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West Ham United 0-1 Chelsea, Premier League: Statistical Review and Analysis

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The numbers behind the game

West Ham United v Chelsea - Premier League Photo by Alastair Grant - Pool/Getty Images

Overview

Chelsea gritted out three points in a must-win game at the London Stadium with an efficient and pragmatic performance. After a poor run of dropping points in three of the last four league games, this was a performance designed to frustrate West Ham and minimize the chances of losing. To the credit of the players and Thomas Tuchel, the plan was executed well and West Ham never stood a chance of victory after the opening goal.

After a couple of half-chances, Timo Werner converted the team’s first big opening to take the lead close to the end of the first-half. A depleted West Ham had no means of breaking down a stout Chelsea defence and the game was seen through to its end with relative comfort. Even though the attacking performance was not fluent by any means, it was a major improvement over the Brighton game and a solid way to build momentum ahead of the Champions League semifinal.


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. For instance, Mount has 4 tackles according to Opta and 3 according to fbref. In most cases, the differences will be minimal.


Individual ratings

Thomas Tuchel

Tuchel made his intentions very clear with his selections. This was not a game for attacking chutzpah or bravery, the team was selected to grind out a win at a ground where Chelsea have not won since 2017. While the conservative style against an injury-hit side may have been underwhelming, this was a must-win game considering West Ham’s position in the table and relatively easy schedule in the run-in. Not many will remember the performance a few months from now but had we lost, the ramifications would have been huge.

Chelsea’s defensive competence was heartening to see, especially since West Ham are a team that can trouble opponents in multiple ways thanks to their skill, speed and physicality. In a lot of ways, they could be viewed as the perfect dress rehearsal before the game against Real Madrid. Chelsea were able to deal with set-pieces, counters and prolonged spells of possession with relative ease, something that not many have been able to do against West Ham.

Chelsea’s attacking issues, especially when scores were level, still persisted and it took hitherto unseen holdup play from Werner to create the goal. Even when ahead, the team’s best chance came after Fabianski spilled a long-range shot rather than a well-constructed attack. While a considerable improvement on the game against Brighton, there is still some ways to go.

RATING: 7


Édouard Mendy — GK

Did not have to make any special saves but was excellent in the air. After a misplaced pass early in the game, his passing was largely solid too.

Stats of note
2 saves
1 cross collected (9 faced)

RATING: 6.5


César Azpilicueta — RWB

Through no fault of his own, Azpilicueta was perhaps Tuchel’s only selection gamble that did not work. His lack of pace made it hard for us to stretch the pitch offensively and he was not comfortable defensively in an advanced position.

Stats of note
6 progressive passes - 1st
3 passes into penalty box - 1st
2 key passes - Joint 2nd
3 aerial duels won (4 attempted) - Joint 2nd
5 clearances - Joint 3rd
9 loose-ball recoveries - Joint 3rd

RATING: 6


West Ham United v Chelsea - Premier League - London Stadium Photo by Alastair Grant/PA Images via Getty Images

Andreas Christensen — RCB

His adaptation to a wide centre-back role in the presence of Silva has been seamless, especially in terms of engaging players in slightly advanced locations. There is an argument to be made that the back 3 used in this game is our best bet until the end of the season.

Stats of note
8 clearances - 1st
7 passes into final third - Joint 1st
6 aerial duels won (7 attempted) - Joint 1st
5 progressive passes - Joint 2nd

RATING: 7.5


Thiago Silva — CB

Was not called into action as often as the two other centre-backs but was comfortable when he had to step in. His ability to turn clearances into passes is reminiscent of the great John Terry.

Stats of note
5 clearances - Joint 3rd

RATING: 7


Antonio Rüdiger — LCB

Was the most active of the back 3 in terms of stepping up to harry the opponents. Barring a couple of mistimed passes (or clearances) with his left, this was another very good outing.

