Other than a slightly short back-header in the first ten seconds, and some rickety set-piece defending, Chelsea were largely in control and comfortable in the first-half. While Brentford did hit the post during a post-corner scramble, Chelsea were the ones threatening more and more often — though it took almost until the very end of the half to find the back of the net: Ben Chilwell scoring yet again, with yet another fantastic left-footed volley.
Chelsea came out firing in the second half, and looked to put the game away in the first ten minutes. We created multiple decent opportunities, but could not find the final ball.
Still, the game was largely comfortable until about the final 15-20 minutes, when Brentford suddenly ratcheted up the pressure and made things very uncomfortable indeed. Mendy was called into action multiple times and Brentford’s Mbeumo hit the post for the second time in the match as well. Chalobah cleared off the line, then Mendy literally put his face on the line, but somehow we survived the siege.
Brentford (1.88) 0-1 (0.28) Chelsea— The xG Philosophy (@xGPhilosophy) October 16, 2021
- Tuchel goes back to the 3-5-2, with a few changes from our game against Southampton a couple weeks ago, some enforced, some voluntary
- Back three of Sarr (!), Christensen, and Chalobah, with the latter making a second consecutive start. Chilwell, Azpi as wing-backs.
- Midfield three of Kova, Kanté, and RLC deepest. Lukaku & Werner up top
- Mount for Kova halfway through the second half, like-for-like, then Havertz for Lukaku in the final 15. James for Azpi in the final few minutes.
- Set piece defending a massive problem in this one, from both corners and long throws.
- Brentford had 2 shots in the first 70 minutes. 12 shots in the last 20.
- Brentford allowed to commit 13 fouls without a yellow issued for one (Canós got a yellow for complaining before then). Chelsea had 8, with 1 yellow for Kovačić. Still, Chelsea win a game refereed by Anthony Taylor for the first time in six (!) tries.
- Top of the league! (Both Liverpool and Manchester City won; Manchester United lost.)
- Next up: Malmö in the Champions League