Champions League

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Champions League 185 8 Napoli 3-1 Chelsea: Player Ratings - UEFA Champions League 30706739 Morgan de Sanctis, G, Napoli Morgan+de+Sanctis%2C+G%2C+Napoli Champions League

In the second half, Chelsea put more shots on net, but since most of them were from distance, it was more a practice session for de Sanctis than anything seriously taxing. However, even by those standards, de Sanctis did well, controlling everything that came at him and not giving Chelsea any chances they weren't able to earn themselves.

 

Rating: 6
 

Giuseppe Bellini - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/02/21/022112-ucl-player-ratings-napoli-chelsea-mf-G1_2012022120084291_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/02/21/022112-ucl-player-ratings-napoli-chelsea-mf-G1_2012022120084291_107_80.JPG
Champions League 185 8 Napoli 3-1 Chelsea: Player Ratings - UEFA Champions League 30706740 Hugo Campagnaro, RCD, Napoli Hugo+Campagnaro%2C+RCD%2C+Napoli Champions League

Napoli's best defender grimaced through a number of headers, clearing crosses from the right targeting his far post. By that point, the Argentine's head was fully wrapped, having suffered a cut early in the match. In the second-half, Campagnaro played a number of nice passes forward, with one ending the Napoli's final goal.

 

Rating: 7
 

Giuseppe Bellini - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/02/21/022112-ucl-player-ratings-napoli-chelsea-mf-G2_2012022120093893_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/02/21/022112-ucl-player-ratings-napoli-chelsea-mf-G2_2012022120093893_107_80.JPG
Champions League 185 8 Napoli 3-1 Chelsea: Player Ratings - UEFA Champions League 30706741 Paolo Cannavaro, CD, Napoli Paolo+Cannavaro%2C+CD%2C+Napoli Champions League

His disastrous clearance attempt gifted Chelsea's only goal. Unfortunately for Napoli, that was not his only mistake, but (unfortunately for Chelsea) it was the only one that mattered. A horrible misread in the 40th minute proved irrelevant when Ramires skied a shot into the stands. At one point, Cannavaro forced normally shaky Salvatore Aronica to save him after he was out-of-position for a ball played to Didier Drogba.

 

Rating: 3
 

Giuseppe Bellini - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/02/21/022112-ucl-player-ratings-napoli-chelsea-mf-G3_2012022120105895_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/02/21/022112-ucl-player-ratings-napoli-chelsea-mf-G3_2012022120105895_107_80.JPG
Champions League 185 8 Napoli 3-1 Chelsea: Player Ratings - UEFA Champions League 30706742 Salvatore Aronica, LCD, Napoli Salvatore+Aronica%2C+LCD%2C+Napoli Champions League

Viewed as the weak point in defense before the match, Aronica was mostly fine on Tuesday. At one point he allowed Daniel Sturridge to beat him to the line, but nothing came of it. His strong play early in the second half (near the hour mark) helped Napoli weather Chelsea’s strongest storm.

 

Rating: 6
 

Mike Hewitt - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/02/21/022112-ucl-player-ratings-napoli-chelsea-mf-G4_2012022120105896_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/02/21/022112-ucl-player-ratings-napoli-chelsea-mf-G4_2012022120105896_107_80.JPG
Champions League 185 8 Napoli 3-1 Chelsea: Player Ratings - UEFA Champions League 30706743 Christian Maggio, RWB, Napoli Christian+Maggio%2C+RWB%2C+Napoli Champions League

Though all of his crosses were dealt with well by Chelsea's defense, Maggio made himself a nuisance (particularly in the first half) getting up the flank to pump them in. While Napoli could have done more to take advantage of the fact that (unlike on the other flank) Chelsea didn't seem to have a man dedicated to accounting for him, Maggio did well the few times he was on the ball.

 

Rating: 6
 

Valerio Pennicino - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/02/21/022112-ucl-player-ratings-napoli-chelsea-mf-G5_2012022120121599_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/02/21/022112-ucl-player-ratings-napoli-chelsea-mf-G5_2012022120121599_107_80.JPG
Champions League 185 8 Napoli 3-1 Chelsea: Player Ratings - UEFA Champions League 30706744 Gohkan Inler, DM, Napoli Gohkan+Inler%2C+DM%2C+Napoli Champions League

Inler put in a strong shift for the home side, providing a highlight when his chip to the far post in the second minute of first half stoppage time resulted in Napoli's game-winning goal. He also served as the midfield anchor, as it was often left to Walter Gargano to provide the first link as Napoli countered.

