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Chelsea 0-0 Manchester United, Premier League: Statistical Review and Analysis

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The numbers behind the game

Chelsea v Manchester United - Premier League - Stamford Bridge Photo by Andy Rain/PA Images via Getty Images

Overview

Chelsea and Manchester United played out a fairly uneventful 0-0 draw, their second of the season. Neither team were fully prepared to take the risks needed to win the game, an understandable decision considering the tricky fixture lists facing both of them.

Both teams created decent transition openings, mainly in the second half, but ultimately there was not enough quality or willingness to win the game. Chelsea picked a slow front three and opted for sterile possession to neuter United’s threat on the counter and United were all too happy to pick up a point away at a rival.

For Chelsea, it is a point gained over last season in the midst of a hectic run of games. While all three points would have been sweet, it is understandable why Tuchel opted for a defensive-minded setup with games against Liverpool, Everton and Leeds United coming up. The team, and the fans, will likely have to grit our teeth through this run.


Match statistics

Statistics from fbref and understat.


Individual ratings

Thomas Tuchel

Not many chances were created besides the one for Giroud but conversely, not many were conceded. In a season like this, playing it safe and compact in big games is a perfectly fine strategy and there is not much to blame Tuchel for in that regard. Similar to the FA Cup semi-final last season, Chelsea were happy to reply in kind to United’s play-acting and tactical fouling. The key is to sustain this over a longer period of time.

The real concerns lie in the team selection. There is no discernible reason to pick a third left-back over Gilmour or Abraham on the bench, regardless of how much Tuchel talks about it being a “hard” decision. For all the talk about meritocracy, it seems like only players with no dressing-room influence are having “messages” sent to them or “examples” made of them.

RATING: 6.5


Édouard Mendy

Made 4 pretty straightforward saves, nothing of note otherwise.

Stats of note
4 saves made (4 shots on target faced)

RATING: 6


Chelsea v Manchester United - Premier League Photo by Harriet Lander - Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Callum Hudson-Odoi

Was the team’s best player in the first half and it was slightly bizarre to see him taken off. One can only hope that the injury is not serious enough to sideline him for an extended period of time, although it is pretty concerning that Tuchel said there was a “tactical” element attached to it as well.

Serious consideration needs to be given to moving him up-field because playing him as a wing-back strips away the best part of his skillset — his passing. He is still broadly good as a wing-back simply because of how gifted he is but the question is, is it getting the best of him?

Stats of note
2 key passes - 2nd among Chelsea players
4 tackles - Joint 2nd

RATING: 6.5


César Azpilicueta

Started slightly shakily and needed Kanté and Hudson-Odoi to help him out on both sides of the ball. Settled into his usual rhythm afterwards and dealt with United’s threat pretty well.

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

RATING: 7


Chelsea v Manchester United - Premier League Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

Andreas Christensen

Continued his recent good form with another stellar display. While he did not always take the sort of risks Silva would on the ball, he was very secure in possession. Passing percentage stats by themselves convey very little but it not often that a player nails all 72 passes in a game this big.

Stats of note
3 shots blocked - 1st
3 clearances - 2nd
4 clearances - Joint 3rd

RATING: 7.5


Antonio Rüdiger

His game on the ball was very good — both in terms of passing and carrying. He avoided mistakes defensively and fit into the wider scheme well.

Stats of note
7 passes into final third - 1st
4 clearances - 3rd
2 successful dribbles (2 attempted) - Joint 3rd

RATING: 7


Ben Chilwell

Par-for-the-course performance at both ends. A smart cutback to Ziyech in the second half was his main moment of note. The flair that characterized the first-half of his season has not quite fully returned.

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

RATING: 6


Chelsea v Manchester United - Premier League Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

Mateo Kovačić

Had a poor passing display, with his progressive ideas not paying off. His ball-carrying was solid without being spectacular and he maintained defensive shape with Kanté well.

Stats of note
4 successful dribbles (5 attempted) - 1st
15 loose-ball recoveries - 1st
16 pressures - 2nd
6 progressive carries - Joint 2nd
4 tackles - Joint 2nd

RATING: 6


N’Golo Kanté

Started the game a bit slowly on the ball, over-complicating his passes and losing the ball often. His performance after the 35th minute was a lot sharper and he was rock solid without the ball. His passing was not always on point and his tendency to pass to the wrong foot of receivers — something he rarely does (in yet another underrated trait) — was frustrating.

Stats of note
8 tackles - 1st
4 interceptions - 1st
9 loose-ball recoveries - 2nd
14 pressures - 3rd

RATING: 6.5


Chelsea v Manchester United - Premier League Photo by Ian Walton - Pool/Getty Images

Hakim Ziyech

Had a rough first-half wherein he played within himself and still made plenty of errors on the ball. It was a surprise to see him return after the break and while statistics slightly flatter his performance — for instance, his 5 key passes yielded an xA of just 0.2 — it was a welcome improvement.

Stats of note
5 key passes - 1st
6 shot-creating actions - Joint 1st
3 shots - Joint 1st
5 progressive passes received - 2nd
8 ball-recoveries - 3rd
2 successful dribbles (3 attempted) - Joint 3rd

RATING: 6.5


Olivier Giroud

Barring a wonder-goal, Giroud’s overall performance was no different to the one against Atlético. His poor decision-making on the ball, bad runs in the box and general inability to move around nullified most of Chelsea’s attacks. Unless he scores a goal of the season contender every game, his negatives are not worth the trouble at this point.

In his eight league starts this season, Chelsea have scored more than one non-penalty goal in only two games. The deal with Giroud is simple — either he scores or no one does.

Stats of note
2 shots - Joint 2nd

RATING: 5


Mason Mount

A slaloming run through the heart of United’s defence was the highlight of his game. He was the only player to take enough risks on the ball — as his cross-field pass to Hudson-Odoi and ball-carrying showed. He could have done a lot better in terms of final actions, however.

Stats of note
3 touches in the penalty box - 1st
8 progressive carries - 1st
2 carries into penalty box - 1st
7 progressive passes received - 1st
6 shot-creating actions - Joint 1st
3 shots - Joint 1st
3 successful dribbles (3 attempted) - 2nd

RATING: 6.5


Substitutes

Chelsea v Manchester United - Premier League Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Reece James (46th minute) — Replaced Hudson-Odoi at half-time and had perhaps his best performance as a wing-back under Tuchel. Was asked to track Rashford specifically and did a good job. His cross to Werner, which was met with a last-ditch clearance from Lindelof, was particularly excellent.

Stats of note
4 progressive passes - Joint 1st
2 carries into final third - Joint 1st
2 touches in the penalty box - 2nd
6 progressive passes - 2nd
6 progressive carries - Joint 2nd

RATING: 6.5

Christian Pulisic (65th minute) — Nothing of note.

Timo Werner (78th minute) — Took a nice shot with his left foot late in the game, not much else.