The story of our dominance over the Canaries is told by a season-high number of passes for the Blues, with impact from our three attacking midfielders easy to spot…
Chelsea attempted 732 passes, 81 more than in any other league game this season, and completed 665. That’s a 91 per cent success rate, and we had 69 per cent possession across the 90 minutes. Of those, only 34 were deemed to be long passes
Juan Mata and Eden Hazard were both influential, and had identical passing stats, completing 80 from 87 attempts each. Of those, 53 of Hazard’s were in the final third, with 49 finding their man. John Mikel Obi was also frequently on the ball, with 79 of 87 passes completed while Ashley Cole impressed by losing possession just three times from 74 passes.
Mata found Hazard 21 times in the game, a number matched by John Terry picking out Cole to his left.
Of Chelsea’s 10 starting outfielders, only Fernando Torres (21) was outpassed by any Norwich individual, the other nine all attempted and completed more than the visitors’ top passer and playmaker, Wes Hoolahan.
Much has been made of Chelsea’s narrow play, with Hazard, Mata and Oscar all interchanging positions and exchanging possession frequently. This allowed Cole and Branislav Ivanovic to spend more time in the opposition half providing width than they did defending. In spite of this, Mata attempted more crosses (six) than any of his team-mates. In total Chelsea attempted 30 to Norwich’s 15.
Chelsea tried 24 shots, just under one every three minutes, and is comparable to the 27 attempted against Reading in our first home game of the campaign. Only nine were on target, however.
Much of Norwich’s success last season came from Saturday’s goalscorer Grant Holt, but after his early strike the forward struggled to influence the game and was well shackled by John Terry and David Luiz. Of seven aerial challenges he attempted, Holt won just two. Terry won four from six and David Luiz one from one.
Only 10 fouls were committed during the game, seven by Chelsea, and referee Anthony Taylor was able to enjoy a quiet afternoon without producing a card.
Stats produced by Opta.