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Chelsea 3-0 Crystal Palace, Premier League: Statistical Review and Analysis

The numbers behind the game

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

Overview

Chelsea started the 2021-22 Premier League season with a comfortable win over Patrick Vieira’s Crystal Palace. The team cruised to a win without getting out of first gear on the back of goals from Marcos Alonso, Christian Pulisic and Trevoh Chalobah.

The start of the game was reminiscent of league games from late last season: healthy amounts of possession of shots but not enough of either from threatening positions. It took a free-kick from Alonso to break the game — the sort of individual brilliance we lacked last season — and from thereon the game was largely won on auto-pilot.

Considering the team did not have five potential starters, there is not much to complain about in terms of the performance or result. Bigger tests await but we will be equipped.


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, Jorginho has 9 loose-ball recoveries according to fbref and 6 according to Opta. In most cases, the differences will be minimal.


Individual ratings

Thomas Tuchel

Could not have asked for a much gentler beginning to the league season than this game. Vieira was outclassed and even a change to a back three in the middle of the game did not bear much fruit.

The starting XI had no Ziyech, Kanté and Havertz due to injury or fatigue from the Super Cup. The team did not miss a beat despite being without three important players — and the two starting wing-backs — and that is a testament to the quality present.

RATING: 7.5


Édouard Mendy — GK

Did not have much to do all game, either in the way of stopping shots and preventing crosses.

RATING: 6


César Azpilicueta — RWB

Made a few smart passes to find Mount down the line and held his end of the ship steadily. His sense of timing generally makes up for his lack of dynamism in games like these.

Stats of note
4 passes into box - 1st
10 progressive passes - 1st
4 tackles - 2nd
11 progressive carries - 2nd
2 carries into final third - Joint 3rd

RATING: 7.5


Trevoh Chalobah — RCB

Looked absolutely at ease against the nimble Mateta as well and the bulkier Benteke. Quick to sense danger, strong in winning duels and terrific on the ball. Capped it off with a great goal too.

Stats of note
1 goal
16 passes into final third - 1st
3 clearances - 2nd
7 loose-ball recoveries - 3rd

RATING: 8


Andreas Christensen — CB

Started right where he left off last season. He has a legitimate claim to be the starter now rather than Thiago Silva (or Azpilicueta) deputy.

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

RATING: 7.5


Antonio Rüdiger — LCB

As always, he had a no-nonsense display off the ball and an understated one on it. Having three tall and athletic defenders who are all comfortable on the ball was a major reason why Chelsea nullified Crystal Palace.

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

RATING: 8


Marcos Alonso — LWB

Scored a peach of a free-kick and looked very involved in attack. Did very well to get the ball into dangerous zones, even if they were not always converted.

Stats of note
1 goal
3 shots - Joint 1st
2 aerial duels won (3 contested) - Joint 1st
3 passes into box - Joint 2nd
3 tackles - 3rd
10 progressive carries - 3rd
7 progressive passes received - 3rd
3 shot-creating actions - Joint 3rd
2 carries into final third - Joint 3rd

RATING: 8.5


Jorginho — RCM

His confidence is at an all-time high after his recent European successes. His ball-progression was outstanding and he was in the right spots to make tackles. One pass — a perfectly timed long pass with his weaker foot — encapsulated his current confidence and form.

Stats of note
5 tackles - 1st
33 pressures - 1st
9 loose-ball recoveries - 1st
4 shot-creating actions - 2nd
9 passes into final third - 2nd
8 progressive passes - 2nd
2 interceptions - 2nd
3 carries into final third - 2nd
3 passes into box - Joint 2nd (4 according to Opta)

RATING: 8


Mateo Kovačić — LCM

Started scratchily, making a few poor decisions either side on the ball. Grew into the game after Alonso’s opener and soon imposed his will on the game.

Stats of note
1 assist
12 progressive carries - 1st
6 carries into final third - 1st
8 loose-ball recoveries - 2nd
2 shots - Joint 2nd
23 pressures - 3rd
3 shot-creating actions - Joint 3rd

RATING: 7


Mason Mount — R-AM/W

Created good opportunities in the first-half — two cutbacks for Werner and Pulisic being the standout moments — but faded out of the game after half-time. Can, and will, do better in the future.

Stats of note
5 shot-creating actions - 1st
3 shots - Joint 1st
8 progressive passes received - 2nd
3 passes into box - Joint 2nd
4 touches in box - 3rd

RATING: 6.5


Timo Werner — CF

Worked hard as always but the execution simply was not there.

Stats of note
10 touches in box - 1st
9 progressive passes received - 1st

RATING: 6


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

Christian Pulisic — L-AM/W

After a frustrating start to the game dotted with unsuccessful risks, Pulisic grabbed a goal thanks to some very smart movement in the box. Looked more composed after the goal and moved the ball better.

Stats of note
1 goal
3 successful dribbles (4 attempted) - 1st
29 pressures - 2nd
6 touches in box - 2nd
2 shots - Joint 2nd

RATING: 7


Substitutes

Reece James (67th minute) — Was brought on to offer some rest to Azpilicueta and looked sleeker and faster than before.

Stats of note
4 clearances - Joint 2nd

RATING: 7.5

Kai Havertz (82nd minute) — Looked smooth but did not convert that into danger.

Stats of note
2nd shot-creating actions - Joint 2nd
5 passes under pressure - Joint 3rd
2 touches in penalty box - Joint 3rd
2 aerial duels won (4 contested) - Joint 3rd

Emerson Palmeiri (86th minute) — Nothing of note.