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Chelsea 0-0 Brighton and Hove Albion, Premier League: Statistical Review and Analysis

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The numbers behind the game

FBL-ENG-PR-CHELSEA-BRIGHTON Photo by MIKE HEWITT/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Overview

A clearly distracted Chelsea team put out a dour display on the way to dropping more points against inferior opponents. Neither the manager nor the players he picked appeared to be at their best, whimpering to a point against the 16th best team in the league.

Barring a chance for Kai Havertz in the first half after some pinball in the penalty box, Chelsea created virtually nothing of note. The same applied to Brighton too, who did not create clear-cut opportunities besides on for Adam Lallana. The game was marked with a few half-chances and bad decisions across the pitch.

Even accounting for the sheer uniqueness of this game, there has to be some concern over the team’s inability to break down inferior teams. Chelsea have played 10 games against inferior teams under Tuchel and have thrived offensively against just once — Crystal Palace. The team is potent when taking on equal or superior teams, a trait that holds us in good stead for the FA Cup and Champions League, but has struggled to break down deep blocks. If this continues, more dour and frustrating games will not be a surprise.


Match statistics

Statistics 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

The surreal build-up to the game means Tuchel’s tactics cannot be judged too harshly for this performance. Despite that, as mentioned above, the team’s inability to break down teams is worrying and as one of the best tacticians on the planet, it is on him to improve the team. The team’s impotence is a function of both the tactical set-up and individual deficiencies, although it does appear to be more of the former for now.

The same leniency cannot apply to Tuchel’s team selections. Tammy Abraham is not everyone’s cup of tea but it makes no sense to pick three left-backs (or left wing-backs) in the squad and then leave them all on the bench in favour of a right-back playing on the left. Nobody wants him to start every game but it makes no sense to leave the team’s best goal-scorer out of the squad altogether, “unlucky” or not. If the team cannot score freely, not using its best goal-scorer is one of the reasons.

The same applies, to a lesser extent, to Billy Gilmour too. He has proven his mettle at this level and has held his own against midfields better than Brighton’s. To ignore him during an injury-crisis in favour of someone playing out of position is eerily reminiscent of Chelsea’s previous managers. These are players who have proven that they are not negative contributors at this level and need to be treated as such. Chelsea, and Tuchel, are hurting their prospects of winning by pretending otherwise.

RATING: 6


Chelsea v Brighton & Hove Albion - Premier League Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

Kepa Arrizabalaga — GK

Was tested once and made a smart stop late in the game to keep things level.

Stats of note

2 saves

1 cross collected (4 faced)

2 defensive actions outside penalty box

RATING: 6.5


Reece James — RWB

Was far too passive in the final third, not showing enough courage on the ball. His crossing has declined considerably compared to earlier in the season and it is primarily down to one reason — he is crossing from closer positions to goal as opposed to his preferred spots from deep.

Stats of note
2 shot-creating actions - Joint 2nd

3 touches in penalty box - Joint 2nd

RATING: 6


Andreas Christensen — RCB

Came out unscathed as a wide centre-back. Carried the ball well and was efficient in progressing it with his passing. There were occasions where Brighton dared Christensen to play a diagonal pass across their defence and he declined, that is an aspect of his game to work on.

Stats of note
8 passes into final third - 1st

13 loose-balls recovered - 1st

2 aerial duels won (4 attempted) - Joint 1st

2 interceptions - 2nd

5 progressive passes - Joint 2nd

10 progressive carries - Joint 2nd

RATING: 7


Chelsea v Brighton & Hove Albion - Premier League Photo by Neil Hall - Pool/Getty Images

Kurt Zouma — CB

Never looked fully comfortable and one of his lapses on the ball almost cost Chelsea the game. His inconsistency in a back 3 is a worry, he is very good one game and poor the next.

Stats of note
7 progressive passes - 1st

2 aerial duels won (3 attempted) - Joint 1st

6 passes into final third - 2nd

10 progressive carries - Joint 2nd

11 loose-balls recovered - Joint 2nd

RATING: 6


Antonio Rüdiger — LCB

Brighton were set up in a way to allow our wide centre-backs to run forward with the ball and Rudiger gladly obliged. He could not find progressive passing options at the end of those runs but that is not entirely his fault.

Stats of note
11 progressive carries - 1st

5 carries into final third - Joint 1st

2 tackles - Joint 1st

RATING: 6.5


Marcos Alonso — LWB

Looked very loose technically and did not influence the attack the way he is known to do. He has not played in a while so the ring-rust is understandable.

Stats of note
2 tackles - Joint 1st

2 aerial duels won (4 attempted) - Joint 1st

RATING: 5.5


Jorginho — RCM

Was effective in receiving the ball and getting out of tricky situations. His passing, however, was not always consistent and he resorted to low-percentage passes far too easily, as reflected by his tally of 2 passes into final third and 0 progressive passes. Any team will struggle offensively when its primary ball-handler has an off-day at passing the ball forward.

Stats of note
3 interceptions - 1st

4 successful dribbles (5 attempted) - 2nd

2 shot-creating actions - Joint 2nd

RATING: 6


Mason Mount — LCM

Did not look fully comfortable in the pivot and his chemistry with Jorginho was non-existent, with both players dropping deep or moving forward simultaneously. His set-piece delivery and usually excellent ball-progression were poor.

Note: Some readers might be confused to see a player who ranks among the top 3 for ball-progression criticized for it but Mount is capable of a lot more. In a game where the team faced a deep defence, 5 progressive passes and 4 into the final third are nothing to write home about by themselves.

Stats of note
5 progressive passes - Joint 2nd

3 touches in penalty box - Joint 2nd

11 loose-balls recovered - Joint 2nd

4 passes into final third - 3rd

2 successful dribbles (4 attempted) - 3rd

RATING: 6


Hakim Ziyech — RW/R-AM

Had a passive display and did not show for the ball often. As a result, he received the ball mostly where Brighton wanted him to — close to the touchline — and his lack of explosiveness hindered his 1v1 chances. When he did receive centrally, he was surrounded by too many players. After a sequence of positive performances, this was disappointing.

Stats of note
3 shot-creating actions - 1st

33 pressures - 1st

5 carries into final third - Joint 1st

6 progressive passes received - 3rd

RATING: 5.5


Kai Havertz — CF

Like with Ziyech, this was a disappointing performance after some promising progress. He did not attack the box well and Brighton had an easy job patrolling the area close to their goal.

Stats of note
9 progressive passes received - 1st

5 carries into final third - Joint 1st

24 pressures - 3rd

RATING: 6


Christian Pulisic — LW/L-AM

Started very sharply and looked great while taking players on close to the box. He eventually drifted too wide and was nullified with ease. He spent the final throes of the game on the right and was ineffective.

Stats of note
3 shots - 1st

5 touches in penalty box - 1st

6 successful dribbles (7 attempted) - 1st

2 tackles - Joint 1st

30 pressures - 2nd

7 progressive passes received - 2nd

RATING: 6.5


Substitutes

Chelsea v Brighton & Hove Albion - Premier League Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Callum Hudson-Odoi (67th minute) — Looked active without creating any major chances.

Stats of note

2 passes into penalty box - Joint 1st

2 shot-creating actions - Joint 2nd

Timo Werner (67th minute) — Did not have the desired impact from the bench.

Olivier Giroud (77th minute) — Had a small opening to win the game late but could not convert.

Stats of note

2 shots - 2nd

2 aerial duels won (3 attempted) - Joint 2nd