Chelsea went to NK Maribor for their Champions League group stage clash with many thinking that an easy win was coming. It was anything but, however, as the Slovenians put up a terrific fight…
Jose Mourinho will not have been pleased with his side for what was a lacklustre performance for much of the night and numerous warnings went unheeded before Agim Ibrahimi opened the scoring with a delightful curled finish into the top corner.
It woke Chelsea up and they deserved the equaliser when it came, Nemanja Matic poking him John Terry’s header down from a corner. Eden Hazard had a chance to win it from the spot after winning a penalty, but his effort was atrociously poor and saved by Jasmin Handanovic.
Mourinho will have plenty to say to his team about heir showing, but he will be pleased the Blues responded, even if they had chances to win it.
The Player Ratings
Petr Cech - 7
Made a few good saves, especially at the end to keep out what could have been the winner. Could do little about the goal.
Branislav Ivanovic - 6
As ever, the Serbian put in a shift, but he was not able to get forward to any effect and was strangely subdued in defence.
Kurt Zouma - 6
Got his chance alongside John Terry and was not calamitous, despite the defence looking leaky in the first half.
John Terry - 6
Was uncharacteristically lax in the first half, but rallied is troops and would have scored the equaliser had Matic not made sure.
Filipe Luis - 5
Had a poor match and was slow to close down for the goal. Swapped for Ramires on 56 minutes.
Cesc Fabregas - 7
Couldn’t get to grips with things in the first half, but eventually took control as Chelsea pushed on after falling behind. Wrongly ruled offside for a Costa disallowed goal.
Nemanja Matic - 8
Did his usual job but was not exactly at his best. Gets an extra point for popping up with the goal, though Terry might not be too pleased with him for stealing it on the line.
Andre Schurrle - 4
Subbed at half time after 45 minutes for Diego Costa after some abysmal wastage in front of goal. A night to forget.
Willian - 4
Had little effect on the game and was also hooked after a half on favour of Oscar.
Eden Hazard - 5
Came to life after the Blues went behind and did brilliantly to win his penalty, but it was an atrocious effort and compounded his misery on a night where he was especially wasteful.
Didier Drogba - 6
Worked hard throughout and caused problems with his physicality, but he has lost a yard of pace and couldn’t find his touch when put in behind the defence a couple of times.
Oscar (on for Willian at HT) - 7
Brought some much-needed creativity to proceedings and drew a few good saves in a good half of football.
Diego Costa - 6
Was far more dangerous than Schurrle, which wasn’t hard, but couldn’t find the goal. Conjured one brilliant save late in the game and had goal wrongly disallowed for offside.
Ramires - 6
Did adequately in his return from injury and helped shore things up in midfield.