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Newcastle United 0-2 Chelsea, Premier League: Statistical Review and Analysis

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The numbers behind the game

Newcastle United v Chelsea - Premier League Photo by MB Media/Getty Images

Overview

Chelsea, for once, breezed to an easy win at St. James’ Park in a no-frills performance, collecting only our second win at Newcastle in over 7 years.

Chelsea started the game exceptionally well in terms of ball circulation and were only denied by two very good saves from Karl Darlow in the first 10 minutes. However, the dominance on the ball eventually paid dividends and Mount forced an own goal from Federico Fernández. Chelsea pressed on for the second goal and only some lax decision-making stopped that from happening.

Newcastle had a brief period of resurgence either side of half-time but were soon put to rest by a tearing run from Timo Werner and a smart finish from Tammy Abraham. After that, Chelsea saw out the game professionally with possession and did not expend a lot of energy. Job done and game won.

On another day, Chelsea could have perhaps scored a couple more with some sharper decision-making but that is not a major complaint. The fact players shied away from shots, something that is reflected in the xG tally, and opted to set up teammates will no doubt annoy Lampard but he will be pleased with the maturity on display overall.


Match statistics

Statistics from fbref and understat.


Individual ratings

Frank Lampard

Picked a fairly obvious starting XI with only Havertz and Silva missing out. As opposed to last season, he seems to have found his best team early and that is something for which he deserves praise.

Chelsea have come on in leaps and bounds in ball circulation, too, with the first 30 minutes perhaps the best this season in terms of penetration. While these are broadly still early days, the team seem to have found a balance between expansive build-up play and defensive solidity, especially against deeper defences.

RATING: 8 ­


Newcastle United v Chelsea - Premier League Photo by MB Media/Getty Images

Édouard Mendy

Was not tested much in the way of shots on target, with his main work coming in collecting loose balls and crosses. His distribution, while not consistent, has shown major signs of promise. His flat long-pass is a tool that Lampard should seek to utilize more.

RATING: 6.5


Reece James

Should have gotten an assist for his peach of a cross to Werner and did a good job of stretching Newcastle’s defence otherwise. While he had an unusually subdued performance in terms of ball progression, the smartness of his runs on and off the ball opened up plenty of space for others. It does feel like stats do not do this performance justice, considering his threat.

Stats of note
2 passes into penalty box – Joint 1st among Chelsea players
17 pressures – Joint 2nd
2 shots – Joint 2nd
3 aerial duels won (3 competed) – Joint 3rd

RATING: 7


Kurt Zouma

After a slightly iffy first few minutes, Zouma was colossal in the air against two adept target-men in Joelinton and Andy Carroll. In the absence of Thiago Silva, he took up the responsibility of ball progression from central defence too.

Stats of note
8 aerial duels won (10 competed) – 1st
6 clearances – 1st
13 passes into final third – 1st
2 shots blocked – Joint 1st
8 progressive passes – Joint 1st
13 loose-ball recoveries – 2nd

RATING: 7.5


Newcastle United v Chelsea - Premier League Photo by MB Media/Getty Images

Antonio Rüdiger

Filled in for Silva and while not at the same level, he held his own, especially considering his lack of recent game-time for Chelsea. His distribution was not at its best but all said and done, he will be satisfied with his performance.

Stats of note
2 shots blocked – Joint 1st
3 aerial duels won (4 competed) – 3rd

RATING: 6.5


Ben Chilwell

Was involved in the first goal, with his presence forcing Fernández to panic and kick the ball into his own net. His intensity played a big part in stretching Newcastle’s defence, consequently resulting in pockets of space opening up for others to exploit. He held his own defensively, even when occasionally outnumbered.

Stats of note
2 tackles won – Joint 1st
3 clearances – Joint 2nd

RATING: 6.5


N’Golo Kanté

Was a class above everyone else on the pitch, with his intelligence and technique making a tricky assignment look like child’s play. He is the best midfielder in the world from a defensive perspective, but his passing has been superb of late too. He has consistently taken correct decisions in terms of pass choices, angles and weights, making everyone’s job easier.

Stats of note
2 interceptions – 1st
14 loose-ball recoveries – 1st
8 progressive passes – Joint 1st
2 tackles won – Joint 1st
17 pressures – Joint 2nd

RATING: 8


Newcastle United v Chelsea - Premier League Photo by Lee Smith - Pool/Getty Images

Mason Mount

It was his smart movement and delivery that resulted in the opening goal. He was his usual solid self in terms of moving the ball forward and could have scored one of the goals of the weekend had he connected better with his shot after a beautiful turn.

Interestingly, he was not particularly active off the ball and this was probably no accident. Conserving his energy was important, especially after Gareth Southgate’s indiscriminate use of him in the international break. It is not often that Mount finishes 6th in the team in terms of pressure but it had to be done against Newcastle.

Stats of note
8 progressive passes – Joint 1st
6 touches in the penalty box – Joint 1st
3 key passes – Joint 1st
5 shot-creating actions – Joint 1st
12 passes into final third – 2nd
2 shots – Joint 2nd
11 loose-ball recoveries – 3rd

RATING: 7.5


Mateo Kovačić

He has done excellently well to expand his repertoire, especially in an attacking sense. His runs into the box, while not perfect, are important in stretching opponent defences. While his final third passing still needs some work, his improvement under Lampard has been very pleasing to see.

Stats of note
19 pressures – 1st
3 key passes – Joint 1st
4 shot-creating actions – 2nd
2 shots – Joint 2nd
8 passes into final third – 3rd

RATING: 7


Hakim Ziyech

Was not at his blistering best but his passing was still crucial in unlocking Newcastle’s defence. Created a decent half-opening for Tammy Abraham early in the first half and while the execution was not perfect, his tendency to consistently seek dangerous passes will help the team going forward.

Stats of note
5 shot-creating actions – Joint 1st
2 passes into penalty box – Joint 1st

RATING: 6.5


FBL-ENG-PR-NEWCASTLE-CHELSEA Photo by LEE SMITH/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Tammy Abraham

Continued his recent good form with another accomplished all-round display. His hold-up play was superb and he managed to find teammates in dangerous goal-scoring positions. Got a richly deserved goal to cap off his display too.

Stats of note
1 goal
3 shots – 1st
6 touches in the penalty box – Joint 1st
3 key passes – Joint 1st
4 aerial duels won (8 competed) – 2nd

RATING: 7.5


Timo Werner

Had a mixed display. While his decision-making was off, his sheer quality meant he still played a pivotal role in creating the second goal. In what may sound like a paradox but actually isn’t, this performance against Newcastle was simultaneously his worst and his most encouraging in a Chelsea shirt.

So far this season, most of his goals have been penalties, counter-attacks, finishes from tough positions or against very high lines, leading to questions about his ability to unlock deep defences. To that end, it was encouraging to see him find time and space against a resolute deep defence in open play. His lack of end-product was the result of some uncharacteristic hesitation and bad decision-making and is not likely to be repeated too often.

This was a bad display by his standards but one that holds a lot of promise for the future.

Stats of note
1 assist
2 passes into penalty box – Joint 1
5 touches in the penalty box – 2nd
2 shots – Joint 2nd

RATING: 6


Substitutes

FBL-ENG-PR-NEWCASTLE-CHELSEA Photo by OWEN HUMPHREYS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Callum Hudson-Odoi (76th minute) – Looked sharp and confident but with the game done and dusted, he was not afforded many opportunities to showcase his skills.

Emerson Palmieri (82nd minute) – Made a mistake while maintaining an offside trap but fortunately, nothing came of it.

Olivier Giroud (87th minute) – Nothing of note.