Chelsea edged a win over Lille 2-1 in the Champions League last night but it wasn’t entirely comfortable for Frank Lampard’s team with the home side going close a number of times throughout the match.
Although the Blues bossed possession having 63%, they didn’t really do a lot with it compared to their last two matches.
Chelsea registered 22 attempts at goal against Valencia two weeks ago and got 6 on target.
Against Brighton they had similar high numbers of attempts with 24 at goal and 8 on target.
Last night against Lille they only managed to get 11 attempts at the Lille goal with just 3 on target, 2 of which were the goals.
So luckily for Chelsea, they were clinical. On another night (Valencia for example), they could have easily lost this.
Lille played a high press but dropped off when Chelsea had the ball creating solid blocks and cutting off Chelsea’s outlet down the wide channels. This forced the Chelsea wing backs to keep passing backwards when trying to play out from the back.
This was because there were no outlets in the middle for the defenders to pass to, so they had to go wide.
If Chelsea started with a 4-3-3 or a 4-2-3-1, which is what Lampard eventually switched to in order to win the game, then this would have given them that extra body in centre midfield making it easier to pass out and get up the pitch quicker, resulting in creating more chances.
This is exactly what happened when Lampard eventually switched midway through the first half.
Reece James came off for Callum Hudson-Odoi, meaning Mason Mount could drop centrally. It totally opened the game up, created holes in the middle and opened up more space out wide, meaning it was easier for Chelsea to play out and get up the pitch.
As a result, Chelsea attacked more and the winning goal arrived.
Stats via The BBC.