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

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The numbers behind the game

Atletico Madrid v Chelsea FC - UEFA Champions League Round Of 16 Leg One Photo by Cristi Preda/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Overview

Chelsea secured the biggest win of the Tuchel era, and perhaps the biggest since the Europa League final, on the back of a thoroughly professional performance against a team that was designed to frustrate them. The degree of comfort shown by the team, both with and without the ball, against the best outfit in Spain this season was very pleasing to see and bodes well for the future.

It is not often that a team finds spaces the way we did against Atléti, with our players receiving the ball in favorable locations in the final third almost at will. However, the final actions were poor and caused attacks to fizzle out close to their box. With some proactive thinking and better execution, Chelsea could have easily secured a multi-goal win and would have had more than just 0.6 xG.

Atléti were completely shut-down in an attacking sense except for one early chance for Thomas Lemar. Even when they did try to attack, Chelsea’s defensive structure ensured the likes of Suárez and Félix did not get the ball often in dangerous areas. Whatever chances they had were a direct consequence of individual errors rather than structural issues.


Match statistics

Statistics from fbref and wyscout.


Individual ratings

Thomas Tuchel

The pragmatic 3-4-3 setup favoured by Tuchel limited spaces for Atléti all over the pitch while creating overloads when we had the ball. Simeone had no answers to stop this and Tuchel might count himself unlucky not to have a 3-0 win based on the display. That Chelsea looked totally comfortable in the first half despite poor starts to the game from multiple players is a testament to how good the setup was. In a game where no single player stood head and shoulders above the rest, Tuchel came out with his reputation enhanced the most.

There aren’t many better setups to use for big games than a 3-4-3. The objective in big games must be to keep things solid before letting individual quality rule in the final third, which is exactly what happened against Atléti. It is in the non-big games that the setup shows its shortcomings.

RATING: 8


Édouard Mendy

Exhibited nerves throughout the game, especially when rushing out or receiving passes. Perhaps it was inevitable considering this was his first European knockout game.

RATING: 5.5


Atletico Madrid v Chelsea FC - UEFA Champions League Round Of 16 Leg One Photo by Cristi Preda/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Callum Hudson-Odoi

Made plenty of promising runs off-the-ball, giving Lemar a hard time throughout. However, he was not found often and when he did receive the ball, he could have done better — his reluctance to take on players 1v1 in particular was frustrating. There is a lot more to come from him than he showed.

Stats of note
2 tackles - Joint 2nd among Chelsea players
2 shot-creating actions - Joint 2nd
5 touches in penalty box - Joint 2nd
2 carries into penalty box - Joint 2nd
7 loose-ball recoveries - 3rd
2 aerial duels won (2 contested) - Joint 3rd

RATING: 6


César Azpilicueta

Did a phenomenal job defensively, dealing with counter-attacks incredibly well. However, his ball on the game was underwhelming. While he racked up statistics, the passes he played — even the progressive ones — were delayed and underhit, thereby stalling attacks. In some cases he just did not spot easy passes. His movement with the ball was good, what came after was a let-down.

Stats of note
10 clearances - 1st
6 aerial duels won (6 contested) - 1st
6 carries into final third - 1st
2 key passes - Joint 1st
9 passes into final third - 2nd
7 progressive passes - 2nd
12 loose-ball recoveries - 2nd
2 shot-creating actions - Joint 2nd
9 progressive carries - Joint 3rd

RATING: 7


Atletico Madrid v Chelsea FC - UEFA Champions League Round Of 16 Leg One Photo by Cristi Preda/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Andreas Christensen

Read the game very well and kept Suárez quiet all night — something that is easier said than done. While his aerial game was not great and he did not put up big numbers, every good defence needs understated performances such as this. Christensen is silently putting in very solid performances down the middle, with no fuss at all.

Stats of note
4 clearances - Joint 3rd

RATING: 7


Antonio Rüdiger

Barring an initial jitter that led to Lemar’s chance, this was a comfortable display. His passes, while statistically not as progressive as Azpilicueta’s, were crisp and precise.

