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Brighton & Hove Albion 1-3 Chelsea, Premier League: Statistical review and analysis

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The numbers behind the game

Brighton & Hove Albion v Chelsea - Premier League Photo by Peter Cziborra/Pool via Getty Images

Overview

The 3-1 scoreline flattered Chelsea and masked what was a largely pedestrian performance. Considering the short and turbulent pre-season, such a performance was no surprise.

Chelsea started slowly and struggled to keep the ball. This was unequivocally the worst aspect of the performance and led to Chelsea having less than 50 per cent of the ball for only the fourth time under Lampard in the Premier League.

After a largely uneventful first 20 minutes, Jorginho capitalized on a stray pass and created a sequence that resulted in Werner winning a penalty, which Chelsea’s captain for the night converted. Trossard’s goal around the 55th minute deservedly brought Brighton level before Reece James channeled his inner Michael Essien and demolished the net. A deflected goal from Zouma ten minutes later laid the game to rest and ensured a hard-earned three points.

Chelsea were perhaps lucky that Brighton forgot their shooting boots and could have conceded another goal or two otherwise. Set piece defending was shaky at times but that is perhaps something that will only improve in the long-term.

On another day, Brighton would have finished better and the narrative would have been totally different. Lampard, and the players, will be happy to take the three points and run.


Match Statistics

Statistics from fbref and understat.


Individual ratings

Frank Lampard

This was not Lampard’s best day by any means, be it the tactical setup or the team selection. Not picking Callum Hudson-Odoi, the team’s only fit winger and high on confidence after a stellar display on international duty, was a decision that appeared more bizarre with every passing minute.

One has to wonder what is in store for Hudson-Odoi. If he cannot make the starting XI over Loftus-Cheek, does he stand a realistic chance of breaking through when Pulisic and Ziyech are fit? It will be interesting to see what happens to him over the next few weeks and months but right now things are not exactly looking bright for him.

Tactically, it was difficult to understand the way different players were utilized. Was it necessary to play Loftus-Cheek as a second striker with Havertz in the XI? A large reason behind Havertz looking subdued was him receiving the ball in “safe” locations close to the halfway line on the right wing.

The team looked neither rock-solid defensively, as evidenced by the high xG conceded, nor particularly threatening going forward, as evidenced by the low xG created. While the fitness of players certainly played a huge part, Lampard certainly could have made better decisions.

RATING: 5


Brighton & Hove Albion v Chelsea - Premier League

Kepa Arrizabalaga

Served up the type of performance that we’ve become accustomed to. Was not a commanding presence on set-pieces and let in a weak shot from Trossard. He is who he is and Mendy, or any new goalkeeper for that matter, cannot come soon enough.

RATING: 5


Reece James

Had a slow start but picked up the pace and was the best Chelsea player on the pitch eventually. He is unlikely to score many goals better than the one in this game. The duel between him and former teammate Tariq Lamptey was fascinating to watch and highlighted the ridiculous levels of talent present in the Chelsea Academy.

Stats of note
1 goal
1 assist
4 aerial duels won (out of 4) - 1st among Chelsea players
2 blocked shots - 1st
2 key passes - Joint 1st
2 interceptions - Joint 3rd (note: this includes both “interceptions” and “blocked passes”
mentioned in fbref)
3 touches in the penalty box - 2nd
2 tackles won - Joint 2nd
4 progressive passes - Joint 3rd

RATING: 8


Andreas Christensen

Was one half of a centre-back pairing that was dubbed “terrific” by Lampard. Christensen matched up excellently on the ground against the threat of Trossard, Alzate and March. And while he was not expansive on the ball, he kept it moving efficiently.

Stats of note
3 interceptions - 1st
6 clearances - Joint 1st
2 tackles won - Joint 2nd
1 blocked shot - Joint 2nd

RATING: 7


Kurt Zouma

Got his first goal in five years for Chelsea to cap off what was a quietly solid display. His combination of aerial ability, speed on the ground and the desire to defend make him a valuable option to have regardless of opponent. It is perhaps not a stretch to say that Zouma will be rated far more highly once he has a more secure goalkeeper behind him.

