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Manchester City 1-2 Chelsea, Premier League: Statistical Review and Analysis – We Aint Got No History

In a game that was mainly a free-hit for Chelsea’s top-four hopes, a late Alonso goal grabbed all three points and ensured the team have one foot in next year’s Champions League. For the most part, the game was a low-speed affair with both teams looking to recharge their batteries after their grueling midweek games.

The game looked more of a dress rehearsal for next season’s potential Community Shield than this season’s Champions League final, with both teams using multiple second-string players. There aren’t many conclusions that can be drawn from such a game. Chelsea’s performance deserved all three points, but there isn’t much we can learn from such a low-intensity match.

According to fivethirtyeight, Chelsea now have a 92% chance of finishing in the top-four — 72% of finishing 3rd — and that is the main takeaway as we have potentially avoided a nail-biting finish to the league season.


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, Azpilicueta has 10 loose-ball recoveries according to fbref and 7 according to Opta. In most cases, the differences will be minimal.


Thomas Tuchel

Like his counterpart, Guardiola, Tuchel went with a vastly rotated team in a move designed to offer most of his important players some crucial rest. While Chelsea started the game slowly, the team were set up to absorb pressure and executed those plans reasonably well until the final five minutes of the half.

The team were a lot more expansive and confident in the second half, matching City blow-for-blow and dictating proceedings with the ball, leading to an array of narrowly disallowed goals. But before long, those were converted into real goals and Chelsea walked away with a deserved win.

While the xG margin is skewed in favour of City, more than 60% of City’s xG tally came from two shots, Sterling’s goal and Agüero’s penalty. Chelsea created a bunch of good opportunities, too, only to see players be offside by inches.

RATING: 8


Manchester City v Chelsea - Premier League

Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Édouard Mendy — GK

Mendy’s biggest mistake in the game was making the penalty save look so easy, taking away some well-deserved praise for it. He did very well to not commit to the dive and won the battle of nerves against one of the best strikers in history.

Stats of note
3 saves — Including 1 penalty saved
2 passes over 40 yards completed (3 attempted)
1 defensive action outside the penalty box

RATING: 8


Reece James — RWB

Took some time to realize that Benjamin Mendy was City’s weak-link but once he did, he took the City left back for a ride. Ran proceedings down his flank.

Stats of note
3 shots – Joint 1st
2 successful dribbles (2 attempted) – Joint 1st
3 carries into penalty box – Joint 1st
4 touches in penalty box – 2nd
6 progressive carries – 2nd
3 progressive passes received – 2nd
2 tackles – Joint 2nd
8 loose-ball recoveries – Joint 2nd

RATING: 8


César Azpilicueta — RCB

Had his best defensive outing in a while, dealing with 1-v-1 duels against City’s pacy attackers with remarkable ease. He could have been slightly better on the ball in build-up but this was an excellent performance from him.

Stats of note
5 tackles – 1st
2 interceptions – 1st
10 loose-ball recoveries – 1st
2 aerial duels won (2 contested) – Joint 1st
4 clearances – 2nd
3 passes into final third – Joint 2nd
17 pressures – Joint 2nd
2 carries into final third – Joint 2nd

RATING: 8


Andreas Christensen — CB

Looked pretty shaky even before his mistake and substitution. He got caught in almost the exact same situation about ten minutes before the goal and got beat in another 1-v-1 too easily. However, the performance was likely caused by fatigue and we can be optimistic that this was a one-off.

Stats of note
2 clearances – 3rd

RATING: 6


Antonio Rüdiger — LCB

Had the sort of good performance that has become the norm of late. The fact he can lock-up elite attackers without breaking a sweat these days is a major testament to his growth under Tuchel.

Stats of note
5 clearances – 1st
5 passes into final third – Joint 1st
4 carries into final third – Joint 1st
2 aerial duels won (2 contested) – Joint 1st

RATING: 7


Marcos Alonso — LWB

Had a performance that sums up his Chelsea career: frustrating in parts but incredibly effective in the end. It is impossible to think of another defender who would have been in his position to score the goal but that’s what Alonso is, a one-of-a-kind player, for good or bad.

Stats of note
1 goal
4 shot-creating actions – Joint 1st
2 key passes – Joint 1st
6 touches in the penalty box – Joint 1st
3 carries into penalty box – Joint 1st
2 aerial duels won (2 contested) – Joint 1st
2 shots – 2nd
8 loose-ball recoveries – Joint 2nd

RATING: 7.5


Billy Gilmour — RCM

Started the game slowly, culminating in him conceding a very harsh penalty, but bounced back brilliantly in the second half. He looked fully at home against the likes of Rodri and later Gundogan, showing the sort of confidence that typically belongs to far older players. Could have been better defensively.

Stats of note
2 key passes – Joint 1st
5 passes into final third – Joint 1st
18 pressures – Joint 1st
4 progressive passes – Joint 2nd

RATING: 7


N’Golo Kanté — LCM

After his recent run of great performances, this was a game where he was merely above-average instead of being other-worldly. Got taken off for Jorginho to give him some much-needed rest.

Stats of note
2 tackles – Joint 2nd
2 carries into final third – Joint 2nd
5 progressive carries – Joint 3rd

RATING: 6.5


Christian Pulisic — R-AM/W

Was good at progressing the ball in spurts but drifted out of the game and gave the ball away under no pressure too easily. His work in progressing the ball was commendable but one gets the impression he could have done more in providing the final pass or taking the final shot.

Stats of note
3 passes into penalty box – 1st
9 progressive carries – 1st
2 successful dribbles (4 attempted) – Joint 1st
4 carries into final third – Joint 1st
2 carries into penalty box – 2nd
4 progressive passes – Joint 2nd

RATING: 7


Manchester City v Chelsea - Premier League

Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Timo Werner — CF

Kept stretching the City defence but strayed offside by fine margins. The one run he timed perfectly resulted in Alonso’s goal, with his precise cut-back a very underrated part of the sequence. Needs more conviction when dribbling with the ball against isolated defenders.

Stats of note
1 assist
2 key passes – Joint 1st
6 touches in the penalty box – Joint 1st
7 progressive passes received – Joint 1st
18 pressures – Joint 1st
3 shot-creating actions – 2nd
2 carries into final third – Joint 2nd

RATING: 7


Hakim Ziyech — L-AM/W

Had a polarizing display, albeit one with a fantastic goal. His passing in build-up was good and he was crucial in us progressing the ball. However, he was loose in the final-third and his passing looked lackadaisical at times, even by his standards. Regardless, he grabbed another big goal against Manchester City.

Stats of note
1 goal
6 progressive passes – 1st
3 shots – Joint 1st
4 shot-creating actions – Joint 1st
2 successful dribbles (2 attempted) – Joint 1st
7 progressive passes received – Joint 1st
2 passes into penalty box – 2nd
17 pressures – Joint 2nd
5 progressive carries – Joint 3rd

RATING: 7


Manchester City v Chelsea - Premier League

Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Substitutes

Kurt Zouma (45th minute) — Made one huge tackle to keep scores level but almost ended up conceding a penalty.

Jorginho (68th minute) — Looked sharp in his passing and helped us quicken play when we were seeking to grab the winner.

Stats of note
3 passes into final third – Joint 2nd

Callum Hudson-Odoi (76th minute) — His arrival was arguably the catalyst for our improved attacking play in the final fifteen minutes. He was direct and should seek to build on this whenever he gets his next opportunity.

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