Analysis

The Debrief: Busy Kante close to his best

Using the data to come out of yesterday’s game against Liverpool as well as new-look graphics, the performance of N’Golo Kante in midfield stands out from a Chelsea perspective…


Shifting balance

Looking at the stats prior to Andreas Christensen’s red card on the stroke of half-time, it is apparent not a great deal separated the sides.

We had enjoyed 46.1 per cent of the possession and completed just 38 fewer passes than our opponents (221 to 259). Our pass success rate was marginally inferior (83 per cent to 85 per cent), but conversely we had recorded more successful dribbles (eight to five), tackles (11 to nine) and aerials won (seven to one). Liverpool had attempted the solitary on-target effort at that point.

With a man up, the Reds unsurprisingly exerted their dominance. In the second half they had 67.5 per cent share of possession, and completed over 200 passes more than us (422 to 191). They registered five shots on target, to our three, and also won eight corners.

All-action N’Golo

One bright spot for the Blues was the performance of N’Golo Kante, who looked close to if not at his very best. As the stats below show, he put in a big shift with and without the ball.

In the right-sided midfield position he has largely occupied for the past two seasons, there is onus on him to carry the ball upfield, and his four successful dribbles, second only to Timo Werner’s six, helped us do that as we sought to hit Liverpool on the counter.

In the second half, when the Blues were required to sit deeper and soak up Liverpool pressure, he spent more time nearer our box tackling and intercepting. Only one player managed more than him in each department. Kante's heat map shows the positions he took up over the course of the 90 minutes, with most central or wide right.

Other statistical highlights

Mateo Kovacic’s 57 accurate passes was a Chelsea-high figure, while nobody bettered Reece James’s five tackles won.

In his 45 minutes on the pitch, Fikayo Tomori had a 97 per cent pass completion rate, recorded a joint game-high eight clearances (the same number as Kurt Zouma), made two interceptions and was successful with two tackles.

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