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Zenit St Petersburg 3-3 Chelsea, Champions League: Statistical Review and Analysis

The numbers behind the game

Zenit St. Petersburg v Chelsea FC: Group H - UEFA Champions League Photo by MB Media/Getty Images

Overview

Chelsea continued our recent scratchy form with a wildly entertaining but low quality showing against a Zenit team that had nothing to play for but pride. This was by no means a first-choice Chelsea team — partly due to injuries and partly due to rotation — but this was not a showing that Tuchel will look back on with much pride.

There is not much to do in the way of analysis based on our recent games. Our best player is injured, our second best player is nowhere near fully fit, our starting left wing-back is out for the foreseeable future and a good chunk of our squad are struggling with fitness. It is not rocket science that the team looks very poor, although questions will have to be asked about why we are struggling with so many non-contact injuries.


Match statistics

Stats are from fbref and wyscout.


Individual ratings

Thomas Tuchel

Tuchel’s hands are tied when it comes to selection due to the multitude of injuries in the team. However, he does have a long track record of having injury crises wherever he goes and his possible influence in our current predicament cannot be discounted.

The club’s complacence cannot be ignored here as well. We have three midfielders (of whom one cannot play consistently) and with a physically demanding manager like Tuchel, the club should have done better to sign a high-quality midfielder in the summer. There is a reason why Atlético were desperate to get rid of of Saúl and despite trying our best to convince ourselves that he was a good signing — yours truly included — he has been an unmitigated disaster so far.

RATING: 6


Zenit St. Petersburg v Chelsea FC: Group H - UEFA Champions League Photo by MB Media/Getty Images

Kepa Arrizabalaga — GK

One of the few players to come out of this game with any sort of credit, despite his usual flaws popping up on Zenit’s third goal. He looked comfortable in one-on-one situations and pulled off one of the best saves of the season from a header.

RATING: 7


Callum Hudson-Odoi — RWB

Starting him at left-wing produced Chelsea’s best run of offensive form this season and it is no surprise to see the offense crater with his departure from the position. He had a very poor game at wing-back and it makes no sense to keep shuttling him between positions — both for himself and the team.

Stats of note
4 passes into box - T-1st
5 progressive passes - T-2nd

RATING: 6


César Azpilicueta — RCB

Had an off-night on both sides of the ball, struggling to make meaningful passes and finding himself at unease defensively.

Stats of note
3 interceptions - 1st
19 pressures - 3rd
4 clearances - 3rd
5 passes into final third - T-3rd
2 aerial duels won (3 contested) - T-3rd

RATING: 6.5


Malcom Filipe Silva de Oliveira, commonly known as Malcom (... Photo by Maksim Konstantinov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Andreas Christensen — CB

Was partly culpable for the first two goals, failing to track his runners and not engaging high enough. It remains to be seen if this is being caused by his contract drama.

Stats of note
1 assist
10 loose-ball recoveries - 2nd
2 aerial duels won (3 contested) - T-3rd

RATING: 6


Malang Sarr — LCB

Got caught ball-watching several times and did not look comfortable defensively. His game on the ball was good however.

Stats of note
4 aerial duels won (6 contested) - 1st
5 clearances - T-1st
6 passes into final third - 2nd
5 progressive passes - T-2nd

RATING: 6.5


Saúl Ñíguez — LWB

His work-ethic absolutely cannot be doubted and he covered plenty of ground but at the end of the day, it just was not good enough. He is lacking from a technical perspective and the sort of style he is used to is light years away from ours, making this a very tricky marriage. Many of his tackles and interceptions came after he lost track of proceedings.

Stats of note
4 shots - 2nd
3 tackles - 2nd
3 carries into final third - 2nd
3 aerial duels won (5 contested) - 2nd
2 interceptions - T-2nd
6 progressive carries - T-2nd
6 touches in box - 3rd

RATING: 6


Zenit St. Petersburg v Chelsea FC: Group H - UEFA Champions League Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Reece James — RCM

Did not look comfortable defending space — possibly because he’s used to defending different angles out wide — but did look solid on the ball. If our injury problems persist, he might be a midfield option worth trying out again — albeit at the expense of dynamism wide.

Stats of note
9 passes into final third - 1st
5 tackles - 1st
21 pressures - 1st
8 progressive carries - 1st
13 loose-ball recoveries - 1st
9 progressive passes - T-1st
5 clearances - T-1st
2 interceptions - T-2nd
2 carries into final third - T-3rd
2 aerial duels won (2 contested) - T-3rd

RATING: 7.5


Ross Barkley — LCM

Was a passenger for most parts of the game, as one would expect from an attacking midfielder playing deeper.

Stats of note
4 shot-creating actions - 2nd
2 passes into box - 2nd
2 key passes - T-2nd
5 progressive passes - T-2nd
2 carries into final third - T-3rd

RATING: 6


Mason Mount — RW/R-AM

His passing resembled last season in terms of progressiveness and intent. He was his usual self defensively too. However, the end product was not good enough.

Stats of note
5 shot-creating actions - 1st
3 key passes - 1st
5 carries into final third - 1st
12 progressive passes received - 1st
4 passes into box - T-1st
9 progressive passes - T-1st
20 pressures - 2nd
6 progressive carries - T-2nd
5 passes into final third - T-3rd

RATING: 7.5


Zenit St. Petersburg v Chelsea FC: Group H - UEFA Champions League Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Romelu Lukaku – CF

Still appears to be some way below his peak fitness levels. The first half was encouraging, racking up 17 touches, but he faded in the second half. The goal should hopefully boost his confidence.

Stats of note
1 goal
8 touches in box - 2nd
10 progressive passes received - 2nd
2 key passes - T-2nd
2 shot-creating actions - T-3rd
2 aerial duels won (3 contested) - T-3rd

RATING: 7


Timo Werner – LW/L-AM

Was the team’s most impactful player, delivering every time we needed him to. While he still appears to be short of his best levels in general play, three goal contributions is a big deal and should hopefully restore his self belief.

Stats of note
2 goals
1 assist
5 shots - 1st
12 touches in box - 1st
9 progressive passes received - 3rd
9 loose-ball recoveries - 3rd
2 shot-creating actions - T-3rd
2 aerial duels won (2 contested) - T-3rd

RATING: 8.5


UEFA Champions League: Zenit St Petersburg 3 - 3 Chelsea Photo by Peter Kovalev\TASS via Getty Images

Substitutes

Christian Pulisic (65th minute) – Seems far better suited to the wing-back position than Hudson-Odoi and it was his directness that led to our third goal.

Stats of note
1 assist
2 key passes - T-2nd
2 shot-creating actions - T-3rd

Hakim Ziyech (65th minute) – Did not do enough.

Kai Havertz (75th minute) – Was brought on once Lukaku ran out of steam and did not provide the desired impact.

Stats of note
2 carries into final third - T-3rd

Marcos Alonso (75th minute) – Nothing of note.

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