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Brentford 0-1 Chelsea, Premier League: Statistical Review and Analysis

The numbers behind the game

Brentford v Chelsea - Premier League Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Overview

Chelsea walked away with a hard-earned three points after receiving arguably the sternest defensive test this season at the hands of newly-promoted Brentford. The Bees remained firm at the back and put Chelsea under pressure in the final 20 minutes, creating more chances than most of our opponents would in a full 90.

While the result flatters, games like this can be common in a 38-game season. Chelsea have not been impressive for a while — in terms of performances at least — but it is easier to regain form while getting good results, than while dealing with bad ones. Nobody will be more aware of the team’s shortcomings than the manager; this game should be treated as a learning experience and an opportunity to fix our weaknesses.


Match statistics

Stats are from fbref and understat.

Note: some statistics on the player charts might not corroborate with those presented in the “stats of note” sections. This is because the stats for the charts are obtained from a different source and not fbref. In most cases, the differences will be minimal.


Individual ratings

Thomas Tuchel

Opted for a conservative lineup again but could not generate the defensive security to justify it. The team were incoherent offensively — a common sight during his tenure, especially in league games against well-coached teams — and could not keep Brentford quiet defensively. While Brentford are not a poor team by any means, they have conceded at least 11 shots in each of their last 3 games. To take just one shot in the box against them is simply not good enough.

At the end of the day, results matter the most and Tuchel’s results still speak for themselves. However, knowing his attention to detail, it is safe to assume he will not be happy with most of our recent performances. An improvement is needed and urgently so, before results begin to reflect our performances.

RATING: 6


Brentford v Chelsea - Premier League Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Édouard Mendy — GK

Had yet another remarkable game and was the reason why Chelsea took the three points. He has taken the leap from a very good goalkeeper to arguably the best in the league this season.

Stats of note
4 saves (6 according to Opta)
1 cross stopped (18 faced)
2 passes completed over 40 yards (12 attempted)

RATING: 8.5


César Azpilicueta — RWB

Had a quiet game going forward, not doing much offensively. However, he did well against Toney when the Brentford striker tried to exploit the gap between him and Chalobah.

Stats of note
2 shots blocked - Joint 1st
3 progressive passes received - Joint 2nd
3 aerial duels won (6 contested) - Joint 2nd
4 progressive passes - Joint 3rd

RATING: 6.5


Trevoh Chalobah — RCB

Struggled at times against Toney — especially in a positional sense — but emerged from the game with credit. Looked assured on the ball and made a crucial goal-line clearance, although he could have done much better aerially.

Stats of note
8 passes into final third - 1st
2 shots blocked - Joint 1st
3 carries into final third - Joint 2nd
11 recoveries - 3rd

RATING: 7


Andreas Christensen — CB

Had his usual tranquil performance, dealing with his tasks with consummate ease on both sides of the ball. Was arguably the team’s best passer on the night.

Stats of note
6 progressive passes - 1st
4 aerial duels won (9 contested) - 1st
2 shots blocked - Joint 1st
3 interceptions - Joint 1st
14 recoveries - 2nd
6 clearances - Joint 2nd

RATING: 7.5


Malang Sarr — LCB

Was handed a surprise Premier League debut and did complete justice to Tuchel’s faith. Defended the box proactively and looked positive on the ball, offering new angles in build-up thanks to his left-footedness.

Stats of note
13 clearances - 1st
4 tackles - 2nd
3 aerial duels won (5 contested) - Joint 2nd
4 passes into final third - Joint 3rd

RATING: 7.5


Ben Chilwell — LWB

Continued his recent goal-scoring form with a superb strike to give Chelsea the lead. Looked very sharp on the ground as well, especially in 1v1 duels defensively. While his passing can improve, it is important to keep in mind he has just returned to playing regularly.

Stats of note
1 goal
5 tackles - 1st
2 shot-creating actions - Joint 1st
17 pressures - 2nd
6 clearances - Joint 2nd
3 progressive passes received - Joint 2nd
3 aerial duels won (8 contested) - Joint 2nd
3 touches in box - 3rd

RATING: 7.5


N’Golo Kanté — RCM

Looked slightly rusty on his return from COVID-19 but eventually settled into a rhythm. While he was not at his best, his forward-thinking mentality helped progress the ball well. He was far less active defensively than usual, perhaps due to his recent time off.

Stats of note
3 passes into box - 1st
2 shot-creating actions - Joint 1st
3 interceptions - Joint 1st
10 progressive carries - Joint 1st
5 progressive passes - 2nd
2 successful dribbles (4 attempted) - Joint 2nd
3 carries into final third - Joint 2nd
3 progressive passes received - Joint 2nd

RATING: 6.5


Ruben Loftus-Cheek — CM

Started as a deep midfielder and looked in great nick, recovering possession and carrying the ball with precision. While his passing could have been better, this was a very positive display overall.

Stats of note
3 successful dribbles (4 attempted) - 1st
17 recoveries - 1st
3 interceptions - Joint 1st
10 progressive carries - Joint 1st
6 passes into final third - 2nd
3 carries into final third - Joint 2nd
3 tackles - 3rd
14 pressures - 3rd

RATING: 7.5


Mateo Kovačić — LCM

Looked uncharacteristically sloppy on the ball, falling short of the (very high) standards he has set himself this season. However, the team markedly deteriorated once he was taken off.

Stats of note
5 carries into final third - 1st
2 passes into box - 2nd
9 progressive carries - 2nd
2 successful dribbles (2 attempted) - Joint 2nd
4 passes into final third - Joint 3rd
4 progressive passes - Joint 3rd

RATING: 6.5


Timo Werner – RF

Got into promising locations but could not make the most of them. Playing on the right seems to have created some promising angles of attack for him, especially when it comes to attacking the space between centre-back and full back. He needs to capitalize on this and convert his opportunities into tangible end product however.

Stats of note
20 pressures - 1st
8 touches in box - 1st
4 carries into box - 1st
6 progressive passes received - Joint 1st

RATING: 6.5


Brentford v Chelsea - Premier League Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Romelu Lukaku – LF

Received almost no service and did very poorly when he did get some. His movement without the ball was also not at its sharpest in and around the box, resulting in no shots of substance. Tuchel has still not figured out how to use him and until this issue is sorted out, there is a hard cap on how good we can be offensively.

Stats of note
6 progressive passes received - Joint 1st
5 touches in box - 2nd

RATING: 5.5


Substitutes

Mason Mount (65th minute) – Was used as a deep midfielder and did not do well. The drop-off from Kovačić to Mount was one of the reasons why the team ceded control late in the game.

Kai Havertz (77th minute) – Could not retain the ball and was not much of an influence.

Stats of note
3 aerial duels won (5 contested) - Joint 2nd

Reece James (89th minute) – Nothing of note.