Stats of note
15 loose-ball recoveries - 1st
7 passes into final third - Joint 1st
6 aerial duels won (7 attempted) - Joint 1st
6 clearances - 2nd
5 progressive passes - Joint 2nd

RATING: 7.5


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

Ben Chilwell — LWB

Chilwell has developed into a very solid contributor under the radar, with most of the attention going to other summer 2020 signings. His cross/cut-back to Werner was his 10th goal contribution of the season, a fantastic tally for a defender. Outside that moment, this was yet another performance where he did the simple things well and left the flashy business to others.

Stats of note
1 assist
3 key passes - Joint 1st
4 tackles - Joint 1st
2 passes into penalty box - 2nd
4 shot-creating actions - Joint 2nd
2 carries into final third - Joint 3rd

RATING: 7.5


N’Golo Kanté — RCM

Started the first half slowly and looked off with and without the ball. He started settling into the game around the half-hour mark and soon took over the midfield. He was great defensively, played a few lovely vertical passes to kick-start attacks — including one leading to goal — and carried the ball well. His final third decision-making left a lot to be desired, however.

Stats of note
37 pressures - 1st
4 tackles - Joint 1st
3 carries into final third - 2nd
5 progressive passes - Joint 2nd
3 aerial duels won (4 attempted) - Joint 2nd
9 loose-ball recoveries - Joint 3rd

RATING: 7


Jorginho — LCM

Had a steady performance, chipping in with contributions in all facets of midfield play without setting the world alight in any particular aspect.

Stats of note
10 loose-ball recoveries - 2nd
3 tackles - Joint 2nd
5 passes into final third - 3rd
31 pressures - 3rd

RATING: 6.5


Mason Mount — RW/R-AM

Just 5 minutes in, it was evident that Mount meant business and was going to dominate proceedings. His long-range shooting was on point and his passing — both to progress play and in the final third — was outstanding. Off the ball, he showed his usual terrier-like determination to disrupt opponents.

Stats of note
9 shot-creating actions - 1st
4 successful dribbles (5 attempted) - 1st
16 progressive carries - 1st
8 carries into final third - 1st
6 shots - Joint 1st
3 key passes - Joint 1st
3 carries into penalty box - Joint 1st
32 pressures - 2nd
6 touches in penalty box - 2nd
5 progressive passes - Joint 2nd
3 tackles - Joint 2nd
6 progressive passes received - Joint 2nd

RATING: 8.5


Timo Werner — CF

Took a large amount of shots, a massive positive sign for any forward. Looking beyond his goal and missed sitter, he shot with more conviction than he has in a while, with one left-footed shot standing out. His hold-up play leading to the goal was excellent and he should aim to replicate it more often, while cutting down on 1v1 dribbles.

Stats of note
1 goal
13 touches in penalty box - 1st
16 progressive passes received - 1st
6 shots - Joint 1st
3 carries into penalty box - Joint 1st
2 key passes - Joint 2nd
7 progressive carries - Joint 2nd

RATING: 7.5


Christian Pulisic — LW/L-AM

Like the game against Brighton, he started brightly before fading. While his inconsistency between games is well known and understandable to an extent, he needs to ensure he does not become inconsistent within games too.

Stats of note
2 successful dribbles (4 attempted) - 2nd
4 shot-creating actions - Joint 2nd
2 key passes - Joint 2nd
7 progressive carries - Joint 2nd
6 progressive passes received - Joint 2nd
5 touches in penalty box - 3rd

RATING: 6.5


West Ham United v Chelsea - Premier League Photo by Rob Newell - CameraSport via Getty Images

Substitutes

Hakim Ziyech (74th minute) — Made a few fancy passes and had arguably the best first-touch of any Chelsea player this season before he fluffed a volley.

Stats of note
3 shots - 2nd
2 carries into penalty box - 2nd

Reece James (86th minute) — Not much of note.

Tammy Abraham (87th minute) — Played for the first time in months and will be frustrated to have not converted a huge chance late in the game, although it was higher than he anticipated.