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

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The numbers behind the game

FC Sevilla v Chelsea FC: Group E - UEFA Champions League Photo by Mateo Villalba/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Overview

Chelsea put an end to recent (misplaced) criticisms about big-game goalscoring woes in the best possible way against Sevilla. From the first minute to last, this was a performance that involved complete control in open play.

Chelsea’s first half game-plan revolved mainly around conserving energy and hitting Sevilla on the counter-attack. Giroud’s goal was a result of some slick ball-carrying from Havertz and there were further opportunities, mainly for Pulisic, to extend the lead from similar transitions.

Just as Sevilla were showing signs of getting into the game, smart play from Kovačić resulted in Giroud doubling his tally early in the second half. N’Golo Kanté chipped in with a surprisingly good cross to create the third goal before Giroud won and converted a penalty to extend his tally to a remarkable four.

Besides the goals, the defending was perhaps the most encouraging aspect of the performance. With a second string outfit, Chelsea exhibited some really promising defensive versatility. Our usual modus operandi mainly focuses on shutting down all possible shooting opportunities, choking teams inside and outside the box. Against Sevilla, the team was out-shot 17 to 13, but most of Sevilla’s shots were hit-and-hopes (bar one from a set-piece) that were unlikely to be converted. It is good to see that the team can defend in more ways than one.

Beating Sevilla at their home is not an easy task by any means, despite their rotated starting XI. This was their first home defeat in European competition since April 2018, when they lost 2-1 to Bayern Munich.


Match statistics

Statistics from fbref.


Individual ratings

Frank Lampard

Rolled out a heavily rotated team and still managed to walk away with a comprehensive victory. Lampard’s calculated gamble to rest Mount, Werner and Chilwell — three very important but also very tired players — worked out spectacularly here.

His tactical consistency needs to be applauded too. Instead of going for a 4-2-3-1, the team stuck to the trusted 4-3-3 and reaped the rewards. Positioning Kovačić and Havertz slightly closer to the opponent’s goal led to a consistent counter-attacking threat and Sevilla were duly made to pay.

Lampard deserves special praise for the way he has navigated this group too. Settling for a cautious 0-0 draw against Sevilla in September looks smarter with every passing day simply due to the confidence boost it gave our defence. Shutting down two dangerous teams, Sevilla and Manchester United, in consecutive games is a major reason why our defense is as good as it is right now. As always, don’t underestimate the importance of confidence and intangibles in football.

RATING: 8


Édouard Mendy

Made a very good save off Rekik from point-blank range but was not tested much otherwise. Was confident off his line and his passing was commendably good as always.

RATING: 7


César Azpilicueta

Did not offer much in a creative sense bar one pass to Pulisic but was his usual self defensively. A solid, if unspectacular, showing from the captain.

Stats of note
2 interceptions - 1st among Chelsea players
3 tackles - Joint 1st
16 pressures - 2nd
9 loose-ball recoveries - 2nd

RATING: 6.5


ESP: Sevilla FC-Chelsea FC. UEFA Champions League Photo by Antonio Pozo/Pressinphoto/Icon Sport via Getty Images

Andreas Christensen

Made his first start in two months and held his own against tricky opponents. His main issue has been concentration rather than intent over the past couple of seasons and he did well here to stay focused for 90 minutes. Could have perhaps done a bit better at ball progression.

Stats of note
4 clearances - 1st
4 aerial duels won (6 contested) - Joint 1st
3 shots blocked - Joint 1st
8 loose-ball recoveries - Joint 3rd

RATING: 7.5


Antonio Rüdiger

Defended excellently in his own box, making a few crucial last-ditch blocks. While he did have a few iffy touches, his passing was very good, in general, too.

Stats of note
3 shots blocked - Joint 1st
3 passes into final third - Joint 1st
2 aerial duels won (3 contested) - Joint 2nd
3 clearances - Joint 3rd
3 progressive passes - Joint 3rd

RATING: 7.5


FC Sevilla v Chelsea FC: Group E - UEFA Champions League Photo by Fran Santiago - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

Emerson Palmieri

Filled in capably for Chilwell. Made overlapping runs to offer a consistent passing option down the left and stayed attentive defensively. Took set-pieces reasonably well too.

