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Chelsea 1-1 Aston Villa, Premier League: Statistical Review and Analysis

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The numbers behind the game

Chelsea v Aston Villa - Premier League Photo by John Walton - Pool/Getty Images

Overview

Another frustrating result in a month of misery with two dropped points at home to Aston Villa. While the performance was far better than the one against Arsenal, it was still well short of the team’s best.

Chelsea started on the front foot, with plenty of possession but not enough chances. The only major chance of the first half fell to Pulisic who scooped his shot over the crossbar. Giroud ensured Chelsea did not regret that miss too much by scoring an excellent header that was far harder than it looked.

The ability of Andreas Christensen to remove himself from play during dangerous opposition attacks came to the fore as he collided with Grealish and started a chain of events that ended up with El Ghazi scoring the equalizer — though others, mainly Rüdiger, could have also been smarter and put the ball out of play as well.

The final 40 minutes of the game were largely frustrating as Chelsea created very few chances. The team had a total of 3 shots inside the box and 0 “big” chances (chances with an xG of 0.25 or more) in the second half: nowhere near optimal while chasing a win. Werner could have won the game with a half-chance, Chilwell nearly scored the goal of the season at the end, but all said and done, a point apiece was a fair result.

While the defensive performance against a solid team was commendable, the lack of impetus going forward is still concerning. The frustration of the result is compounded by the recent negative swing, with the team going from a +8 point swing to +3 point swing (compared to last season) within the span of 3 days.


Match statistics

Statistics from fbref and understat.


Individual ratings

Frank Lampard

While the intensity of the performance was far better than the Arsenal game, it was still not where the team needed to be. The team’s inability to create from open play in the second half is a major concern, especially considering the team’s firepower and Lampard’s offense-centric attitude.

The team selection had multiple questionable calls too. Picking Jorginho over Gilmour made little sense, just like in the Arsenal game. Bringing on Werner as a substitute for Giroud instead of Abraham killed whatever little attacking momentum the team generated in the second half, too.

RATING: 5


Édouard Mendy

His main fault in the first goal was not being proactive enough to collect the cross rather than failing to stop the shot. A goalkeeper of his height should be doing a lot more to pluck balls out of the air and that has perhaps been his biggest weakness so far. Was not tested much otherwise.

RATING: 5


César Azpilicueta

Started the game slowly — which could be down to either his lack of playing time or age — and he never really got into it. While he did well to get the ball into the final third, he did not do much in terms of providing a quality final ball.

Stats of note
18 loose-ball recoveries - 1st among Chelsea players
5 passes into final third - 2nd
6 progressive passes - 2nd
2 key passes - Joint 2nd
2 tackles - Joint 2nd
2 clearances - Joint 2nd

RATING: 6


Chelsea v Aston Villa - Premier League Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Andreas Christensen

His rashness and naivety directly led to Villa’s equalizer, something that is not a new phenomenon. He had a solid game otherwise but in order to grow as a player, he needs to cut out games where he is “flawless” except for one major blunder.

Stats of note
6 clearances - Joint 1st
2 aerial duels won (3 contested) - Joint 2nd
11 loose-ball recoveries - 3rd

RATING: 5.5


Antonio Rüdiger

Should have put the ball out before El Ghazi’s goal — not doing so was as bad as Emerson keeping the ball in play in the home game against Arsenal last season. He had a pretty par for the course game otherwise, remaining strong in the air but with mediocre distribution.

Stats of note
4 aerial duels won (4 contested) - 1st
6 clearances - Joint 1st

RATING: 6


Chelsea v Aston Villa - Premier League Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Ben Chilwell

Had a solid game going forward and created Giroud’s opener. While it is still not clear how fit he is, he looked a lot sharper than against Arsenal before fading in the second half. His combinations with Mount were partially back to their usually high levels too.

