finally concede.

Wes Brown - 6.5 - Dealt with Didier Drogba well in a fairly make-shift backline for his side. The watching Fabio Capello will no doubt have made some mental notes ahead of next week's friendly.

John O'Shea
- 6.5 - Occasionally looked like he might be caught out by both Cole and Drogba. But generally was solid at the back for his side.

Ryan Giggs
- 6.5 - Didn't really get into the game, but his guile looked like it could make a real difference whenever he did get the ball in dangerous areas.

Darren Fletcher - 7 - His return to the team was welcomed by the manager, and he was disciplined as he provided a screen in front of his defence. Orchestrated a strong performance as a unit from the midfield, rather than one of individual quality.

Michael Carrick
- 6 - Struggled to make any real impact going forward, but put in a decent shift defensively, no doubt following his manager's instructions.

Anderson
- 7 - Made some dangerous runs around the opposition box, but looked frustrated as his team-mates regularly failed to pick him out. Did a decent job sticking to Essien in an impressive overall performance before his substitution.

Luis Antonio Valencia
- 7 - Wanted a penalty early on after getting entangled with Terry. An otherwise limited offensive performance, but his tactical presence on the right pegged Cole back.

Wayne Rooney
- 7.5 - Relished the responsibility of leading the line for his side, and his frequent incisive runs looked United's main threat. Could have made better choices on some occasions, but in general Chelsea's defenders had to be at their best to keep him quiet. Did not deserve to be on losing side.

Substitutes

Michael Owen
- 6 - Thrown on to grab a goal, but didn't get the one opportunity that might have made the difference.

Gabriel Obertan - 6 - Late addition as United searched for an equaliser. Looked dangerous when the ball came to him.