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Chelsea 3-1 Leeds United, Premier League: Statistical Review and Analysis

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The numbers behind the game

Chelsea v Leeds United - Premier League Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Overview

As far as performances go, Chelsea are unlikely to find many better than this shift against Leeds. This was not just a victory; this was a surgical dismantling of a well-drilled team. Essentially, Chelsea beat Leeds at their own game by being terrifyingly good on transitions and carving them open for fun.

Like the game against Sheffield United, Chelsea went behind early. Édouard Mendy proved he is human after all with a rare misjudgement, not helped by a lack of communication with Zouma. Werner had the most bizarre miss goal-line clearance of the season too, compounding fears that luck simply was not going to be on Chelsea’s side.

Giroud put to those fears to rest, at least temporarily, with a trademark near post run and finish. But Leeds were given no chance of regaining their lead, such was Chelsea’s dominance, and Zouma soon converted from a corner to give Chelsea the advantage. The team could have scored six or seven on any other day but were forced to walk a tightrope thanks to incredibly comical finishing.

Werner put a shambolic day behind him to create Pulisic’s first league goal of the season late in the game and that was that. A 3-1 score flatters Leeds; even a 5-1 scoreline would have been flattering. This was a thoroughly complete performance.

The team’s mentality needs some highlighting too. Having gone behind, there were no signs of panic and we continued to play our game. While that sounds simple enough, it is something that was missing for large portions of last season. Likewise, it would have been easy to lose focus after all the misses too, but to our credit, we kept believing and ramping up the pressure.


Match statistics

Statistics from fbref and understat.


Individual ratings

Frank Lampard

The freedom afforded by the rotation against Sevilla allowed Lampard to pick the team’s best defence and midfield, on paper if not necessarily on form. The attack selected itself too, with Giroud’s form too good to ignore.

Where Lampard truly came into his element however was in the tactical match-up against Bielsa. Leeds were forensically dissected with every possession, with their second half display virtually amounting to nothing. While whataboutery is a dangerous path to go down, I do wonder if Lampard’s legendary status as a footballer means he will never receive the praise he deserves for his tactical acumen.

RATING: 8.5


Édouard Mendy

Had a rare lapse in judgement for Bamford’s first goal and was not tested much after that. Even the best players make mistakes and this was one from him. Needs to take it on the chin and move on.

RATING: 5


Reece James

Created Giroud’s goal with a peach of a cross and could have had another assist in the second half. Dealt with the dual threat of Harrison and Alioski excellently well too. The best moment of his game, though, came when he bullied Bamford in an altercation. The Leeds striker did not get a look into the game after that.

Stats of note
1 assist
4 tackles - Joint 1st among Chelsea players
2 interceptions - Joint 1st
11 loose-ball recoveries - 2nd
3 key passes - Joint 2nd
3 clearances - 3rd

RATING: 7.5


Kurt Zouma

He did not track the ball particularly well for Bamford’s goal and there was an element of miscommunication with Mendy too. Made up for it with a thumping header to give Chelsea the lead.

Stats of note
1 goal
5 passes into final third - 1st
5 clearances - Joint 1st
1 shot blocked - 2nd
4 progressive passes - Joint 2nd

RATING: 7


Chelsea v Leeds United - Premier League Photo by Chris Lee - Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Thiago Silva

Was exceptional when it came to defending transitions in the first half, with his mobility and ability to sniff out danger vital in ensuring Leeds did not get many clear chances.

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

RATING: 7.5


Ben Chilwell

Had a solid outing defensively, especially considering he was up against a very dangerous player in Raphinha. Did not contribute much in terms of ball progression or final third play but that is understandable considering the team mainly focused on building through the right.

Stats of note
4 tackles - Joint 1st
2 interceptions - Joint 1st
3 aerial duels won (3 contested) - Joint 1st

RATING: 7


N’Golo Kanté

Was phenomenal in dealing with Leeds United’s incessant pressure. Not only did he put out fire after fire defensively, his ball carrying in midfield carved them open multiple times. His suitability for playing against high-pressing teams was briefly questioned on Twitter and those questions can safely be laid to rest now.

It was his cute turn and run in midfield that led to the corner from which Zouma scored. Little details like those do not get captured easily — it was neither a successful dribble nor a completed tackle — but it is part of what makes Kanté so good.

Stats of note
21 pressures - 1st
12 loose-ball recoveries - 1st
4 tackles - Joint 1st
2 interceptions - Joint 1st
4 progressive passes - Joint 2nd

RATING: 7.5


Chelsea v Leeds United - Premier League Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Mason Mount

Ran the game from the first minute to the last, giving Leeds no respite on either side of the ball. His set-piece delivery was exceptional and he should have gotten another assist for a peach of a pass to Werner.

Stats of note
1 assist
7 key passes - 1st
2 passes into penalty area - Joint 1st
10 shot-creating actions - Joint 1st
2 interceptions - Joint 1st
17 pressures - 3rd

RATING: 8.5


Kai Havertz

Had a pretty passive display, doing very little either side of the ball besides a few deft touches. He has always been a player who peaks late in seasons so this is nothing out of the ordinary. His first half of last season was pretty mediocre too; he tends to pick up steam later than most.

RATING: 5


Hakim Ziyech

Did not get into the game much except for a cheeky piece of skill to get the second-assist for Giroud’s goal. His injury is concerning for Chelsea considering his unique skillset.

Stats of note
2 successful dribbles (2 attempted) - 2nd

RATING: 5.5


Chelsea v Leeds United - Premier League Photo by Daniel Leal-Olivas - Pool/Getty Images

Olivier Giroud

Got his fifth goal in four days and led the line with typical industriousness. While his finishing was not great, he scored the crucial equalizer and gave Leeds a tricky time for the duration of his stay on the pitch. A good outing, all things considered.

Stats of note
1 goal
6 shots - 1st
3 aerial duels won (8 contested) - Joint 1st
18 pressures - 2nd
5 touches in penalty box - 3rd
4 shot-creating actions - 3rd

RATING: 7


Timo Werner

Had yet another concerning display despite his late assist. His finishing was wayward and his general play was lacking too. As a big-money signing he will be afforded more leeway than most, but he needs to up his game quickly. In essence, he needs to be more useful when he is not scoring. The time he spent on the right wing showed some promise and is perhaps an idea worth exploring more.

Stats of note
1 assist
10 shot-creating actions - Joint 1st
2 passes into penalty area - Joint 1st
7 touches in penalty box - Joint 1st
5 shots - 2nd
3 key passes - Joint 2nd
10 loose-ball recoveries - 3rd

RATING: 6

Note: It might be perplexing to see his general play criticized when he has good passing stats, but his 3 key passes all came after the 84th minute and just 4 of his 10 shot-creating actions were passes. The rest were shots leading to other shots.


Substitutes

Chelsea v Leeds United - Premier League Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Christian Pulisic (30th minute) - Despite showing flashes of his skill, he still looks a fair way short of his real level. His decision-making and selfishness were both to the detriment of the team and will no doubt improve as he gets more game-time. His goal will be a big confidence boost on the back of a pretty frustrating display.

Stats of note
1 goal
3 successful dribbles (8 attempted) - 1st
7 touches in penalty box - Joint 1st
4 shots - 3rd

RATING: 6.5

Mateo Kovačić (67th minute) – Filled in excellently for Havertz and it was his initial pass that led to Chelsea’s third goal.

Tammy Abraham (79th minute) - Pressed effectively but could not get into optimal attacking positions.