After Saturday’s 6-5 shoot-out loss to Liverpool at Wembley, we pick out talking points from the FA Cup final data analysis…
For the fourth time this season Chelsea and Liverpool could not be separated in open play, yet as a result of a penalty shoot-out, silverware again ended up in our opponents’ hands.Having won on penalties three times earlier in the season, against Villarreal in the UFEA Super Cup and Aston Villa and Southampton in the Carabao Cup, yesterday’s loss follows on from our 11-10 penalty shoot-out defeat to Liverpool in the final of that competition back in February.
Yesterday was only the third FA Cup final to require penalties, this shoot-out following on from the sixth period of extra time Chelsea have had to play this season. The most previously in our club history was four extra times in one season.
Extra extra time
With it also being the 61st Chelsea game of the season, energy reserves were tested to the full yet in the first period of extra time at Wembley, we were the stronger side, with 65 per cent of the possession and three of our overall total of 10 shots coming in those 15 minutes while Liverpool had none of their 17 shots during it. The corner count in those 15 minutes was four to one in the Blues’ favour.The Reds recovered to have 58 per cent of the ball in the second period, although neither side had a shot during it as penalties loomed.Across the whole match it was 53 per cent Liverpool possession with the second half of normal time the other spell when the Blues had the ball more (52 per cent), and matched Liverpool’s one shot on target.
Alonso down the wing
It was in the second half that Marcos Alonso hit the woodwork with a free-kick and Liverpool twice struck the post. Overall, both teams had two shots on target with Liverpool having 12 off target and three blocked to our eight shots off target.Liverpool registered three that are classified as big chances to Chelsea’s one. Our expected goals rating also suggests we should have scored once, whereas Liverpool’s xG is closer to two.
Though nominally lining up with a back-three and wing-backs, Alonso pushed forward significantly more than Reece James with Toni Rudiger often more as a left-back on the side where Mo Salah operated for the Reds before his early first-half replacement by Diego Jota.Alonso had the most touches by a Chelsea player and the joint most shots, matched by Christian Pulisic with three apiece. Alonso’s opposing full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold was forced deeper than Andy Robertson on the other flank.
The most involved
With Naby Kieta often advanced and close to the attack, Jurgen Klopp’s side had Sadio Mane as their most central attacker. Defensively, Trevoh Chalobah made more tackles and more clearances than anyone else on the pitch, five of each in total, while Thiago Silva won three aerial contests.In the Chelsea midfield, Jorginho was able to operate further forward on balance than Mateo Kovacic and had twice as many touches of the ball.It was James who was voted the Chelsea man of the match on The 5th Stand app. The right wing-back supplied two key passes leading to chances and crossed twice. The more advanced Alonso put in seven crosses with Mount sending the ball across five times.
Cesar Azpilicueta had the misfortune to miss a shoot-out penalty on the day he became the Chelsea player with the most major cup final appearances, 13.The 150th anniversary FA Cup final was the 16th time we have participated in the final. We have won half of those.