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Chelsea 2-0 Fulham, Premier League: Statistical Review and Analysis

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The numbers behind the game

Chelsea Training and Press Conference Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Overview

Fulham were no match for a rotated Chelsea team as Kai Havertz’s brace powered the home side to an easy 2-0 win. Thomas Tuchel anticipated a defensive Fulham performance and went all guns blazing with a midfield of Gilmour, Mount and Ziyech. The result was an entertaining spectacle until we created a comfortable lead, then settled into match-management from thereon.

With big games coming thick and strong, this could have a banana peel game and the team could have dropped points due to complacency. Thankfully that was avoided, and the win sees us just two points behind third-place Leicester City with four games to go.


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, Reece James has 4 tackles according to fbref and 5 according to Opta. In most cases, the differences will be minimal.


Individual ratings

Thomas Tuchel

The starting XI saw some obvious rotations, with Jorginho, Kanté, Rüdiger and Pulisic the main players rested ahead of the final stretch of high-stakes games. It was a surprise to see Mount start considering he has been used more than any of our players so far and this seemed to be the best game to give him a break. Besides Mount’s selection, every move made was sensible.

Instead of lining up in our typical 3-4-3, the team fielded what could be described as an ultra-attacking 3-5-2 with Gilmour sitting deep and Mount and Ziyech floating ahead of him. While the setup led to some delightful attacking combinations, it often left Gilmour on an island with and without the ball, leaving him with too much space to defend and few passing options. The young midfielder handled the task admirably and besides a couple of shaky moments, the team managed to avert alarming defensive moments.

For the first time in a while, Werner reprised his Leipzig role as a second-striker behind a conventional centre-forward in a striker duo. So far, his best performances have come as an inside-forward next to Abraham or Havertz and another winger or as a speedy centre-forward option against high lines. He played very well in a withdrawn role and this could be a potential option for the rest of the season.

RATING: 7.5


Édouard Mendy — GK

Made two impressive saves, with one after a nasty deflection. It is surprising that his post-shot xG tally is so low, the saves did not appear easy at all.

Stats of note
3 shots
1 cross collected (10 faced)

RATING: 7


Reece James — RWB

Had a thoroughly impressive outing defensively and his passing grew more proactive as the game went on. One pass down the line in particular stood out.

Stats of note
4 tackles - 1st
7 clearances - 1st
10 loose-ball recoveries - 1st
3 progressive passes - Joint 3rd
2 carries into final third - Joint 3rd

RATING: 7.5


Andreas Christensen — RCB

Continued his recent good form with another display where he kept out opposition attackers without breaking a sweat.

Stats of note
3 passes into final third - Joint 2nd
3 tackles - Joint 2nd
2 interceptions - Joint 2nd
2 aerial duels won (3 contested) - Joint 2nd

RATING: 7.5


Thiago Silva — CB

It is genuinely impressive how he can handle the intensity of Premier League games without getting out of first gear. What he is doing is nowhere near as easy as he makes it look: there have been many centre-backs who have looked like rabbits in the headlights once their legs had gone.

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

RATING: 8


FBL-ENG-PR-CHELSEA-FULHAM Photo by IAN WALTON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Kurt Zouma — LCB

Showed good confidence to engage in higher positions on both sides of the ball. He appears to be a lot more suited to this role than the centre of the three.

Stats of note
7 carries into final third - 1st
10 progressive carries - 2nd
3 passes into final third - Joint 2nd
3 tackles - Joint 2nd
2 interceptions - Joint 2nd
5 clearances - 3rd

RATING: 7.5


Ben Chilwell — LWB

Did the basics well as he always does. With Tuchel opting to field two conventional strikers instead of wingers, Chilwell did not have many chances to participate in quick associative play sequences on his side of the field.

Stats of note
15 pressures - Joint 2nd
3 touches in the penalty box - Joint 2nd

RATING: 6.5


Hakim Ziyech — RCM

Some outlets have Ziyech as a right-winger instead of a midfielder but judging by the nature of his performance, the latter is more accurate than the former. Ziyech settled into a role where he had to play slightly deeper and spring Werner or Havertz on the counter with his passes. While the adventurous passes did not always pay off, the mere threat of Ziyech’s passing distorted Fulham’s lines and gave us acres of space to work in.

Note: Ziyech has 2 passes into penalty box according to fbref but as seen in the chart below (made using a different source), that seems to be in error.

Stats of note
3 successful dribbles (4 attempted) - 1st
4 progressive passes - 2nd
2 shots - Joint 2nd
3 passes into final third - Joint 2nd
15 pressures - Joint 2nd

RATING: 6.5


Billy Gilmour — CM

Gilmour played in a pretty unique role where he had to anchor the midfield all by himself leaving him short of defensive support and passing options. After an understandably rusty start, he got into his groove and held his own. While this was an encouraging performance, he will likely be even better once he plays in our usually tight pivot.

Stats of note
29 pressures - 1st
10 loose-ball recoveries - 1st
2 interceptions - Joint 2nd
3 progressive passes - Joint 3rd
2 carries into final third - Joint 3rd

RATING: 6.5


Mason Mount — LCM

Roamed all over the pitch to get on the ball and carved open Fulham’s defence with a delightful assist to Havertz. Outside the assist, he looked slightly tired and after a brief injury scare he was thankfully taken off.

Stats of note
3 passes into penalty box - 1st
7 progressive passes - 1st
4 passes into final third - Joint 1st
3 shot-creating actions - 2nd
16 pressures - 2nd
4 carries into final third - 2nd
3 touches in the penalty box - Joint 2nd
7 progressive carries - 3rd

RATING: 7


Timo Werner — LF

Was excellent at using his pace to get beyond Fulham’s defence and created a huge opening for Ziyech with one such marauding run. Played a Fàbregas-esque through-ball to Havertz for the second goal, too. Werner is the sort of player who should get judged solely based on the end product he provides and as such, this was a good outing.

Stats of note
1 assist
3 shots - 1st
4 shot-creating actions - 1st
2 key passes - 1st
10 progressive passes received - 1st
8 touches in penalty box - Joint 1st
2 successful dribbles (5 attempted) - Joint 2nd
2 carries into final third - Joint 3rd

RATING: 7.5


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

Kai Havertz — RF

Exhibited fantastic movement off-the-ball to receive in wide open spaces inside the penalty box, something that is difficult to achieve in the Premier League. Fulham have a pair of defenders who are accomplished physically, matching them as Havertz did is not easy.

Stats of note
2 goals
3 carries into penalty box - 1st
8 touches in penalty box - Joint 1st
10 loose-ball recoveries - 1st
7 progressive passes received - 2nd
2 shots - Joint 2nd
2 successful dribbles (2 attempted) - Joint 2nd
2 shot-creating actions - Joint 3rd

RATING: 8


Substitutes

N’Golo Kanté (66th minute) — It was surprising to see him come off the bench with the game wrapped up but he did his usual stuff in terms of keeping things solid.

Tammy Abraham (76th minute) — Nothing of note.

Marcos Alonso (81st minute) — Was active in the box but could not score or assist.

Stats of note
2 shots - Joint 2nd
2 shot-creating actions - Joint 3rd
2 aerial duels won (3 contested) - Joint 2nd