We use some of the key statistics from yesterday’s emphatic Champions League win over Malmo to analyse the game, and provide some extra detail on the ending of Andreas Christensen’s wait for a first Chelsea goal…
This was about as one-sided a Champions League contest as you could hope for. The Blues were utterly dominant from start to finish, recording 20 shots to Malmo’s two, enjoying a 73 per cent share of possession and completing 90 per cent of our passes, to the visitors’ 66 per cent success rate.
We also won more tackles, corners and aerial duels than them, made more interceptions and were successful with more dribbles. Only twice was a Chelsea player dispossessed, and only Cesar Azpilicueta of our starting outfielders did not have a shot on goal.
Jorginho in control
Our dominance of possession and territory quickly rendered Malmo’s deep-lying 3-5-2 formation redundant. With each of our back three comfortable stepping out into midfield, we were never outnumbered in that part of the pitch despite reverting to a 3-4-3 shape with Mason Mount and Timo Werner either side of Lukaku (before the injuries).
That enabled Jorginho to dictate the game as only he knows, with his 104 touches of the ball a game-high figure. He was in possession for nine per cent of the match, a figure bettered only by Thiago Silva, and he completed 72 passes, comfortably the most of anyone not in our defence, at an 88 per cent success rate.
As well as scoring both his penalties he also set up a chance, and the way he drew players to him created space for N’Golo Kante and Mount, sometimes dropping deeper, to get involved. That duo set up five chances and had four attempts between them.
Although it was of course very disappointing to lose Lukaku and Werner to injury before half-time, it did hand an opportunity to two players who have been less involved of late, Kai Havertz and Callum Hudson-Odoi. Tuchel would have been pleased with what he saw from them.
Havertz had a game-high four attempts, including his superbly-taken goal shortly after half-time. That owed much to the speed and dribbling ability of Hudson-Odoi, who carried the ball from well inside our half before slipping in the silky German.
Hudson-Odoi was deadly accurate all night, completing 18 of his 19 passes, while another sub, Marcos Alonso, set up three opportunities during his 25 minutes on the pitch. It was another evening when the depth of Tuchel’s squad was on full display.
37 shots later
In many ways, though, the night belonged to Christensen. Almost exactly seven years since his Chelsea debut, and 136 games later, he opened his account for the club with a well-taken volley set up by his fellow centre-back, Thiago Silva.
It was Christensen’s 38th shot in a Chelsea shirt, and his seventh on target. Of the rest, four were blocked and 27 off target, with two hitting the woodwork.
The Dane has been in superb form this year and all that was missing was a goal. His first coming against a Swedish side must have made it extra satisfying for him, and he became our 14th different goalscorer this season. Jorginho would quickly become our 15th.