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Chelsea 2-0 Atlético Madrid, Champions League: Statistical Review and Analysis

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The numbers behind the game

Chelsea FC v Atletico Madrid - UEFA Champions League Round Of 16 Leg Two Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Overview

A thoroughly professional performance helped Chelsea comfortably see off the threat of La Liga’s table-toppers and progress to the quarters of the Champions League for the first time since 2014. It was a performance so good that there was no starter who had anything close to a bad game.

The 1-0 deficit from the first leg meant Atlético Madrid had to at least attempt to attack and this predictably left acres of space at the back. Their press was fairly easy to play through as well, with Chelsea’s midfield in particular finding plenty of joy between Atleti’s offensive and midfield lines. A razor-sharp counter after an Atleti set-piece resulted in Hakim Ziyech tapping home his first goal since October, extending the aggregate lead to 2-0.

Atleti huffed and puffed after half-time but to no avail, with Chelsea’s rear-guard proving too formidable to break. Rüdiger gave the Spanish team a taste of their own gamesmanship to get defender Stefan Savic sent off before Emerson scored a rare goal to cap off what was arguably Chelsea’s best performance of the season.


Match statistics

Statistics from fbref and wyscout.

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 — such as Azpilicueta having 6 clearances according to fbref and 4 according to Opta.


Individual ratings

Thomas Tuchel

Emphatically got the better of Diego Simeone for the second time in two games. His selection of Ziyech and Timo Werner, though unpopular among many at the time of kickoff, made plenty of sense on paper since Atlético had to inevitably open up to score a goal. His plan worked perfectly too, with the two summer signings combining to score the opener.

Chelsea’s current 3-4-3 is essentially a big-game cheat code considering the roster profile. While it has its deficiencies in smaller games, the mixture of solidity and transition opportunities it generates is a boon in bigger ones. 6 consecutive clean sheets from games against Atlético (home and away), Man United (home), Liverpool (away), Everton (home) and Leeds United (away) is a ridiculous record.

RATING: 9


FBL-EUR-C1-CHELSEA-ATLETICO Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images

Édouard Mendy

Was largely a spectator until he had to make an important late save off João Félix. Provided one of the best moments of the match by running across the length of the pitch to celebrate Emerson’s goal.

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

RATING: 7


Reece James

Started the game poorly before settling into rhythm after the opener. Nullified the dangerous Renan Lodi — Yannick Carrasco axis before seeing off the threat of Thomas Lemar and Mario Hermoso too. His offensive game got gradually more proactive as time went on, and the cut-back he played to Ziyech in the second half is the sort of action he should seek to replicate more often.

Stats of note
3 key passes - Joint 1st
3 passes into penalty box - Joint 1st
3 interceptions - 2nd
2 shots - Joint 2nd
3 carries into final third - Joint 2nd
7 progressive carries - 3rd
6 progressive passes received - 3rd
4 shot-creating actions - Joint 3rd
2 aerial duels won (4 contested) - Joint 3rd

RATING: 7.5


César Azpilicueta

Was outstanding in defending the space behind Reece. While his stats are largely fine, they do not come close to doing his performance justice. His ball progression was solid too.

Stats of note
14 passes into final third - 1st
6 clearances - 2nd
2 tackles - Joint 2nd
2 interceptions - Joint 2nd
14 loose-ball recoveries - Joint 2nd
2 aerial duels won (6 contested) - Joint 3rd

RATING: 8


Kurt Zouma

Was drafted in late to replace Christensen and held his own against Luis Suárez and Félix. His game in the air was imperious and he defended the box phenomenally well. Could have done better with the ball — as 0 passes into final third and 1 progressive pass suggest.

Stats of note
8 clearances - 1st
6 aerial duels won (9 contested) - 1st
2 tackles - Joint 2nd

RATING: 7.5


Antonio Rüdiger

Had a quietly solid display, doing his business with minimal drama. His gamesmanship to get Savic a red card was top-tier too.

Stats of note
2 shots - Joint 2nd
2 interceptions - Joint 2nd

RATING: 7.5


Marcos Alonso

While he did not grab the headlines at either end, he did what was asked of him — holding his own defensively and acting as a ball-mover on the ball.

Stats of note
11 passes under pressure - 2nd
16 pressures - 3rd
5 touches in penalty box - 3rd
2 aerial duels won (5 contested) - Joint 3rd

RATING: 7


Mateo Kovačić

Ran the midfield along with N’Golo Kanté. While he was not a ball-progression machine as he in on most days, his tendency to evade pressure was crucial in ensuring Atleti did not put Chelsea under the cosh. He was excellent defensively too.

Stats of note
27 pressures - 1st
8 progressive carries - 2nd
2 interceptions - Joint 2nd
3 successful dribbles (4 attempted) - Joint 2nd
3 carries into final third - Joint 2nd
14 loose-ball recoveries - Joint 2nd
10 passes under pressure - 3rd

RATING: 7.5


N’Golo Kanté

Not many words can describe the sort of performance Kanté had against Atleti but “all-time great” probably comes close enough. This was a juiced-up version of his displays against Barcelona in 2017-18, with Kanté combining his usual defensive awareness with some exceptional play on the ball.

Stats of note
8 progressive passes - 1st
4 tackles - 1st
4 interceptions - 1st
5 successful dribbles (7 attempted) - 1st
21 loose-ball recoveries - 1st
6 passes into final third - Joint 2nd
2 key passes - Joint 2nd
4 shot-creating actions - Joint 3rd

RATING: 9


Hakim Ziyech

Ziyech’s performance is a good example of how one goal can transform the confidence of a player. All 7 of his shot-creating actions came after his goal and with increased confidence came more risks. Hakim Ziyech is at his best when he’s taking risks, even if it means losing the ball a few times.

Stats of note
1 goal
7 shot-creating actions - 1st
3 shots - Joint 1st
3 key passes - Joint 1st
17 pressures - 2nd
6 passes into final third - Joint 2nd
2 interceptions - Joint 2nd
6 progressive passes - 3rd

RATING: 8


Kai Havertz

If not for Kanté stealing the show, this Havertz performance would have grabbed the headlines simply because of how good it was from an all-round perspective. This was arguably his best performance in a Chelsea shirt and the fact it came against a hard opponent made it even sweeter.

Stats of note
15 passes under pressure - 1st
10 progressive carries - 1st
5 carries into final third - 1st
3 passes into penalty box - Joint 1st
5 shot-creating actions - 2nd
7 progressive passes - 2nd
6 touches in penalty box - 2nd
2 carries into penalty box - 2nd
8 progressive passes received - 2nd
4 aerial duels won (5 contested) - 2nd
2 key passes - Joint 2nd
3 successful dribbles (6 attempted) - Joint 2nd
4 clearances - 3rd

RATING: 8


Timo Werner

Ran hard the entire game and earned a well-deserved assist for the opener. His footwork in tight spaces was pretty good too, a drastic improvement compared to his usual levels in that aspect.

Stats of note
1 assist
7 touches in penalty box - 1st
3 carries into penalty box - 1st
9 progressive passes received - 1st
3 shots - Joint 1st

RATING: 7.5


Substitutes

Chelsea FC v Atletico Madrid - UEFA Champions League Round Of 16 Leg Two Photo by Chris Lee - Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Christian Pulisic (77th minute) — Grabbed himself an assist after looking slightly rusty. This should hopefully boost his confidence.

Callum Hudson-Odoi (83rd minute) — Got on the end of a semi-decent opening which he fired straight at Oblak.

Emerson (93rd minute) — Scored a memorable goal, his first in over two years.

Ben Chilwell (93rd minute) — Nothing of note.