Chelsea 3-1 Everton – 10 Point Tactical Analysis

  1. Team wise, the line-ups proposed here on Wednesday were almost correct – the only difference being Ivanovic coming in for Luiz at the back. It was very much 4-4-1-1 for Everton with Cahill’s dual role being to assist in midfield and pivot to support Saha.
  2. In previous games Moyes has looked to Fellaini to stop the supply to Chelsea’s attacking players which comes from  Mikel . This didn’t seem on the agenda yesterday – the Nigerian had 104 touches of the ball and registered a staggering 97% pass completion – the strategy was clearly to only press when Chelsea crossed our half way line.
  3. Mata was very much the main man. The preview highlighted the growing influence of him and he was to prove Chelsea’s talisman. He was heavily involved in all of the goals. Unlike with David Silva there was no man marker assigned and often Mata would drift from left to right to centre with Hibbert/Fellaini/Cahill taking it in turns to pick up tracking duties. Badly. The Spaniard’s utilisation of space and movement was the key difference between this Chelsea side and the more rigid teams we have faced at the Bridge in recent years.
  4. Still, we contributed to our own downfall with some truly kamikaze defensive work. For the first goal Mata (above) was allowed to waltz inside with no Everton player pressing and dink the ball over the top – this shouldn’t have been a surprise as he did exactly the same trick in Chelsea’s last home game against Swansea for Torres opener. Coleman and Baines were also guilty of Mata watching as they criminally switched off. The free kick which led to the second goal (above) came from Mata dragging Hibbert inside enabling Cole a one on one with Coleman – the Irishman’s challenge was a tad rash > these two players really don’t like each other . For the final goal (below) our right side was again exposed with dire consequences enabling Mata time to run and pick out Ramires.
  5. Fellaini appeared to be targeted by Chelsea and whenever he got on the ball he was pressed intensely. The Belgian was dispossessed 7 times – comfortably more than any player on the pitch.
  6. As has been mentioned on here regularly, the departure of our best passers Pienaar and Arteta has hit us hard and resulted in a shift in style and us playing on average 100 passes less per game than this stage last season. Yesterday we posted just 31% of the play – in the corresponding fixture last season it was 43%. Our average passing sequence was 4 while Chelsea’s was 7 which speak volumes. The result of not being able to sustain any period of possession in the opponents half is that it puts intense pressure on our defence which at the moment looks very shaky.
  7. When we did win the ball back we were too deep .Credit to Chelsea they kept us pinned in for long spells – the home side keep a high defensive line which enables them to compress play in opponents halves meaning when we did get the ball we were often crowded out and possession was lost again. At times like this an out-ball is required – Saha and Cahill will always come short away from the opposition goal – we needed someone (Drenthe?) who could go the other way and expose the space in behind Chelsea’s high line.
  8. Baines has been our key attacking weapon but as the below average position shots (below left) show he was isolated yesterday – compare this with last season (below right)and the proximity of Pienaar (20) which aided the combination play between the two which often enabled us to build possession and relieve pressure on our defence – Something we have failed to do in the last 3 outings.
  9. Our wide options are dreadful. Osman did some decent things yesterday but he hasn’t got anywhere near the storming form that lit up our end to last season. He was dispossessed far too easily yesterday. On the other flank Coleman’s  pass completion was inept – at 68% the poorest of any player on the pitch – and at time he really does show poor distribution. He has delivered  just 3 completed passes into the opponent’s 18 yard box in 3 games and for an attacking winger this is not good enough.
  10. The substitutions clearly made an impact. In 58 just minutes of bit part sub roles Velios has scored 2 making him our top scorer (!) Drenthe’s cameo roles from the bench have shown he can provide the penetration we lack – we certainly need things to be freshened up . Both should be in contention for next week’s trip to Fulham.
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4 thoughts on “Chelsea 3-1 Everton – 10 Point Tactical Analysis

  1. Nice to read a sensible analysis of a game rather than the crap some of the journalists put out – Your introduction of a real winger meant that Boswinga stopped helping us attack (Which he is really good at) and had t spend the time defending (Which he isn’t that good at!)

    Good luck for the rest of the season, except for the 2 times we’re playing you again of course!!

  2. Well said.
    As I pointed out in my scout report. Everton defends in numbers but gives time and space to opposition outside the 18-yard box. When Mata made that pass for Chelsea’s first goal, there were 9 Everton players back defending but the Spaniard still had the time to make a very cute pass.

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