Stats of note
3 key passes - Joint 1st
4 progressive passes - 2nd
8 loose-ball recoveries - Joint 2nd
2 aerial duels won (4 contested) - Joint 2nd

RATING: 6.5


Jorginho

Played a few nice vertical passes but could not nail them consistently and could have done better at moving the ball faster. Was not at his best defensively but with the team playing so well, it did not really matter.

Stats of note
10 loose-ball recoveries - 1st
19 pressures - 1st
4 shot-creating actions - Joint 1st
2 passes into final third - Joint 2nd
2 tackles - Joint 2nd
3 progressive passes - Joint 3rd

RATING: 6.5


FC Sevilla v Chelsea FC: Group E - UEFA Champions League Photo by Jose Breton/Pics Action/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Mateo Kovačić

Has now had three very good performances in his last four games as an attacking No.8. Created Giroud’s second goal and was actively involved in final third play outside that, too. Was diligent defensively, helping the team create dangerous transitions.

Stats of note
1 assist
3 key passes - 1st
5 progressive passes - 1st
2 passes into penalty area - 1st
2 passes into final third - Joint 2nd

RATING: 7.5


Kai Havertz

Was heavily involved in attacking moves, creating spaces for himself very well using deft feints and turns while consistently making the right decisions in terms of passing. One gets the impression that these performances, while good, are not even the tip of the iceberg.

Stats of note
1 assist
3 successful dribbles (6 attempted) - Joint 1st
2 tackles - Joint 2nd
11 pressures - Joint 3rd

RATING: 7


Callum Hudson-Odoi

His unselfish off-the-ball runs opened up acres of space for his teammates and his defensive work was just as good too. Frustratingly ignored in some dangerous locations: open on multiple occasions only for Pulisic and Werner to go for ill-advised shots. Regardless, this performance highlights his ongoing development as an all-round talent on both sides of the ball.

Stats of note
3 successful dribbles (6 attempted) - Joint 1st
3 passes into final third - Joint 1st
3 tackles - Joint 1st
3 touches in penalty box - 3rd

RATING: 7


Sevilla v Chelsea - UEFA Champions League Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

Olivier Giroud

An impeccable display up-front. Scored a perfect hat-trick (left foot, right foot, header) before expertly winning and converting a penalty. His general play was at its usual high level, winning fouls to alleviate pressure every time Sevilla tried to build momentum. Like his hat-trick, his performance was perfect too.

Stats of note
4 goals
6 touches in the penalty box - 1st
4 aerial duels won (10 contested) - 1st
4 shots - Joint 1st
11 pressures - Joint 3rd

RATING: 10


Christian Pulisic

Had a night to forget. Showed some nice footwork, especially in 1v1 dribbling situations, but his decision-making was wildly off the mark. Went for two selfish shots instead of finding open teammates and lacked conviction otherwise when deciding between a pass and a shot. One needs to remember that he is returning from an injury and he will significantly improve with more game-time.

Stats of note
4 shots - Joint 1st
3 successful dribbles (3 attempted) - Joint 1st
4 shot-creating actions - Joint 1st
5 touches in penalty box - 2nd

RATING: 6

Note: It might be contradictory to see his decision-making criticized when he had four shot-creating actions, but of the four, one was a dribble that led to his own shot, one was a shot that got blocked and led to a corner and two were pre-assists for shots.


Substitutes

ESP: Sevilla FC-Chelsea FC. UEFA Champions League Photo by Antonio Pozo/Pressinphoto/Icon Sport via Getty Images

N’Golo Kanté (67th minute) – Created the third goal and generally spent half an hour gliding around the pitch.

Hakim Ziyech (67th minute) – Nothing of note.

Mason Mount (67th minute) – Did well to create a shooting chance for himself and will be annoyed that he did not convert it.

Timo Werner (84th minute) – Got into a dangerous position once before his touch let him down.

Billy Gilmour (85th minute) – Made a highly anticipated return to first-team action but did not (need to) do much of note, with the game long sewn up.