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West Bromwich Albion 3-3 Chelsea, Premier League: Statistical Review and Analysis

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The numbers behind the game

West Bromwich Albion v Chelsea - Premier League Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Overview

It might sound a bit weird after a game where Chelsea conceded 3, but this was among the better performances the team have had in the past few months. In a real throwback to last season’s performances at home to Arsenal or West Ham, Chelsea created plenty only to fail to win because of individual errors.

West Brom’s first goal could have been dealt with better, especially in midfield, but there are no tactics that can account for the mistakes Thiago Silva and Marcos Alonso made leading to a three goal deficit. While they seem to happen all too often with Chelsea, mistakes do happen.

On the ball, Chelsea had a real sharpness about them and created solid openings in both halves. The variety of chances created, crosses, inter-play close to the box, long shots and such, was promising too. It is difficult to pinpoint blame at the manager for this performance. Barring a few errors, the performance was good, albeit without the required result.

Chelsea are a naive team and Chelsea have naive-team problems. No manager will fix these issues overnight, unless the manager is Father Time himself.

A quick note of praise to the team’s academy graduates too. It is not easy to deliver crucial goal contributions but that is exactly what Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham have been doing for over a season. Their tendency to take up the mantle and bear responsibility when things go awry is something that is missing from many of our senior players, even the supposed leaders. They deserve far more praise than they get.


Statistics

Stats from fbref, whoscored and understat.


Individual ratings

Frank Lampard

Surprised by giving Silva the armband and reinstating Christensen to the lineup alongside him. Barring those two decisions, the team virtually picked itself and there was not much to complain about.

While many were puzzled about Chilwell not playing, 25 minutes against Barnsley does not make a player prepared enough to play in the league. Picking Alonso was an acceptable decision considering the alternative was Emerson.

4-2-3-1 seemed a logical setup to start with, too, though personally I would’ve preferred a return to the 4-3-3 that served the team so well post-lockdown. Chance creation and ball movement were promising and barring the individual mistakes, the defence was commendable too.

A change to 4-3-3 at half-time improved the team’s performance and cut down the deficit to 1. It is at this point that Lampard committed his biggest blunder by moving to a 3-1-4-2, a move that sapped all the momentum generated. Chelsea would have surely walked away with the three points if we had persisted with the 4-3-3.

That said, the comeback from 3-0 to 3-3 shouldn’t be understated. The team did not let their heads drop and that deserves plenty of praise.

RATING: 6.5


Willy Caballero

Could have done better on the first and second goals but ultimately, those were shots through a defender’s legs and a one-on-one situation. While better goalkeepers would have kept them out, Caballero is second choice for a reason.

RATING: 5


West Bromwich Albion v Chelsea - Premier League Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Reece James

Continued his recent form by setting up a great chance for Tammy that should have been converted. Chelsea repeatedly turned to him when the team needed a spark on the ball and he delivered more often that. He could have perhaps done better on the defensive end but overall, this display further underlined his potential.

Stats of note
6 key passes - 1st among Chelsea players
17 progressive passes - 1st
5 passes into penalty box - 1st
12 passes into final third - Joint 2nd
8 shot creating actions - 2nd
2 tackles won - 2nd

RATING: 7


Andreas Christensen

Was solid for the most part, making some crucial interventions when West Brom looked dangerous. This is not anything new with him. It is a matter of building on these good performances week in week out. It would be nice to see him to take more risks with the ball, especially in terms of releasing it quickly.

Stats of note
4 interceptions - 1st
16 loose ball recoveries - 1st
4 aerial duels won (out of 5) - Joint 1st
3 dribblers tackled - Joint 1st
11 progressive passes - 2nd

RATING: 6.5


West Bromwich Albion v Chelsea - Premier League Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Thiago Silva

As far as league debuts go, it cannot get a lot worse than Silva’s. His uncharacteristic blunder led to West Brom’s second goal and while he did look solid overall, the mistake is a big black mark on his report sheet.

Stats of note
13 passes into final third - 1st
4 clearances - 2nd

RATING: 5


Marcos Alonso

Had an even worse performance than Silva. It was his misplaced header that led to West Brom’s opener and his lax marking led to their third. He offered virtually nothing going forward too.