Stats of note
1 assist
4 touches in penalty box - Joint 2nd
2 aerial duels won (3 attempted) - Joint 2nd

RATING: 6.5


Jorginho

Was active defensively but underwhelmed when it came to ball progression (1 progressive pass, 2 passes into final third). Consistently made bad decisions in terms of receiving and picking passes, dropping in unnecessarily between the centre-backs and hindering the team’s ball movement.

Stats of note
4 interceptions - 1st
4 tackles - Joint 1st
19 pressures - 2nd

RATING: 5.5


N’Golo Kanté

On paper, he was asked to reprise his role against West Ham as an advanced midfielder. However, he played even further ahead than against the Hammers and it clearly was not a role he was comfortable in. Playing Kanté close to the opponent box maximizes his weaknesses and hides his strengths. Unsurprisingly looked a lot better once he moved deeper.

Stats of note
22 pressures - 1st
3 key passes - Joint 1st
4 tackles - Joint 1st
2 successful dribbles (2 attempted) - Joint 1st
15 loose-ball recoveries - 2nd
2 aerial duels won (3 contested) - Joint 2nd
4 shot-creating actions - Joint 2nd
4 passes into final third - 3rd

RATING: 6.5


Chelsea v Aston Villa - Premier League - Stamford Bridge Photo by John Walton/PA Images via Getty Images

Mason Mount

If his teammates had the same bravery on the ball as Mount, there is a good chance the game would have been won. It was his vertical pass that led to Chelsea’s goal, the sort of spark that Chelsea have sorely missed over the past few games.

Stats of note
5 shot-creating actions - 1st
10 passes into final third - 1st
8 progressive passes - Joint 1st
3 key passes - Joint 1st
2 successful dribbles (4 attempted) - Joint 1st
3 passes into penalty box - 2nd
2 tackles - Joint 2nd
4 touches in the penalty box - Joint 2nd

RATING: 7


Callum Hudson-Odoi

Put on a mini passing clinic in the first half, pulling the Villa defence out of shape with his long range passes. He could not provide the final pass/shot as he would have liked, perhaps because he bore a lot of the ball progression responsibilities. It was surprising to see him not engage in many 1v1 dribbling duels, however. He only attempted 2 dribbles and succeeded in one of them.

Stats of note
4 passes into penalty box - 1st
8 progressive passes - Joint 1st
2 key passes - Joint 2nd
4 shot-creating actions - Joint 2nd
2 tackles - Joint 2nd
4 touches in the penalty box - Joint 2nd

RATING: 7


Olivier Giroud

Despite scoring, he could not get into the game much and this affected the performances of the two wingers around him. If it seemed as though Chelsea crossed less frequently with Giroud on the pitch, it is because he lacked the speed to find separation in the box and found himself surrounded by defenders often. Crossing in such a situation is largely futile and it is not surprising that players looked for alternative solutions.

This is not to blame him either, to merely play and score consistently for a club of Chelsea’s level at his age is a phenomenal feat.

Stats of note
1 goal
15 pressures - 3rd

RATING: 6.5


Chelsea v Aston Villa - Premier League Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Christian Pulisic

He showed plenty of intent but could not execute his ideas. Should have finished his big chance too, especially considering how close he was to the goal. However, it is fine for a player his age to not be able to execute his ideas — playing two games in 48 hours is not easy. His aggression and willingness to keep trying was encouraging to watch by itself.

Stats of note
11 touches in the penalty box - 1st
4 shots - 1st
2 successful dribbles (5 attempted) - Joint 1st
2 passes into penalty box - 2nd
2 interceptions - 2nd

RATING: 6.5


Substitutes

Timo Werner (72nd minute) — Was given an opportunity to be the team’s centre-forward as many had asked for. In a predictable turn of events, he barely got a sniff in dangerous areas outside one half-chance from a set-piece.

Kai Havertz (72nd minute) — Had a few nice touches but could not convert them into anything productive. Lost the ball in a dangerous area once and this is something he needs to cut out.

In any case, Havertz is one of the world’s best young players in the final third — why is he being asked to play as a build-up passer instead of exploiting his game awareness close to goal? Lampard needs to figure out how to use him soon.