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Chelsea 2-0 Wolves, Premier League: Statistical review and analysis

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The numbers behind the game

Chelsea FC v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

That was easier than expected.

Overview

The game itself was largely dull, with few (if any) sustained spells of possession from either team. Chelsea played with all the nervousness you would expect from a team that had their season on the line and Wolves, well, did not seem at their ferocious best.

The game was sleep-walking towards a 0-0 scoreline at half-time when Marcos Alonso won a free kick in perhaps the best position for direct free kicks. Mount duly converted to score Chelsea’s first before chaos in midfield gave Mount the chance to slip Giroud through. Giroud’s pace to get around Patricio and Coady actually deserves plenty of praise here; the goal was far tougher than it looked.

The rest of the game was relatively straight-forward as neither team overly exerted themselves. Towards the end, Pedro got himself a well-deserved ovation: five seasons of exceptional service and plenty of memorable moments.

Top 4 has been secured, meaning Chelsea have spared us from the slightly embarrassing possibility of having to turn up on Thursday nights with an attack likely consisting of Timo Werner, Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech.

However, top 4 is not the end-all or the be-all for a club like Chelsea and nobody knows that better than Lampard. After a few days of celebration, it will be business as usual as Chelsea plot to scale back to greater heights.


Match statistics

Statistics from fbref and understat.


Individual ratings

Chelsea FC v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League Photo by Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images

Frank Lampard

Common sense prevailed in his team selection, with Caballero coming in for Kepa and Pulisic coming in for the injured Willian. It was nice to see Lampard not risk Kanté for this game. While Kanté did produce outstanding performances the last two times he was rushed back from injury (The Super Cup in August and the Europa League final last May), the long-term physical detriments are quite simply not worth it.

Matching Wolves’ 3-4-3 setup was a logical move and the team largely stayed compact. There was not much of the usual swashbuckling in attack that neutrals have become accustomed to seeing, with solidity prioritized over style. There were a couple of jittery moments even then but against a team that is as good as Wolves on the counter, these moments are bound to happen.

RATING: 8


Willy Caballero

He was not called into action often but when he did, he showed his mettle. One particular instance against a floated cross stands out, with Caballero showing good judgement to keep the ball out. The defenders seemed calmer than usual and while it is tricky to say how much of this was down to Caballero, it is a point worth noting regardless.

RATING: 7


Reece James

Did not get the ball in dangerous areas as much as over the past few games. Consequently, his deliveries were not as good as we have become used to. He had a chance to score his first Premier League goal in the first half from a free-kick but the chance went over the bar. Defensively, he matched up excellently in aerial duels, a fact that is reflected in the numbers.

Stats of note:
3 tackles won - Joint 2nd
4 aerial duels won (out of 5) - Joint 2nd
3 touches in penalty area - Joint 3rd

RATING: 7


Chelsea FC v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League Photo by Matthew Childs/Pool via Getty Images

César Azpilicueta

Azpilicueta’s late yellow card meant the proud distinction of going through an entire season without a booking was taken away from him. However, this should not take away from what was another quietly efficient afternoon at the office. He was his usual reliable self in 50-50 duels across the pitch, be it aerially or on the ground. A rare lapse of concentration lead to a shot from Jota, but ultimately no harm came of it.

Stats of note:
21 loose-ball recoveries - 1st
11 progressive passes - Joint 1st
5 clearances - Joint 2nd
4 aerial duels won (out of 6) - Joint 2nd
1 interception - Joint 2nd
5 passes into final third - Joint 3rd

RATING: 7.5


Kurt Zouma

He’s gone from looking like the centre-back most likely to be sold before the restart, to cementing himself as perhaps the most reliable. While he did not have to be at his usual dominant self aerially, Zouma was effective in dealing with situations before they evolved into something more dangerous.

Stats of note
13 clearances - 1st
2 interceptions - Joint 1st

RATING: 7.5


Chelsea FC v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Antonio Rüdiger

A reminder of why Rüdiger was Chelsea’s best defender in his first two seasons at the club. His ability on the ground was a major reason why Chelsea managed to keep Wolves at bay. While not all of his ambitious passes came off, the ones that did created favorable situations.

