Liverpool vs Chelsea – A Question of Efficiency

We could start with the cliché – Chelsea shot more, so, they had more chances to score, so they win. It’s a fact. But there are more into that than just the number of shots. Let’s use VideObserver analyzer to helps us:

It’s not the number of shots that could lead to something – it’s also the precision and the efficacy. Both of them, Chelsea presented us with better chances to win. And I don’t even need to bring ball possession to this topic. Another interesting fact – Balotelli didn’t shot once until he got out. On the other half, Diego Costa shot 6 times and scored once.

About Diego Costa, we can see he is a man of area, playing in the center for most of the time. 10 out of 10 of his goals were inside the box. This fills perfectly the game model Mourinho defends for his team. They don’t look for the lines to cross, they intent to play between the lines, looking for long shots with Hazard and Oscar, and the interior pass for Diego Costa with Fabregas being the best delivery man so far this season.

As we can see, Liverpool chooses to play in the wings, as a result of Sterling ability to play 1×1 and the offensiveness of Moreno. But wasn’t enough – less than 10 % of efficiency it’s a poor number if it’s your best way to try to win a game.

With Sturridge out and Suarez in Barcelona, Liverpool has struggled to score this season. This fact allied to the quality and experience of Chelsea defense, winning would be a huge mountain to climb for the reds.

Chelsea is a team who doesn’t speculate with the ball. When they have it they are objective, fast and with simple processes in the last third of the field. Get that simplicity of processes with a great ability to dominate set pieces and that’s the reason they won to Liverpool.

So in 7 corners for Chelsea, 3 were successful and 1 leading to a goal. And Liverpool got 1 successful, leading to nothing.

For us, the fact that Liverpool was desperate to win the game, having scored earlier was the first step for the ball speculation in their own midfield. And given the opportunity for Chelsea to play inside their lines and freedom to Hazard think the game was a big mistake.

Another mistake is easy to acknowledge – the lost balls. They can indicate us the pressure zones, and the risk we take when we lost it.

As we can see, it’s not only the fact Chelsea lost less balls. They only conceded 2 balls in their own midfield in 90 minutes. And Liverpool conceded 11 balls in the same space. This is taking big risks and putting the team in stress. That’s why Chelsea controlled the game. They played away from Courtois and closer to Mignolet area.

Chelsea is a big team, who knows what to do, and Diego Costa & Fabregas signings brought the team what they really need – last pass accuracy and scoring ability.

Although Liverpool never seemed close to win the game, they have their merits, and it seems they are getting in better shape from game to game, even though the results aren’t the expected.

We just need to wait and see if Mourinho stability goes on, and if the reds talent and virtuosity change the way things are right now – the quality and talent is there.

Until then, just have as much fun as we do watching great games like this one was.

Mauro Saraiva