Stats of note
2 shots blocked - 1st
7 clearances - 2nd
5 progressive passes - 3rd

RATING: 7


Marcos Alonso

Kept play ticking along well, not losing the ball while also not taking many risks. He did not attack with his usual appetite, as noted by his zero touches in box.

Stats of note
3 passes into penalty box - Joint 1st
2 shot-creating actions - Joint 2nd
6 progressive passes received - Joint 2nd
2 aerial duels won (2 contested) - Joint 3rd

RATING: 6


Mateo Kovačić

His display in the first half can best be described as fatigued and his decision-making was slightly iffy. He played higher than usual too, a factor that affected his performance. He improved a lot in the second half, however, and got into his usual ball progression groove. While this was not a show-stopping display, he was an important cog in the machine.

Stats of note
3 shot-creating actions - 1st
22 passes into final third - 1st
12 progressive carries - 1st
3 carries into final third - 3rd

RATING: 6.5


Stade Rennais v Chelsea FC: Group E - UEFA Champions League Photo by John Berry/Getty Images

Jorginho

Like his midfield partner, he started the game slowly and his performance improved after half-time. His passes were not consistent but the positive ideas behind the ones in the final third were clear to see. The next step is to stop giving the ball away close to our goal and to be more secure when taking risks — crisp, early passes could have opened up Atlético even more.

Tuchel has simplified the defensive requirements for the midfield duo — mainly by using 3 defenders and Mount effectively as a midfield hound — and has ensured they get exposed less.

Stats of note
11 progressive passes - 1st
14 loose-ball recoveries - 1st
3 passes into penalty box - Joint 1st
3 tackles - Joint 1st
20 pressures - 2nd
5 carries into final third - 2nd
10 progressive carries - 2nd
7 passes into final third - 3rd

RATING: 6.5


Mason Mount

Created the two best chances of the game — a near tap-in for Werner and a through-ball to Werner that should have been used better. Worked relentlessly to cover for the midfield too. Has seamlessly adapted from a midfield role to a role that can be described as a right-sided number-10.

Stats of note
21 pressures - 1st
3 successful dribbles (4 attempted) - 1st
2 key passes - Joint 1st
2 passes into box - 2nd
2 shot-creating actions - Joint 2nd
2 carries into penalty box - Joint 2nd
6 progressive passes received - Joint 2nd
9 progressive carries - Joint 3rd

RATING: 7


Atletico Madrid v Chelsea FC - UEFA Champions League Round Of 16 Leg One Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Olivier Giroud

Scored a goal of the season contender after a frustrating afternoon where his static nature hindered Chelsea’s offence. When a player scores an overhead kick winner away at a formidable opponent, not much else matters. In big games, individual quality makes the difference and Giroud’s quality won Chelsea the game.

Stats of note
1 goal
3 tackles - Joint 1st
2 shots - 2nd
3 aerial duels won (7 contested) - 2nd
5 touches in penalty box - Joint 2nd

RATING: 7


Timo Werner

Got into some really good locations, both behind the defence and between the lines, but could not convert them into goal contributions. Looked a lot more threatening once he shifted to the right channel, aided by his natural shooting angle across the goal. On the left, his desire to cross the ball with his weaker left foot rather than cutting in holds him back.

Stats of note
3 shots - 1st
10 touches in penalty box - 1st
4 carries into penalty box - 1st
12 progressive passes received - 1st
18 pressures - 3rd

RATING: 6


Atletico Madrid v Chelsea FC - UEFA Champions League Round Of 16 Leg One Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Substitutes

N’Golo Kanté (74th minute) — Looked comfortable without setting the world alight.

Hakim Ziyech (74th minute) — Nothing of note.

Reece James (80th minute) — Brought on to provide solidity down the right, a run-of-the-mill performance.

Kai Havertz (87th minute) — Nothing of note.

Christian Pulisic (87th minute) — Nothing of note.