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Krasnodar 0-4 Chelsea, Champions League: Statistical Review and Analysis

The numbers behind the game

FC Krasnodar v Chelsea FC: Group E - UEFA Champions League Photo by Chris Lee - Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Overview

In a performance reminiscent of the 4-0 win over Crystal Palace a few weeks ago, Chelsea started the first half slowly before upping the ante in the second to overpower the opponents.

Against a depleted team, Chelsea were always strong favorites and in the end, our individual quality did the trick. Hudson-Odoi got a much-needed confidence boost in the form of a goalkeeping error from Matvei Safonov. That was the only meaningful chance Chelsea created in the first half besides a penalty won by Werner and missed by Jorginho.

Krasnodar looked strong until the 70th minute and created openings, albeit not high-quality ones. They found plenty of space behind Chelsea’s midfield and this directly contributed to Chelsea not being able to pass out from the back with our usual fluency — Jorginho and Kovačić were not athletic or creative enough to make themselves available for passes and this left the defenders with few options.

A triple change, bringing on Kanté, Mount and Pulisic, put the game to bed. Kanté and Mount found far more space and time in midfield, taking Krasnodar’s press out of the game. Werner got himself a goal in the form of a penalty, Ziyech got his first ever Chelsea goal, and Pulisic finished after some excellent play from Tammy Abraham.

Tougher challenges lie ahead but overall, this was a game we can be happy about.


Statistics

Stats from fbref.


Individual ratings

Frank Lampard

Could have perhaps rested Werner, Havertz and Chilwell but with the team firing blanks twice in a row, his selection of the team’s three more potent attacking forces was no surprise.

Picking Jorginho and Kovačić together hindered the team in build-up and transition defence — as explained here, when I explored the team’s midfield options — but this was the team’s easiest assignment in a jam-packed schedule and perhaps the best game to play the two together.

The introduction of Kanté in response to a rocky segment of play where Chelsea were just about clinging on to a 1-0 lead, saw the team revert to the 4-3-3 that served us so well immediately after lockdown. More of this, please.

RATING: 7


FC Krasnodar v Chelsea FC: Group E - UEFA Champions League Photo by Chris Lee - Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Édouard Mendy

Mendy became the first goalkeeper since Thibaut Courtois in Nov-Dec 2014 to keep four consecutive clean-sheets in Premier League and Champions League games. His fingertip save in the first half was crucial in maintaining that record and his aerial game was dominant.

Stats of note
4 saves
3 crosses collected (out of 8) - 37.5% efficiency

NB: Over the course of a season, an efficiency of over 10% can be viewed as a “high” value. This is the first time this statistic has been used in match reports.

RATING: 7


César Azpilicueta

Was rock-solid in defence and progressed play excellently well. On an off-day for the midfield, Azpilicueta was perhaps the main ball-progressor for the team. Amid all the (justified) praise Reece James receives, it is easy to forget how good Azpilicueta is.

Stats of note
11 progressive passes - 1st among Chelsea players
2 interceptions - 1st
16 pressures - 1st
2 tackles won - Joint 1st
6 clearances - 2nd
4 passes into final third - 2nd
2 key passes - 2nd
2 aerial duels won (3 contested) - Joint 3rd
2 shot-creating actions - Joint 3rd

RATING: 7.5


Kurt Zouma

Was aerially dominant and managed to pull off an excellent clearance even while being clattered. His box-defending has been excellent over the past few games and is a major reason behind Chelsea’s improved solidity.

Stats of note
7 clearances - 1st
4 aerial duels won (4 contested) - 2nd
1 blocked shot - 2nd
3 passes into final third - Joint 3rd
9 loose-ball recoveries - Joint 3rd

RATING: 7


FC Krasnodar v Chelsea FC: Group E - UEFA Champions League Photo by MB Media/Getty Images

Antonio Rüdiger

An accomplished performance after being brought in from the cold. Made a few crucial interventions in the box and did not show major signs of rust.

Stats of note
2 blocked shots - 1st
9 loose-ball recoveries - Joint 3rd

RATING: 6.5


Ben Chilwell

Was solid, rather than spectacular. Made a minor error in the first half but quickly got over it. His chemistry with Hudson-Odoi was not fully smooth, however.