Stats of note
1 goal
12 loose ball recoveries - 1st
6 clearances - Joint 1st
1 blocked shot - Joint 2nd
2 aerial duels won (out of 2) - 3rd

RATING: 7.5


Brighton & Hove Albion v Chelsea - Premier League

Marcos Alonso

Started almost by default due to Chilwell’s and Azpilicueta’s injuries. He was given the unenviable task of defending against the electric Tariq Lamptey and there was always going to be only one winner. Alonso moved the ball well but ultimately, it was not a game to remember fondly for him.

Stats of note
12 progressive passes - 1st
4 interceptions - 2nd
11 recoveries - 2nd
2 passes into final third - Joint 2nd
5 clearances - 2nd
1 pass into penalty box - Joint 3rd

RATING: 6.5


Jorginho

Had the honor of scoring the first goal of what promises to be a hugely exciting season and got the assist for Reece’s wondergoal. Had a solid if unspectacular performance featuring the usual pros and cons associated with him.

Stats of note
1 goal
1 assist
6 passes into the final third - 1st
3 shot creating actions - Joint 1st
2 key passes - Joint 1st
7 progressive passes - 2nd
2 interceptions - Joint 3rd
9 recoveries - 3rd
26 pressures - 3rd
1 pass into penalty box - Joint 3rd

RATING: 7


N’Golo Kanté

Was allowed to play in the role that suits him best, as a mobile box-to-box with the freedom to win the ball where he pleased, and repaid the faith with a reasonably good defensive performance. Was not at his best on the ball however. He will do well to be conservative when Chelsea have the lead too, especially in a young team.

Stats of note
6 interceptions - 1st
3 tackles won - 1st
27 pressures - 2nd

RATING: 6.5


Brighton and Hove Albion v Chelsea - Premier League - AMEX Stadium Photo by Glyn Kirk/PA Images via Getty Images

Ruben Loftus-Cheek

Was preferred over Hudson-Odoi and struggled massively in all phases of the game. Could not retain the ball consistently and was bypassed easily in the defensive phase. How much of this is down to permanent damage due to his injury and how much down to a mere lack of confidence remains to be seen.

RATING: 4


Mason Mount

Was fielded on the left to deal with Lamptey’s marauding runs forward and made a good fist of that. However, his usual zip on the ball was missing and he struggled to make or receive passes between the lines when the team was struggling to up the tempo. A quiet performance was inevitable considering his lack of a pre-season.

Stats of note
32 pressures - 1st
3 shot creating actions - Joint 1st
2 key passes - Joint 1st
2 tackles won - Joint 2nd
2 passes into penalty area - Joint 1st
2 passes into final third - Joint 2nd
4 progressive passes - Joint 3rd

RATING: 6.5


Kai Havertz

Was played in an uncomfortable role and consequently had a subdued performance. He was asked to play as a wide midfielder instead of a wide forward and struggled to make an impact from that position. Regardless, he had a few nice touches and as he becomes more familiar with the league, those touches will turn into something more substantial.

Stats of note
3 shot creating actions - Joint 1st
2 passes into penalty box - Joint 1st
2 passes into final third - Joint 2nd

RATING: 6


Brighton & Hove Albion v Chelsea - Premier League Photo by Peter Cziborra/Pool via Getty Images

Timo Werner

Has taken to the league like a fish to water and gave Brighton’s defence plenty of trouble in everything he did. His runs to open up space and willingness to chase lost causes will no doubt result in more goals as Chelsea welcome back better attackers into the team.

Stats of note
1 penalty won
8 touches in the penalty box - 1st
3 successful dribbles (out of 5) - Joint 1st
2 passes into final third - Joint 2nd

RATING: 7


Substitutes

Ross Barkley (61st minute)
Was brought on in place of Loftus-Cheek and his presence immediately lifted the team. Was reasonably secure with the ball and played his part in a few attacking combinations.

Stats of note
3 shot creating actions - Joint 1st
3 successful dribbles (out of 4) - Joint 1st
2 passes into final third - Joint 2nd

RATING: 6.5


Callum Hudson-Odoi (80th minute) - Nothing of note.
César Azpilicueta (85th minute) - Nothing of note.