Stats of note:
5 aerial duels won (out of 5) - 1st
21 pressures - 1st
3 tackles won - Joint 2nd
5 clearances - Joint 2nd
1 pass into penalty area - Joint 3rd

RATING: 7.5


Marcos Alonso

Won the free kick that led to the opener but had a quiet afternoon otherwise. His tendency to take quick shots, one of the biggest reasons behind his strong goal record, seems to have vanished without much of an explanation. After being targeted in the first half, he stood up well to Neto, Doherty and the not-so-secret secret weapon Adama Traoré. He even managed to mug off Adama late in the game!

Stats of note:
11 progressive passes - Joint 1st
5 touches in penalty box - 2nd
3 shot-creating actions - Joint 2nd
1 successful dribble (out of 2) - Joint 2nd
1 interception - Joint 2nd
12 loose-ball recoveries - 3rd

RATING: 7


Jorginho

He kept play simple and stayed disciplined positionally for large parts of the game. His aptitude in tight spaces was visible as always and if the forwards had made more ambitious runs off the ball, perhaps a couple of his first-time passes might have borne fruit.

Stats of note:
10 passes into final third - 1st
2 interceptions - Joint 1st
15 loose-ball recoveries - 2nd
18 pressures - 3rd

RATING: 7


Chelsea FC v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League Photo by Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images

Mateo Kovačić

After starting the game slowly, Kovačić went back to the form he showed against Manchester United a week ago. It was impossible for Wolves to win the ball back from him legally, as has been the case for most teams. His tackling and passing range were noticeable, too. With better pass selection and better reading of the game, especially in terms of danger behind him, one gets the impression Kovačić can make another step up next season.

Stats of note:
2 successful dribbles (out of 2) - 1st
5 tackles won - 1st
19 pressures - 2nd
7 passes into final third - 2nd
1 pass into penalty area - Joint 3rd

RATING: 7.5


Christian Pulisic

Arguably his least impressive performance since the restart and the reason was fairly obvious from the first minute, fatigue. Physical and mental exhaustion meant he was not as sharp as he usually is.

The regions of his pass reception were interesting too, with Pulisic dropping deeper and wider than usual to get the ball. This meant his greatest attribute - his directness - could be nullified and Wolves could double or triple-team against him. Going forward, he will need to be smarter and must understand that his best performances come when he is closer to goal.

Stats of note:
3 passes into penalty area - 1st
3 shot-creating actions - Joint 2nd
3 touches in penalty area - Joint 3rd

RATING: 6


Olivier Giroud

Another game, another important goal. When everything is said and done, Lampard and everyone associated with Chelsea will look back at Giroud’s contributions to the top-four push and thank the heavens that he was not sold in January.

Giroud was largely feeding off scraps against Wolves and truth be told, he will have plenty of better games even at the age of 33. However, he converted the one chance he did get to cement to Chelsea’s lead on the stroke of half-time.

Stats of note:
1 goal
6 touches in penalty box - 1st

RATING: 7


Chelsea FC v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League Photo by Chris Lee - Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Mason Mount

Having been falsely accused of being the teacher’s pet and receiving unfair preference from Lampard — not for the first time — over the past few days, Mount stepped up big time to guide Chelsea to the top four.

Like his teammates, he did not have the greatest afternoon overall. Some of his passes were not sharp and his decision-making was not at its best. However, when the team needed someone to step up and grab the initiative, it was Mount who answered the call.

The free-kick and the pass to Giroud were two moments of pure quality amidst a forgettable display otherwise, but they were two moments of quality that ensured Chelsea will rub shoulders with Europe’s elite next season. And at the end of the day, that’s all that matters.

Stats of note:
1 goal
1 assist
4 shot-creating actions - 1st
2 passes into penalty area - 2nd
9 progressive passes - 3rd
5 passes into final third - Joint 3rd
3 touches in penalty area - Joint 3rd

RATING: 8


Substitutes

Chelsea FC v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Tammy Abraham (78th minute) — Missed a reasonably good chance from a corner and was too greedy in trying to take a shot few minutes later when there were better options, but with the score 2-0 and the match practically over, one cannot blame him for being greedy.

Callum Hudson-Odoi (78th minute) — Chelsea were largely on cruise control and Hudson-Odoi did not do much to change the rhythm of the game. Was happy to keep play moving as the game wound down.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek (85th minute) — Nothing of note.

Pedro (85th minute) — Got a well-deserved final appearance at Stamford Bridge. Pedro ends his Chelsea career with 205 appearances, 43 goals, 28 assists and a healthy goal contribution rate of 0.52 non-penalty goals + assists per 90. A thoroughly good player, a thoroughly good person.

Ross Barkley (88th minute) — Nothing of note.