Stats of note
2 dribbles completed (2 attempted) - Joint 2nd
7 progressive passes - Joint 3rd
2 clearances - Joint 3rd

RATING: 6


Jorginho

Had a below-par outing in every facet of the game. Was easily bypassed in midfield, failed to pick the right passes and the ones he did pick did not have the right weight. His performance was summed up by a passage of play where he failed to spot an open Hudson-Odoi, instead opting for a safer pass. Krasnodar overwhelmed him and Kovačić with their physicality.

Stats of note
10 loose-ball recoveries - 2nd
2 clearances - Joint 3rd

RATING: 5


FBL-EUR-C1-KRASNODAR-CHELSEA Photo by KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP via Getty Images

Mateo Kovačić

Not much better than Jorginho. His lack of awareness and vision manifested in the form of a few misplaced flicks which directly led to opponent chances. As with Jorginho, he not show for the ball, thereby hindering the team’s ball progression.

Stats of note
2 tackles won - Joint 1st
2 dribbles completed (2 attempted) - Joint 2nd
3 passes into final third - Joint 3rd

RATING: 5


Hakim Ziyech

Started slowly but after the first 20 minutes or so, he settled really well into the game. His cross-field passes destabilized the defenders and he was incisive moving the ball into the box. His shooting was not very sharp but it is hardly a major complaint.

Stats of note
1 goal
6 passes into the final third - 1st
5 shots - 1st
6 touches in the penalty area - Joint 1st
3 passes into penalty area - Joint 1st
15 pressures - 2nd
9 progressive passes - 2nd
5 shot-creating actions - 2nd

RATING: 7.5


FC Krasnodar v Chelsea FC: Group E - UEFA Champions League Photo by Chris Lee - Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Kai Havertz

After a couple subdued displays, against Sevilla and Manchester United, Havertz burst back into form with a virtuoso display. His ability to conduct play in the final came to the fore in the second half, with his elusive movement opening up plenty of passing avenues.

Stats of note
1 assist
8 shot-creating actions - 1st
5 key passes - 1st
5 aerial duels won (7 contested) - 1st
11 loose-ball recoveries - 1st
3 successful dribbles (5 attempted) - Joint 1st
3 passes into penalty area - Joint 1st
12 pressures - 3rd
7 progressive passes - Joint 3rd

RATING: 7.5


Callum Hudson-Odoi

His goal will be a major confidence boost and represented a much-needed lucky break. While he did complete a fair few dribbles on the stat-sheet, he still looks a shadow of what he was before injury. His passing was passive too. On the positive side, he made plenty of dangerous runs off the ball. While those were not picked out this time, they will be in the future.

Stats of note
1 goal
3 successful dribbles (3 attempted) - Joint 1st
2 shots - Joint 3rd

RATING: 6.5


Timo Werner

Won the team’s first penalty and was allowed to score the second one. He ran the channels willingly but not many passes found him and he was feeding off scraps — mainly due to the strength of opponent centre backs.

Stats of note
1 goal
5 touches in the penalty box - 2nd
2 shots - Joint 3rd
2 shot-creating actions - Joint 3rd

RATING: 7


Substitutes

FC Krasnodar v Chelsea FC: Group E - UEFA Champions League Photo by MB Media/Getty Images

N’Golo Kanté (71st minute)

Played as the deepest midfielder and immediately instilled a sense of calm. His ability to find spaces to receive made it significantly easier for Chelsea to play out.

Christian Pulisic (71st minute)

Still looks some ways short of his electric best but it is a testament to his directness and quality that he still managed to win a penalty and grab himself a goal.

Stats of note
1 goal
6 touches in the penalty box - Joint 1st
2 shot-creating actions - Joint 3rd

Mason Mount (71st minute)

Along with Kanté, his intelligence and intensity flipped the tide of the game in Chelsea’s favour. Progressed the ball excellently in his natural position as a midfielder - as opposed to playing on the wings.

Stats of note
3 passes into final-third - Joint 3rd

Tammy Abraham (80th minute)

Exhibited some top-tier centre forward play in creating Pulisic’s goal. His athletic development seems very encouraging - his intelligence and quality has never been in question.

Stats of note
1 assist
2 shot-creating actions - Joint 3rd

Emerson (81st minute)

Nothing of note.

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