 

Rating: 6
 

David Ramos - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/02/21/022112-ucl-player-ratings-napoli-chelsea-mf-G6_20120221201215100_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/02/21/022112-ucl-player-ratings-napoli-chelsea-mf-G6_20120221201215100_107_80.JPG
Champions League 185 8 Napoli 3-1 Chelsea: Player Ratings - UEFA Champions League 30706758 Walter Gargano, DM, Napoli Walter+Gargano%2C+DM%2C+Napoli Champions League

A couple of bad second half giveaways only underscored Gargano's lack of decisiveness while tasked with getting Napoli out on the counter. Napoli had a number of chances to put their opposition to the proverbial sword, but Gargano couldn't spring them quickly enough.

 

Rating: 5
 

Giuseppe Bellini - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/02/21/022112-ucl-player-ratings-napoli-chelsea-mf-G7_20120221201517126_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/02/21/022112-ucl-player-ratings-napoli-chelsea-mf-G7_20120221201517126_107_80.JPG
Champions League 185 8 Napoli 3-1 Chelsea: Player Ratings - UEFA Champions League 30706759 Juan Zuniga, LWB, Napoli Juan+Zuniga%2C+LWB%2C+Napoli Champions League

Zuniga's efforts going forward were snuffed out by hard work from Daniel Sturridge, surprisingly handed the task of containing Zuniga, freeing Ramires to augment the midfield. On the other end, Zuniga returned the favor, his foot speed helping prevent Sturridge from getting too many one-on-one chances against Salvatore Aronica.

 

Rating: 6
 

Mike Hewitt - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/02/21/022112-ucl-player-ratings-napoli-chelsea-mf-G8_20120221201517127_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/02/21/022112-ucl-player-ratings-napoli-chelsea-mf-G8_20120221201517127_107_80.JPG
Champions League 185 8 Napoli 3-1 Chelsea: Player Ratings - UEFA Champions League 30706761 Marek Hamsik, AM, Napoli Marek+Hamsik%2C+AM%2C+Napoli Champions League

Mostly invisible throughout the match, the couple of times Hamsik had chances to be impactful were undone by poor execution. A bad pass in the 30th minute ruined Napoli's chance to take advantage of a Raul Meireles giveaway, while a poorly weighted ball in the 42nd ruined Edinson Cavani's opportunity to get behind and around Gary Cahill.

 

Rating: 5
 

Giuseppe Bellini - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/02/21/022112-ucl-player-ratings-napoli-chelsea-mf-G10_20120221201742133_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/02/21/022112-ucl-player-ratings-napoli-chelsea-mf-G10_20120221201742133_107_80.JPG
Champions League 185 8 Napoli 3-1 Chelsea: Player Ratings - UEFA Champions League 30706757 Ezequiel Lavezzi, AM, Napoli Ezequiel+Lavezzi%2C+AM%2C+Napoli Champions League

Lavezzi finally broke his Champions League duck with an intricate 35th minute finish (our Goal of the Day) and an authoritative strike for Napoli's final goal. Flip a coin between him and Edinson Cavani for man of the match. Regardless, he was a difference-maker on Tuesday.

 

Rating: 8
 

Mike Hewitt - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/02/21/022112-ucl-player-ratings-napoli-chelsea-mf-G9_20120221201517125_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/02/21/022112-ucl-player-ratings-napoli-chelsea-mf-G9_20120221201517125_107_80.JPG
Champions League 185 8 Napoli 3-1 Chelsea: Player Ratings - UEFA Champions League 30707554 Edinson Cavani, F, Napoli Edinson+Cavani%2C+F%2C+Napoli Champions League

The goal may or may not have been him, but his versatility was on display for Napoli's two other goals. On the first, he drew the defense to him, allowing Ezequiel Lavezzi time to play a calm shot inside Petr Cech's left post. On Napoli's final goal, Cavani used his speed to get onto Hugo Campagnaro's long ball, cut across the defense (drawing them in like a magnet), before laying off for Lavezzi, who finished through an eviscerated Chelsea defense. Our man of the match.

 

Rating: 8
 

Paolo Bruno - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/02/21/022112-ucl-player-ratings-napoli-chelsea-mf-G11_20120221201742134_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/02/21/022112-ucl-player-ratings-napoli-chelsea-mf-G11_20120221201742134_107_80.JPG
Champions League 185 8 Napoli 3-1 Chelsea: Player Ratings - UEFA Champions League 30706762 Petr Cech, G, Chelsea Petr+Cech%2C+G%2C+Chelsea Champions League

Two nice saves and a strong punch in the first half hour portended a strong day for Cech. In the second half, however, Cech was poor, going on a walkabout on Napoli's third goal, with Marek Hamsik deking him onto his backside for a near-fourth in the 82nd minute.

