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Brighton & Hove Albion 1-1 Chelsea, Premier League: Statistical Review and Analysis

The numbers behind the game

Brighton & Hove Albion v Chelsea - Premier League Photo by Robin Jones/Getty Images

Overview

A fatigued Chelsea sleepwalked our way to another frustrating result in an underwhelming performance, to put it kindly. It is not fair to pin this solely on the players or the manager for this but the reality is that Chelsea are now in a slightly tricky situation in terms of even the top-four race, let alone a title challenge. The situation we are in right now is not optimal and it is down to several factors.

The game did not have much in the way of offensive chutzpah, with a more attacking formation than usual negated by weariness and heavy legs from the players. Besides Ziyech’s shot in anger, the team did not challenge the Brighton goalkeeper with any sort of consistency and if anything, we were lucky to walk away with a point.

While we must have some sympathy and understanding for the players who have been asked to follow a barely humane schedule, it is possible to constructively criticize our recent form as well.


Match statistics

The lack of connections to Lukaku is something worth highlighting, especially as it represents 80 minutes of game time (until the first substitutions). To not see any passing connection with the team’s starting striker is damning.

Our midfielders — Kanté, Jorginho and Mount — could have also done better in terms of providing connections to the forwards. A lot of our possession was just the back four or the midfielders recycling the possession in harmless areas.

Stats are from fbref and understat.


Individual ratings

Thomas Tuchel

Moved to a slightly more offensive 4-2-2-2 formation in a bid to loosen up our attackers and inject some creative oomph. On paper, it paid off, with an individual moment of brilliance from our fourth attacker providing our only goal of the night. However, the overall offensive display was totally disjointed.

Even more concerning was our build-up. For perhaps the first time in Tuchel’s tenure, we looked out of ideas in possession when building play. The players did not have the necessary passing options on the ball and were asked to defend unusually large spaces without it — representing a rare, if not the first time that Tuchel got the team’s spacing wrong. His track record suggests he will fix this quickly, and this is merely a blip.

On a larger scale, we do need to to think about why and how all our big-name attackers have declined so much since their arrivals. While none of them have been perfect, they came with well-earned big reputations and solid track records. If one or two had failed to live up to expectation, it could have been brushed off simply as bad luck. But for all of them to look so poor is almost unheard of. Are we creating the right environment for attackers to thrive? Do our offensive players have a similar margin of error compared to their peers at other big clubs? Are we allowing our attackers to build up form and momentum?

This isn’t meant to imply that Tuchel is a bad coach or anything of the sort. The aim is to identify the cause of our offensive woes. Tuchel is — by light years — the best man for this job and anyone who replaces him will be a considerable downgrade. But he’s not immune to constructive criticism, just like the players.

Data and charts showing open-play shots taken and conceded by the team in the last 11 league games since Chilwell’s injury, of which we have won just 3, make for sobering reading.

RATING: 5.5


Kepa Arrizabalaga — GK

Started the game shakily but settled into a great distribution rhythm, completing 7 of his 8 attempted long passes. Cannot really blamed for the goal conceded.

RATING: 6.5


César Azpilicueta — RB

Had a good defensive outing but and tried hard to influence our attack but could not replicate Reece’s impact.

Stats of note
6 touches in box — 1st
3 tackles — T-1st
2 shots blocked — T-1st
4 aerial duels won (8 contested) — T-1st
5 clearances — 2nd
3 interceptions — T-2nd
6 progressive carries — T-2nd
3 carries into final-third — T-2nd
2 carries into box — T-2nd
6 progressive passes received — T-2nd

RATING: 6.5


FBL-ENG-PR-BRIGHTON-CHELSEA Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images

Thiago Silva — RCB

Was the team’s best player by a fair margin, dealing with several transitions and holding Brighton at bay while also moving the ball excellently. The 37-year-old never ceases to amaze in terms of his durability and performance.

Stats of note
7 passes into final-third — 1st
10 clearances — 1st
15 loose-ball recoveries — 1st
4 aerial duels won (4 contested) — T-1st
7 progressive passes — T-1st
2 shots blocked — T-1st
2 tackles — T-2nd

RATING: 7.5


Antonio Rüdiger — LCB

Had some slightly awkward moments but nothing alarming. Was good on the ball but could have been better.

