Our forensic look at the statistics from last night’s handsome win over Barnsley brings to light the impact Ross Barkley and Mateo Kovacic had in a deeper midfield position, and underlines just how effective Kai Havertz’s all-round game was on a landmark evening for the German…
Happy Havertz on song
Deployed in a no.10 position by Frank Lampard, Havertz linked up superbly with Tammy Abraham during his 65 minutes on the pitch. His second and third goals were officially set up by the striker, and he deserves much of the credit for the first, too, cleverly dummying Mason Mount’s pass to allow it to run through to Havertz. The spaces Havertz picked up troubled the Tykes, and his heatmap shows what a consistent force he was in and around the 18-yard box.
The man who joined from Bayer Leverkusen netted with three of his four attempts on goal as he continually broke in behind the Barnsley backline. Not only that, Havertz also completed four dribbles, won a Chelsea-high five tackles – including one in the build-up to Barkley’s goal – and recorded an impressive 88 per cent pass completion rate.
He was also among a quarter of players to make two key passes, along with Abraham, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Olivier Giroud. Mason Mount played three.
Overall we had 17 attempts, of which 11 were on target and 15 struck from inside the area.
Barnsley were a threat themselves and hit the target with nine of their 14 efforts, testament to the work Willy Caballero did between the posts.
Double pivot pays off
For the first time this season Frank Lampard opted for a 4-2-3-1 formation, and the job Mateo Kovacic and Ross Barkley did in the middle of the pitch played an important role in the flurry of goals that came our way.
Kovacic was generally the deeper of the two, although the way he stole possession high up the pitch in the build up to our fourth goal showed he too could press deep in enemy lines, just like Barkley did when he scored.
Kovacic’s 95 successful passes and 8.7 per cent time spent in possession were bettered only by Fikayo Tomori (99 passes and 9.1 per cent share respectively).
Kovacic’s pass completion rates was an impressive 94 per cent, with Barkley not far behind on 90 per cent. The pair won three tackles each, while Barkley’s seven successful dribbles was a game-high figure.
As a team, we had a 68.9 per cent share of possession and enjoyed a pass success rate of 90 per cent.
On his debut, Thiago Silva completed 94 per cent of his 68 passes during his hour on the pitch. He also made a game-high four clearances, won the only tackle he attempted and recorded one interception, too.