 

Rating: 5
 

Paul Gilham - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/02/21/022112-ucl-player-ratings-napoli-chelsea-mf-G12_20120221201742135_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/02/21/022112-ucl-player-ratings-napoli-chelsea-mf-G12_20120221201742135_107_80.JPG
Champions League 185 8 Napoli 3-1 Chelsea: Player Ratings - UEFA Champions League 30706763 Branislav Ivanovic, RB, Chelsea Branislav+Ivanovic%2C+RB%2C+Chelsea Champions League

Ivanovic was the player that felt the most pain by Raul Meireles' poor day, Chelsea's right back getting caught upfield often as Meireles coughed up possession. Those situations, however, highlighted Ivanovic's limited ability to get back in defense, his slow recovery leading to an easy chance for Ezequiel Lavezzi in the 62nd minute.

 

Rating: 5
 

Mike Hewitt - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/02/21/022112-ucl-player-ratings-napoli-chelsea-mf-G13_20120221202556139_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/02/21/022112-ucl-player-ratings-napoli-chelsea-mf-G13_20120221202556139_107_80.JPG
Champions League 185 8 Napoli 3-1 Chelsea: Player Ratings - UEFA Champions League 30706764 Gary Cahill, RCB, Chelsea Gary+Cahill%2C+RCB%2C+Chelsea Champions League

Napoli seemed intent on exploiting Cahill early, playing balls behind the Chelsea defender and lining up Edinson Cavani against him. As the match went on, Napoli never really took advantage of the matchup, though Cahill did little to stop Cavani cutting back across the line to set up the final goal.

 

Rating: 5
 

Mike Hewitt - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/02/21/022112-ucl-player-ratings-napoli-chelsea-mf-G14_20120221202556140_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/02/21/022112-ucl-player-ratings-napoli-chelsea-mf-G14_20120221202556140_107_80.JPG
Champions League 185 8 Napoli 3-1 Chelsea: Player Ratings - UEFA Champions League 30706765 David Luiz, LCD, Chelsea David+Luiz%2C+LCD%2C+Chelsea Champions League

As is always the case with Luiz, Tuesday was a combination of good and bad. Unfortunately, that's not the kind of mix you want in a defender (especially when that's your best defender). Despite a couple of nice tackles on Ezequiel Lavezzi, Luiz's day will rightfully be defined by his poor performance on the third goal, where a seemingly lackadaisical (or excessively intricate) effort was the key failure in Napoli's final tally.

 

Rating: 5
 

ALBERTO PIZZOLI - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/02/21/022112-ucl-player-ratings-napoli-chelsea-mf-G15_20120221202556141_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/02/21/022112-ucl-player-ratings-napoli-chelsea-mf-G15_20120221202556141_107_80.JPG
Champions League 185 8 Napoli 3-1 Chelsea: Player Ratings - UEFA Champions League 30707567 Ashley Cole, LB, Chelsea Ashley+Cole%2C+LB%2C+Chelsea Champions League

Brought on early for the injured Jose Bosingwa, Cole was Chelsea's best defender in the limited chances he had to show it. In the 62nd minute, Cole put in some nice work to stifle Christian Maggio, while his save in the 81st minute kept Chelsea within striking distance in the tie.

 

Rating: 6
 

Tim Hales - AP Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/02/21/ashley_cole_chelsea_gi_rf_022112_20120221204605163_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/02/21/ashley_cole_chelsea_gi_rf_022112_20120221204605163_107_80.JPG
Champions League 185 8 Napoli 3-1 Chelsea: Player Ratings - UEFA Champions League 30706767 Raul Meireles, M, Chelsea Raul+Meireles%2C+M%2C+Chelsea Champions League

Whether it was horrible defending (as evidenced on the first goal) or terrible distribution (with the best examples in the 30th and 54th minutes), Meireles provided plenty of examples of why he was Chelsea's worst player. For much of the match, he seemed to be in an unconscious battle with Paolo Cannavaro, each trying to show who was more adept at undermining his team's chances. Meireles won that battle.

