THE DATA DAY: EVERTON V CHELSEA
Another away win in difficult conditions made it an excellent Christmas for Chelsea. And once again, the numbers put a different slant on the 90 minutes…
Despite Everton's early dominance, it was Chelsea who attempted more shots over the 90 minutes, suggesting we got to grips with the hosts better as the game wore on. The Toffees did have six shots on target to our five however, with Petr Cech and Ross Turnbull facing three each in either half, with the number one forced off at the break with an ankle injury.
Everton are a dogged bunch, and blocked eight of our 17 attempts.
Passing percentages suggest it was not a game high in quality, with the difficult pitch and swirling wind making neat play difficult. Our pass completion was at 73 per cent, much lower than the 86 per cent demonstrated at Norwich on Boxing Day.
We did though have 52 per cent of possession, and still attempted three more passes in the final third than Everton.
With two big strikers to aim for, it is little surprise to see Everton attempt 40 crosses, more than three times as many as Chelsea. Their first cross of the game brought their goal, while Nikica Jelavic hit the crossbar with a header late on.
Chelsea attempted 49 clearances, more than in any other game this season. The previous highest was 41 against Manchester City in November. Gary Cahill attempted 13 of those, and was successful with 10.
Frank Lampard and Steven Pienaar both scored with 100 per cent of their shots on target.
Pienaar's battle with David Luiz, which saw both men yellow-carded, was fascinating. Pienaar committed four fouls on the day and was fouled five times, while David Luiz committed three and was fouled four.
The Toffees' Leon Osman was the game's top passer with 56 of 61 completed. Chelsea's top man was David Luiz with 40 from 54.
Despite their goal coming from down the right, Everton's threat was mainly from the left where Osman and Leighton Baines combined 37 times with passes. In the final third they attempted a total 52 passes, misplacing eight.
Further evidence of the ball spending more time on that side was that Chelsea's top combination was Cesar Azpilicueta, to Ramires, or right-back to right-winger. Ramires was deployed there to counter the threat from Baines.