Beesotted contributors The Gowler and Paul Kowalczyk (@BeesBreakdown) give us the tactical and statistical lowdown of Brentford’s thrilling win at Stamford Bridge.
Brentford came out in their 5-3-2 with Toney and Wissa leading the line. Mbeumo given some rest for the midweek match but available off the bench as he has been in great form the past two matches. Brentford’s midfield was missing Christian Nørgaard to a nagging achilles injury, so Janelt filled in for him. Onyeka was the right sided midfielder while Jensen rounded out the midfield on the left. The backline was the usual suspects, Rico Henry, Ben Mee, Ethan Pinnock joined by Zanka and Roerslev.
Chelsea, the impossible team to predict a starting XI for, started in a 3-4-3. Fofana, Silva, and Chalobah made up Chelsea’s backline with Azpilicueta and Chilwell the wide midfielders. Kovacic and Fernandez were the deeper center midfielders while Kante, Gallagher and Sterling made up the front 3. The £474 million starting XI also had the luxury of Mudryk, Aubameyang and Joao Felix on the bench.
Possession: Chelsea 73% – 27% Brentford
xG: Chelsea 1.27 – 1.15 Brentford
PSxG: Chelsea 0.42 – 0.13 Brentford
Shots: Chelsea 16 – 14 Brentford
Clearances: Chelsea 15 – 7 Brentford
Other Brentford stats:
Aerial duels won: 15 (44%)
Brentford only have 29% possession so they maximized their chances in the box with long throws and Raya sending in long balls from free kicks. Raya took 4 freekicks, which were used to get Brentford’s centerbacks forward. Raya connected on 16 long passes and led Brentford with 3 passes into the final third.
Looking at Brentford’s 0.13 post shot xG (PSxG) it shows Brentford were a bit lucky to score two goals. Brentford did create some big chances with missed headers from Ben Mee and Zanka, but Brentford did not make the most of those higher xG chances. This also does not take into account Chelsea’s own goal.
Kante was easily Chelsea’s best player, being everywhere on the pitch. Kante played 3 key passes but he was most notable defensively. He had 4 tackles and interceptions which gave Brentford issues.
Toney has had a rough few games where he hasn’t won as many aeriel duels he normally would. Toney won 6 aerial duels which is crucial in a game where Brentford played 72 long balls. Janelt also had a good performance filling in for Christian Nørgaard. Janelt didn’t miss a beat with 6 tackles and interceptions. He was helped by Ethan Pinnock’s huge performance at the back with 10 clearances.
Damsgaard had a good performance in his limited minutes. He had multiple crucial tackles to stop counters and plenty of interceptions. He was much better in his positioning than in the past. Damsgaard seems to be starting to be integrated into Brentford’s defensive system and understand not only his role but others. Damsgaard recognized multiple times against Chelsea that he needed to adjust his positioning based on what the other midfielders were doing.