Stats of note
6 progressive passes — 2nd
2 tackles — T-2nd

RATING: 6.5


Brighton & Hove Albion v Chelsea - Premier League Photo by Robin Jones/Getty Images

Marcos Alonso — LCB

Moved the ball well but once again, could not affect the game much in the final third. Was given a stern test by the electric Lamptey, though Alonso more or less held his own and certainly did not wilt as badly as many had predicted.

Stats of note
4 shots — 1st
2 successful dribbles (3 attempted) — 1st
4 interceptions — 1st
7 progressive passes — T-1st
12 loose-ball recoveries — 2nd
3 clearances — 3rd
4 touches in box — T-3rd

RATING: 6.5


N’Golo Kanté — RCM

Played a few good passes but ran out of gas around the 70th minute mark. His defensive work was solid as always and while he did not always choose expansive passing options, he executed his risks well. However, he could have done better to aid Lukaku and Mount considering the high positions he occupied.

Stats of note
1 assist
7 passes into final-third — 1st
4 carries into final-third — 1st
3 tackles — T-1st
3 interceptions — T-2nd
6 progressive carries — T-2nd
16 pressures — 3rd

RATING: 6.5


Brighton & Hove Albion v Chelsea - Premier League Photo by Robin Jones/Getty Images

Jorginho — LCM

Had a pretty poor outing, with fatigue no doubt playing a part. He was all over the place defensively (he was dribbled past four times), could not progress the ball much and could not provide his usual calmness under pressure.

Stats of note
7 passes into final-third — 1st
19 pressures — 2nd
2 tackles — T-2nd
11 loose-ball recoveries — 3rd

RATING: 5.5


Mason Mount — LW/C-AM

In what is becoming a worrying pattern, Mount had yet another stinker. His execution was not where we would like it to be and he did not even buzz about with his usual intensity — he attempted no tackles and made zero interceptions.

Stats of note
20 pressures — 1st
2 passes into box — 2nd
3 shot-creating actions — 3rd

RATING: 5


Brighton & Hove Albion v Chelsea - Premier League Photo by Robin Jones/Getty Images

Callum Hudson-Odoi — LW/CF

Had a very passive display. To attempt risks and fail is fine, to settle for safe options is not acceptable. While he did have a fair amount of touches and passes into box, they came too far away from goal to be relevant. He was the best of bad bunch but he, and we, should expect more.

Stats of note
5 shot-creating actions — 1st
4 passes into box — 1st
8 progressive carries — 1st
9 progressive passes received — 1st
2 key passes - T-1st
5 touches in box — 2nd
2 shots — T-2nd
2 carries into box — T-2nd

RATING: 5.5


Romelu Lukaku – CF

The best thing that can be said about his performance is that he had a relatively drama-free outing for once. He did not get the ball enough — partly his fault, partly his teammates’, partly Tuchel’s — but when he did get the ball, he tried his best to be potent. However, he did not threaten the box and we did not pay big money for him to be a goalscoring non-entity.

There was one play around the 15th minute that highlighted how we should use Lukaku. Jorginho found him down the right channel, where the ball was laid off to Azpilicueta in acres of space, leading to a firm shot and a corner. More of that, please.

Stats of note
2 key passes - T-1st
4 shot-creating actions — 2nd
2 shots — T-2nd
3 aerial duels won (3 contested) — 2nd

RATING: 5.5


Brighton & Hove Albion v Chelsea - Premier League Photo by Robin Jones/Getty Images

Hakim Ziyech – LW/L-AM

Was arguably the team’s worst attacker — which is saying a lot — but managed to salvage his performance with a great goal.

Stats of note
1 goal
2 shots — T-2nd
6 progressive passes received — T-2nd

RATING: 5.5


Substitutes

Timo Werner (80th minute) – Provided some pace and got into a few good cut-back positions, although nothing came of them.
Stats of note
3 carries into box — 1st
4 touches in box — T-3rd

Mateo Kovačić (80th minute) — Tried to progress play and did a good fist of it.
Stats of note
3 carries into final-third — T-2nd

Kai Havertz (80th minute) – Nothing of note.