Chelsea suffered a first Barclays Premier League defeat since December on Saturday, going down 1-0 at Villa Park. The statistical breakdown of the game, however, suggests we were unfortunate to head back to the capital with nothing to show for our efforts…
There was little to choose between the teams in terms of goalscoring opportunities. The Blues had 15 attempts to Aston Villa’s 13. Two of ours were on target compared to four for the hosts. Seven of our attempts were off target while six were blocked.
Villa defender Ron Vlaar, with three, made more blocks than any other player on the pitch, with his team-mate Nathan Baker making 11 clearances, also more than any other player.
We came out on top with regards to corners forced, with five compared to four for Paul Lambert’s side. From one of our corners Nemanja Matic did find the back of the net, although the strike was ruled out for a handball by the midfielder.
Jose Mourinho’s side appeared to be in control of the game prior to the dismissal of Willian in the 68th minute, and we ended the contest having enjoyed a 61.5 per cent share of possession compared to Villa’s 38.5 per cent.
The Blues were caught offside on seven occasions. After the game, Steve Holland revealed the instructions at half-time had been to attempt to get in behind the Villa defence more often, which is reflected in the fact that of all the offside decisions which went against us, four came in the second half.
Villa committed 14 fouls with the Blues conceding eight. Christian Benteke, with four, gave away more fouls than any other player. Ramires was the most fouled player on the pitch.
The top nine players in terms of successfully completed passes were all wearing blue. Eden Hazard came out on top, followed by Cesar Azpilicueta and Matic.
We attempted to utilise the threat of Hazard as often as possible, with the pass combination between Azpilicueta and the Belgian the highest in the game. The fact the next highest pass combination was between Branislav Ivanovic and Hazard shows how the winger was happy to drift from one side of the pitch to the other.