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Chelsea 4-0 Morecambe, FA Cup: Tactical Analysis

Breaking down Chelsea’s easy win over fourth division opposition

First half

Morecambe came to sit deep with a flat line of five ahead of their back four, along with their striker dropping back as well, to stay in the game as long as possible, frustrate Chelsea by not giving any advantage away easily, and wait for their moments to attack.

The main objective for Chelsea was to build a lead early, to not allow Morecambe to grow in confidence by staying in the game, and to put the game to bed early.

Chelsea had the ball in the final third for the majority of the half. Moving it to the wings provided opportunities to create from balls into the box (after combinations or take-ons), or to play the ball back inside to the edge of the box, where there were often spaces for long shots — Morecambe dropping deep for potential crosses into the box.

Ziyech and Hudson-Odoi on the wings were very aggressive and direct, dribbling and playing a number of balls into the box. On the right, Azpilicueta supported Ziyech and allowed Havertz to play more to his strengths: making runs into the box to create or to score. The left was slightly different with Emerson more on the inside to support Mount, leaving Hudson-Odoi wide — where he can hold the ball and take on opponents with consistency.

After a number of balls into the box and shots from distance (plus a couple of dangerous situations for Morecambe in the final third) Chelsea finally took the lead through Mount’s long shot. The passes into the box from Ziyech continued after the goal, and Chelsea would go on to extend their lead to two before half time: Havertz, with freedom to play more as a second striker, made the run into the box to get on the end of Ziyech’s ball, before his header back across goal was finished off by Werner.

Second half

The second half continued as the first, with no changes by either team. Ziyech continued to find spaces and look for passes behind, finding Hudson-Odoi’s excellent run from the outside behind Morecambe’s backline and finish, to extend Chelsea’s lead to three.

Hudson-Odoi has consistently shown that he can make these types of runs, and along with the other qualities he brings to the team (best winger at holding ball under pressure and at defending) really should make him a regular starter for the remainder of the season — especially if Chelsea want to play Havertz or Werner more as a second striker to get the best out of them.

Chelsea rounded off the game with a fourth goal, where Havertz was again getting on the ball in the box and scoring a header at the far post from Azpilicueta’s cross.

Conclusion

Chelsea faced an opponent with a clear strategy: to defend deep, stay in the game for as long as possible, and look to score from any attack they may get. Frustration can easily build in such games, and the opposition can often find a goal from nothing when the game hasn’t been taken away from them, but Chelsea were able to put on a lot of pressure through the amount of balls into the box and options for long shots, to take a two goal lead in the first half, before adding a further two in the second half to finish the game.