Stats of note
4 aerial duels won (out of 5) - Joint 1st
3 clearances - 3rd

RATING: 3


West Bromwich Albion v Chelsea - Premier League Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

N’Golo Kanté

Started the game brightly and with every passing week, he seems to be returning to his old self in terms of putting up high volumes of defensive actions. He was not very sharp with the ball but not to a level where it harmed the team. The team seemed far better once he was moved to a deeper position in the second half.

Stats of note
2 successful dribbles (out of 2) - 1st
3 dribblers tackled - Joint 1st
21 pressures - Joint 1st
2 interceptions - 2nd
15 loose ball recoveries - 2nd

RATING: 6.5


Mateo Kovačić

His recent performances (the cup final, Bayern, Liverpool and now this game) are a major cause for worry. His lack of defensive intelligence, limited vision and slow decision making seem to be placing a big burden on Kanté. While he is generally very good on the ball, the quality has been missing for a while too.

One sequence of play, where he beat the press, carried the ball forward 20 yards only to dawdle on the ball, turn and play a back pass, summed up his game and recent form.

RATING: 5.5


Mason Mount

Stood up when Chelsea needed someone to take the game by the scruff of the neck. It was no surprise to see him play at a high level once he was moved into midfield in the second half. Playing on the wing, especially the right, highlights all his weaknesses without amplifying his strengths. His personality, along with his quality, is a huge reason why he is rated so highly.

Stats of note
1 goal
7 shots - 1st
21 pressures - Joint 1st
5 key passes - 2nd
7 shot creating actions - 3rd
5 touches in penalty box - Joint 3rd

RATING: 7.5


West Bromwich Albion v Chelsea - Premier League - The Hawthorns Photo by Laurence Griffiths/PA Images via Getty Images

Kai Havertz

Oozed quality on the ball and was receiving it in some dangerous locations throughout the game. This will yield results sooner rather than later, and not just in the League Cup. Unlike Werner, his style and manner of play did not change based on the game state.

Stats of note
1 assist
9 shot creating actions - 1st
2 key passes - 3rd
18 pressures - 3rd
2 passes into final third - 3rd
5 touches in penalty box - Joint 3rd

RATING: 7


Timo Werner

Started the game positively but West Brom’s goals, along with his miss, seemed to take a toll on him. His second half outing was far quieter by comparison and he did not exert himself on the game. Chelsea’s players are not fully acclimatized to him yet; making a few early passes will make his life significantly easier.

Stats of note
10 touches in penalty box - 1st
4 shots - 2nd

RATING: 6


Tammy Abraham

Missed a presentable chance in the first half but did not let that affect him. He made himself available even after that miss and his inter-play with teammates seems to be improving on a weekly basis. His movement for the final goal, an “easy tap-in”, was phenomenal.

Stats of note
1 goal
7 touches in penalty box - 2nd
3 shots - 3rd

RATING: 6.5


Substitutes

West Bromwich Albion v Chelsea - Premier League Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Callum Hudson-Odoi (half-time)

As with the 4-4 draw against Ajax last season, Hudson-Odoi turned the game complete around as a substitute. His ability to find separation, switch the play quickly to catch defences out, and link with his teammates were top-notch. Got himself a well-deserved goal to top it off too. If he wasn’t made to play a wing-back later, one would think he could have caused further damage.

Stats of note
1 goal
4 passes into penalty box - 2nd
2 key passes - 3rd

RATING: 7.5


César Azpilicueta (half-time)
Replaced Alonso and did a solid job keeping things tight at the back. He managed to get the ball forward quickly without actively participating in attacks.

Stats of note
5 clearances - 1st
12 passes into final third - Joint 2nd
3 aerial duels won (out of 3) - 3rd

RATING: 6


Olivier Giroud (73rd minute)
While the intentions of bringing on Giroud were clear, to pin back West Brom’s defence even further, the move backfired. His presence forced Abraham, Hudson-Odoi and James to all move deeper and took away the team’s bite and momentum. It is not Giroud’s fault however, and this is more down to the manager.

RATING: 5