The Debrief: Squad strength helps see off the Saints

We take a look at the statistics and graphics from the weekend Premier League game after Thomas Tuchel’s team got back in the winning groove against Southampton...

The Blues went into the match off the back of two 1-0 reverses and were looking to avoid three defeats in a row for the first time in 15 years. That was successfully achieved thanks to goals from Trevoh Chalobah, and after Southampton had equalised from the penalty spot, Timo Werner and Ben Chilwell.

All three of the scorers have spent more time among the subs than in the starting 11 in the past month but they took their opportunities at Stamford Bridge yesterday.


Werner, who won 65 per cent of the votes in The 5th Stand man-of-the-match poll, was also top for shots in the game. Four of his six were on-target. Those were out of a team total of 20 overall and nine on-target.

Wing-back impact

It was Ben Chilwell who was next up for shots with three-quarters of his four attempts on target, including his goal.

Chelsea reduced Southampton to six efforts overall, with one on target in addition to James Ward-Prowse’s converted spot-kick. He, Adam Armstrong and Theo Walcott had two shots each.

Although it was Chilwell who gave away the penalty, he balanced that out with his contribution at the other end and in addition to threatening the Saints net directly, the left wing-back made three key passes and put over seven crosses, two of which reached a team-mate – accuracy that was better than anyone else.

As the average position maps indicate both Chelsea wing-backs, Chilwell especially, spent time away from the touchline, tucking inside to help a midfield that was up against plenty of Southampton bodies in the middle of the park. Rudiger and Chalobah went wider on occasions, and up front, Werner on the right operated close to Lukaku in the middle.

From Chelsea’s central midfield, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, another brought into the side, and Mateo Kovacic played two key passes each as did Cesar Azpilicueta. Mason Mount, who was only introduced in the 64th-minute, also supplied two key passes and was very much involved in starting the pinball action that resulted in Chilwell’s goal.


Barkley boost

Ross Barkley was brought on for his first Premier League action of the season even later in the game, with seven of the 90 minutes left on the clock, and his cameo earned praise from Tuchel for finding spaces, playing with good energy and delivering influential passes.


Barkley’s excellent ball out to Azpilicueta to tee up Werner’s goal was a crucial part of a lengthy team-move illustrated below.

Azpilicueta was the right wing-back with Reece James injured and he and Loftus-Cheek supplied three successful dribbles apiece, topped only by a regular high-placed-player for that statistic, Kovacic.

As well as opening the scoring early on, Chalobah had the second highest pass accuracy and joined Toni Rudiger in winning three aerial duels. His five tackles won was a game-high figure, as was his four clearances made.

Not for the first time this season, Chelsea upped our ball possession after half-time with 69 per cent of it in the second half compared with 53 per cent in the first, although the distribution of shots achieved from that possession was even with 10 in each half, and we won five corners in the first half which went down to two in the second.
 

With yesterday’s result, Chelsea brought to an end a run of three visits from Southampton in which we failed to beat them. We have now lost just once in 12 Premier League matches home or away against the Saints.

Compared with the equivalent games last season, our results this year have yielded five points more.

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