 

Rating: 3
 

IAN KINGTON - AP Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/02/21/022112-ucl-player-ratings-napoli-chelsea-mf-G18_20120221202956148_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/02/21/022112-ucl-player-ratings-napoli-chelsea-mf-G18_20120221202956148_107_80.JPG
Champions League 185 8 Napoli 3-1 Chelsea: Player Ratings - UEFA Champions League 30706768 Ramires, M, Chelsea Ramires%2C+M%2C+Chelsea Champions League

Ramires was ineffectual at best, slightly comical at worst. In the 35th minute, he failed to cut off Edinson Cavani's passing lane (square to Ezequiel Lavezzi for the goal). In the 40th minute, the Brazilian skied a shot that could have re-gained the lead. Near the hour mark, his poor footwork saw him turned around (and nearly put to ground) when trying to defend a counter, while in the 82nd minute he just ran over the ball. One of the weirdest days we've seen from Ramires since he moved to Chelsea.

 

Rating: 4
 

LBERTO PIZZOLI - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/02/21/022112-ucl-player-ratings-napoli-chelsea-mf-G17_20120221202956149_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/02/21/022112-ucl-player-ratings-napoli-chelsea-mf-G17_20120221202956149_107_80.JPG
Champions League 185 8 Napoli 3-1 Chelsea: Player Ratings - UEFA Champions League 30707558 Daniel Sturridge, F, Chelsea Daniel+Sturridge%2C+F%2C+Chelsea Champions League

Sturridge's major contribution was in defense, where he did a good job tacking Juan Zuniga. Tactically, this was a poor decision (presumably on Andre Villas-Boas' part). Ramires could have picked up Zuniga, and Sturridge would have presented Chelsea's best persistent threat had he been given license to break down Salvatore Aronica. Given what he was asked to do, Sturridge did a fine job. It's a shame he wasn't allowed to do more.

 

Rating: 6
 

Alex Livesey - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/02/21/022112-ucl-player-ratings-napoli-chelsea-mf-G20_20120221202956145_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/02/21/022112-ucl-player-ratings-napoli-chelsea-mf-G20_20120221202956145_107_80.JPG
Champions League 185 8 Napoli 3-1 Chelsea: Player Ratings - UEFA Champions League 30706766 Florent Malouda, M, Chelsea Florent+Malouda%2C+M%2C+Chelsea Champions League

In the first half, Malouda was a non-factor. In the second, he was a major contributor to Chelsea's best spell of play - a 15-minute span straddling the hour mark where Malouda made four positive plays in the span of nine minutes. Surprisingly, he was sacrificed (along with Raul Meireles) when Andre Villas-Boas brought on Frank Lampard and Michael Essien.

 

Rating: 6
 

Mike Hewitt - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/02/21/022112-ucl-player-ratings-napoli-chelsea-mf-G19_20120221202956147_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/02/21/022112-ucl-player-ratings-napoli-chelsea-mf-G19_20120221202956147_107_80.JPG
Champions League 185 8 Napoli 3-1 Chelsea: Player Ratings - UEFA Champions League 30707559 Juan Mata, F, Chelsea Juan+Mata%2C+F%2C+Chelsea Champions League

It was an easy goal for Mata in the 27th minute, but we've seen those chances wasted before. The calm with which Mata took the ball left little doubt he'd put the opener home. With a lot of time on the ball throughout the game (a consequence of playing in the space between Didier Drogba and Florent Malouda), Mata played the decent though never killer ball. He needed some help if Chelsea were going to create more, better chances.

 

Rating: 7
 

Mike Hewitt - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/02/21/022112-ucl-player-ratings-napoli-chelsea-mf-G22_20120221203012152_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/02/21/022112-ucl-player-ratings-napoli-chelsea-mf-G22_20120221203012152_107_80.JPG
Champions League 185 8 Napoli 3-1 Chelsea: Player Ratings - UEFA Champions League 30706769 Didier Drogba, F, Chelsea Didier+Drogba%2C+F%2C+Chelsea Champions League

Drogba exhibited some nice holdup play in the second half, and a cute 51st minute chip led to a Florent Malouda chance after Juan Mata had chested it down. But for the most part, it was a quiet day for the returning Ivorian. Chelsea could have used a moment of magic to get them back within one before the second leg, but it never came.

 

Rating: 6
 

Paolo Bruno - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/02/21/022112-ucl-player-ratings-napoli-chelsea-mf-G21_20120221202957150_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/02/21/022112-ucl-player-ratings-napoli-chelsea-mf-G21_20120221202957150_107_80.JPG
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