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Chelsea 0-0 Wolverhampton Wanderers, Premier League: Statistical Review and Analysis

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The numbers behind the game

Chelsea v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League Photo by Sam Bagnall - AMA/Getty Images

Overview

Chelsea showed flashes of promise without producing anything of substance in a dull 0-0 draw against Wolves. In a game that was a write-off (mainly due to the lack of preparation time) before even a ball was kicked, there was nothing new learned about any of the players.

Wolves were happy to let Chelsea dominate the ball and rack up passing statistics around the box, safe in the knowledge that the team lacked the confidence and chutzpah to make the final pass. Only 10.5% of Chelsea’s final third touches came in the penalty box, some ways short of the 13.5% season average.

Defensively, there was a fair bit to like. Wolves’ counter-attacking threat was largely shut down and the final-third pressing was more cohesive than it had been in recent weeks.

Judging Tuchel, both in a positive and negative sense, based on this game is pretty pointless considering the lack of time to prepare.


Match statistics

Statistics from fbref and understat.

Note: It is worth keeping in mind that Wolves’ xG is boosted by Neto’s offside attempt. If that had gone it, it would’ve surely been reviewed and cancelled.


Individual ratings

Thomas Tuchel

While some of his principles in possession, such as quick ball circulation to find a free man on the wings and third man rotations, were visible in spurts, one training session is nowhere near enough.

The same principle applied to the team selection too. While there was some initial confusion about the likes of Rudiger, Giroud and Azpilicueta playing over better players, Tuchel later admitted to picking this XI largely based on experience and reputation. For the time being, he can be spared some criticism.

However, Tuchel could have done slightly better at his in-game management. Both Chilwell and Giroud had nights to forget and should have been taken off a lot earlier. Hudson-Odoi forced Wolves to shift their best wingback from the right to the left and perhaps he could’ve switched flanks earlier than he did.

All things considered, there is not much to strongly criticize or praise Tuchel for — more down to his lack of time than anything else.

RATING: 6


Chelsea v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

Édouard Mendy

Had a largely uneventful evening barring Neto’s offside attempt.

RATING: 6


César Azpilicueta

Played a pretty peculiar centre-back/full-back hybrid role in the first half before eventually settling into a traditional right-back position. His ball progression was solid without being exceptional and he held his own defensively.

Stats of note
12 pressures - 2nd among Chelsea players
3 clearances - 2nd
2 key passes - Joint 2nd
2 tackles - Joint 2nd
2 interceptions - Joint 2nd

RATING: 6


Chelsea v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League - Stamford Bridge Photo by Neil Hall/PA Images via Getty Images

Thiago Silva

Did excellently well the few times he was faced with an opponent in an isolated situation and his front-foot defending prevented Wolves from producing many dangerous situations.

Stats of note
4 clearances - Joint 1st
14 loose-ball recoveries - Joint 1st
23 progressive carries - 2nd
2 tackles - Joint 2nd

RATING: 7


Antonio Rüdiger

Had a fairly comfortable game defensively but his ball progression was below-par in terms of both passing and carrying.

Stats of note
4 clearances - Joint 1st
4 aerial duels won (7 contested) - 2nd

RATING: 6


Ben Chilwell

Was pretty poor on the ball and he received two chances where he would have at least expected to trouble the goalkeeper more. His timing of runs, pass choices and execution were all off-the-mark and it was a surprise to see him last as long as he did.

Stats of note
11 pressures - Joint 3rd
2 shots - Joint 2nd

RATING: 4.5


Chelsea v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

Mateo Kovačić

Turned in arguably what was his best performance since the first leg of the Bayern Munich tie last season. He kept play ticking over, was sharp in identifying when to step in to nick the ball and evaded pressure to open up space. More of this going forward, please.

While it must be noted that his passing stats (20+ passes into final third is absolutely bonkers) look slightly inflated because Wolves let him and Jorginho have the ball on purpose, he did have a solid all-round showing and should be praised for it.

Stats of note
14 progressive passes - 1st
2 successful dribbles (2 attempted) - 1st
27 progressive runs - 1st
3 tackles - 1st
3 interceptions - 1st
22 passes into final third - 2nd
2 key passes - Joint 2nd
11 pressures - Joint 3rd

RATING: 7.5


Jorginho

Similar to Kovacic, he had his best display in a while. While it is normal to have been frustrated by his passing, the blame for that lies more in the lack of movement from the attackers rather than Jorginho himself.

Stats of note
24 passes into final third - 1st
14 pressures - 1st
14 loose-ball recoveries - Joint 1st
10 progressive passes - 2nd
2 tackles - Joint 2nd
2 interceptions - Joint 2nd
3 shot-creating actions - 3rd
4 carries into final third - 3rd

RATING: 7


Chelsea v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League Photo by Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images

Callum Hudson-Odoi

Had a pretty odd game wherein he was good while simultaneously promising and not quite delivering on a lot more. He was a constant menace in terms of finding separation, getting behind players and keeping defenders on their toes.

However, his final pass could have been better and he was not his usually sharp self in one-on-one dribbling scenarios. His defensive efforts deserve plenty of praise. He had 3 key passes but none of them were clear openings. The early cross to Giroud was his best, and perhaps only, proper chance created.

Stats of note
3 carries into penalty box - 1st
3 key passes - Joint 1st
4 shot-creating actions - 2nd
2 shots - Joint 2nd
2 tackles - Joint 2nd
4 touches in penalty box - 3rd
13 progressive runs - 3rd
9 loose-ball recoveries - 3rd

RATING: 7


Hakim Ziyech

Racked up good passing statistics but underwhelmed on the eye-test. Like with Hudson-Odoi, his key passes were not of very high quality. And he was not particularly sharp off the ball either. While he showed glimpses of improved understanding with his teammates, he needs to maintain consistency within and between games.

Stats of note
7 shot-creating actions - 1st
3 key passes - Joint 1st
3 shots - Joint 1st
5 carries into final third - 2nd
12 passes into final third - 3rd
7 progressive passes - 3rd

RATING: 6.5


Chelsea v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Kai Havertz

Got fans off their seats (at home, of course) with an excellent run in the first half and showed plenty of confidence to demand the ball in dangerous positions. If he can continue showing confidence of this level while eventually executing his passing ideas, he will improve. His off-the-ball movement was promising but he still seems to want the ball to feet a tad too much.

Very unlucky to have seen his header blocked by a Wolves defender with the last kick of the game; that is the sort of luck he needs to turn this around.

Stats of note
7 touches in the penalty box - 1st
6 carries into final third - 1st
3 shots - Joint 1st

RATING: 6


Olivier Giroud

Had a torrid display and should have been taken off a good 15-25 minutes before he actually was. His inability to get behind Wolves’ defenders meant they had one fewer attacker to worry about, thereby compressing space for other Chelsea players.

Stats of note
5 aerial duels won (8 contested) - 1st
6 touches in the penalty box - 2nd
2 shots - Joint 2nd

RATING: 5


Substitutes

Chelsea v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Christian Pulisic (76th minute) — Finally received some rest and unsurprisingly looked a lot fresher coming off the bench against tired legs. He is still nowhere near his best but he looked sharper than he has in recent times.

Tammy Abraham (76th minute) — Did not fashion any major chances for himself but his presence made it easier for Chelsea to play quicker.

Mason Mount (82nd minute) — Like Pulisic, he was granted some much-needed rest — for his own good, he needed some time to recharge his batteries — played at his usually high levels once introduced.