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Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Swansea 1 - Chelsea 1 Chalkboard Review

Wherever that four minutes of added-on time came from, it was just enough to enable Chelsea to snatch a draw which on the amount of possession and shots they had they maybe deserved but was cruel on Swansea to say the least.

Chelsea may have been without Drogba, Lampard and Terry but this was still a team filled with expensive players but seemed to lack a cutting edge.

After an impressive first half from Swansea with a superbly executed goal by Scott Sinclair, the second half was arguably the most pressure the Swans have faced at home all season with number of passes falling sharply and the pass completion rate dropping from a impressive 84% in the first half to 73% in the second.

Swans made over 100 less and Chelsea 100 more successful passes the second half than their respective first half totals
The heatmaps of where Chelsea made their passes also shows how much more their possession was in Swansea's half.

70% of Chelsea's passes in the second half were made in the attacking half compared to 53% in the first half
However, as is often said in criticism of the Swans, what's the point of possession if you can't do anything with it.  For all of their dominance of the ball in the second half, Chelsea actually had the same number of shots in the second half (10) that they did in the first.
There seemed a real lack of imagination from Chelsea and it was more a case of lump it in the box than any attempt at trickery around the edge of the area.  An example of this is that Chelsea made 6 crosses in the first half but 24 in the second with little to show for it due to the excellent work of Williams and Caulker.

In terms of touches, it's a rarity for the player with the most touches not be Rangel but in this game it was Bosingwa with 90 with Rangel in second with 82.  A mention should also go to Essien who had 44 touches despite only playing 25 minutes.

For 3 of the top 4 players in terms of touches to be from the Away team is a rare sight at the Liberty
In terms of 'what went wrong' in the second half I don't think there was any great failing on Swansea's behalf but is what happens when a quality, well organised team puts you under pressure.  Vorm for example often had to kick longer, resulting in losing possession more often (38% pass success rate in the second half compared with 83% in the first half).

There were occasions when the mentality was too defensive, one example being a free kick in a relatively attacking position but the ball went backwards fairly rapidly to Vorm only to then be lost as a result, but it's human nature to think safety first when defending a lead against a team who regularly get to the latter stages of the Champions League.

We've now played 4 of the 'Big 6' at home and have lost one by a single goal, won one and drawn two, and these experiences can only help build confidence and belief. 

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