Analysis

The Debrief: Mount’s universal impact and another defensive show of strength secure significant win

Following a big three points for Chelsea across town at West Ham, we’ve selected the standout statistics from the derby to analyse some of the major talking points…

Thomas Tuchel made six changes from the side that struggled against Brighton in midweek and the Blues were far more dynamic for it.

Whereas the Seagulls had squeezed us into congested central areas and limited our time in possession in forward areas, we were able to operate with more width and depth at the London Stadium.

Ben Chilwell and Cesar Azpilicueta maintained their positions on the touchline in a disciplined manner and offered plenty of threat moving forward, the former claiming an assist for the game’s only goal as he rolled in a cross from the left for Timo Werner to poke home.

That was one of the England defender’s three key passes in the match, a joint game-high tally. 

Similarly, against the counter-attacking quality posed by the Hammers, Chilwell’s four tackles were matched by just two of his team-mates – N’Golo Kante and Mason Mount.

Mount the main man

Mount’s influence on this Chelsea side seemingly grows by the week and the 22-year-old was once again central to our play in E20, dominating most of the individual statistics in terms of chance creation and game involvement.

No player on the field had more than his 91 touches, an impressive feat for someone who operates in mostly advanced areas. 

A pass completion of 89 per cent ensured his involvement was nearly always positive, while touches like the below proved eye-catching as well as effective.

Not only that, no played on the pitch claimed more shots on goal (six), dribbles (three), tackles (four), chances created (three) or ball recoveries (eight).

He operated close to Timo Werner in attack and linked up regularly with the German, as well as Christian Pulisic, but his touch map shows just how universally impact a performance it was.

Solid as a rock

Werner’s 11th goal of the season, combined with nine previous assists, took his goal involvements tally in his maiden English football term up to 20, though this victory owed as much to another impressive rearguard display.

Tuchel spoke at his pre-match press conference about limiting the opportunities for West Ham to hurt us on the break and his players followed the game plan perfectly, limiting the hosts to just two shots on target and an xG of 0.4.

Toni Rudiger won seven of his eight aerial duels, more than any other player on the pitch, and all three of his attempted tackles. Between the trio of Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and Cesar Azpilicueta, they won 16 duels in the air, a key ingredient to three points in east London for any side.

Another clean sheet took the Blues to 10 in 14 Premier League matches under Tuchel, equalling the quickest a manager has reached that milestone in the competition’s history. 

It was also our 29th shutout of the campaign, the most of any side in Europe’s big five leagues this term.

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