Analytics Report: Premier League Match Of The Week – Matchday 13 – Chelsea vs Manchester United

Analytics Report: Premier League Match Of The Week – Matchday 13 – Chelsea vs Manchester United

Two of the most exciting young managers went head to head at Stamford Bridge as Erik Ten Hag’s United were up against Graham Potter’s Chelsea. It wasn’t the most exciting game to watch, but the tactical variations in the game were quite eye-catching throughout.

United were the better side in the first half, but Potter is known for in-game changes as Cucurella was taken off for Kovacic as Chelsea shifted to a back four in the first half. Chelsea then had a stronger foothold in the game, but none of the sides looked dangerous in front of goal.

Also read: Analytics Report: Premier League Player Of The Week – Matchday 13 – Dean Henderson

However, all the excitement came in the final part of the game as Jorginho converted the penalty in the 87th minute. At this point, the three points were in the bag for Chelsea, but poor defending from the home side resulted in a stoppage-time equaliser by Casemiro as the game finished 1-1.

In the charts below, we have the analytics data from the game.

Chelsea vs Manchester United analytics chart.

In almost all the statistics, Manchester United outperformed Chelsea, and the only metric where Chelsea were better was recoveries, with the home side recording 91 to United’s 85.

Manchester United had 53% possession while Chelsea had 47%; not a huge difference, but United made much more significant use of the ball.

Manchester United had 13 shots while Chelsea had 5, with only 1 of them on target, while United had 6 on target. Chelsea registered a poor return of 7 shot-creating actions, while United were much superior with 26 SCA.

Progressive passes is another metric where Chelsea were disappointing, which is actually a part of the game in which Graham Potter is expected to excel at. United recorded 37 progressive passes, with Chelsea recording just 23, 14 less than their opponents.

A similar rate was observed in key passes as well, with United recording 12 key passes to Chelsea’s disappointing 3.

Chelsea vs Manchester United xG graph.

Both sides accumulated an xG of 1.0, while Chelsea registered an xA of 0.2 to Manchester United’s 0.9

Chelsea also lacked the element of aggression and tenacity against United, with the blues completing 13 tackles to United’s 20. At the same time, the interception metric didn’t display a massive difference, with Chelsea registering 14 interceptions to United’s 16.

PC: @markstatsbot Twitter
PC: @markstatsbot Twitter

Manchester United, out of possession, were solid against Chelsea. Bruno Fernandes’ workrate, as you can see in the above picture, was exceptional. Casemiro had the highest effect out of possession and stopped Chelsea from breaking the lines easily.

In possession, United were great at moving the ball through the lines progressively. Eriksen was key in United’s ball progression along with Casemiro and Dalot. Martinez is United’s main starting point of attacks, and he was critical for them once again.

For Chelsea, Chalobah was constantly involved out of possession, while Jorginho also put in a major shift. Loftus-Cheek was another key player for Chelsea in the middle of the park due to his physicality.

In possession, Arrizabalaga, who has been brilliant since Potter’s appointment, had another good game. His distribution was excellent, and ahead of him, Chalobah was the player Chelsea relied on to play progressive passes centrally.

Mount was involved as he always is due to his tireless workrate, and tactical substitute Kovacic was also crucial in the left inside channel.

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Quite surprisingly, Jorginho had the most duels won in the game despite the lack of physicality he displays at times. Mount and Casemiro also did well in their duels as they recorded a high success rate in their duels. Interestingly, Mount also lost quite a few duels, while Casemiro also lost as many duels as he won.

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Manchester United were the better side in terms of attacking, and the above picture further proves that. Chelsea had 14 passes into the Zone14 while 19 into the half-spaces. Manchester United recorded 14 passes into the Zone14 while an imposing 37 into the half-spaces.

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Here are the cumulative expected goals and the cumulative expected threat from Chelsea vs Manchester United.

Manchester United constantly had the better chances until the 75th-minute mark, after which Chelsea looked dangerous in the final third. Of course, by the end of the game, Chelsea had a much higher xG due to the penalty, while United stayed on a similar trajectory as they were during the whole game.

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Chelsea’s majority of the build-up play took place through the right side, which consisted of Chalobah, who is a ball-playing defender, and Azpilicueta, who was the deeper out of the two full-backs for Chelsea.

Jorginho and Kovacic also played a lot of passes between them to unlock the United shape, while Mount and Sterling were the pair combining in the final third.

For United, De Gea’s passing network with Martinez was massive as the former Ajax defender almost operates as a quarterback for United. He had an effective passing network with the players in front of him as he combined consistently with Casemiro, Eriksen and Shaw.

Casemiro and Anthony possessed a strong passing network, while the winger also combined well with Rashford and Fernandes but not a lot with Sancho on the opposite wing.

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In terms of ball progression, Shaw ranked the highest for Manchester United. He struggled to get into the side as Malacia was in great form, but Shaw, when in-form, is a great weapon offensively.

Sterling and Kovacic were the highest for Chelsea, with the Englishman trying to combine with the players around him to unlock the United defence. Kovacic was the tactical substitute Potter made in the first half. The Croatian is known for his ball-carrying ability, and he showcased it once again against Manchester United.

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