22 November 2011

Chelsea Chalkboards - Half by Half

You don't need chalkboards to tell you that Liverpool changed tact in the second half against Chelsea, unable or unwilling to keep pressing in the same furious manner as the first. This isn't revelatory information, and I tried to explain why in the match review: pressing for 90 minutes was an impossibility due to fitness and personnel, so Liverpool went all out for the early goal, then tried to soak up pressure and hit Chelsea on the counter in the later stages. Despite conceding early in the second half, it worked a treat due to Johnson's bursting run and Chelsea's less than diligent defending, which I wrote about yesterday.

Nonetheless, it's interesting to compare the differences in a few passing charts and defensive chalkboards.

In the second half, there were fewer passes attempted by almost every Liverpool player, more Chelsea passes in Liverpool's half, tackles and interceptions came closer to Liverpool's goal, etc., etc. How few passes the center-backs attempted in the second half was the only major surprise, as it's quite noticeable despite Liverpool being under Chelsea pressure for long stretches. I'll also note than neither center-back "emptied it" regularly; while both Skrtel and Agger attempted far fewer passes, they're still short passes, attempting to build from the back. And Reina's passes and Liverpool's total attempted clearances (neither shown) stayed fairly similar from first to second half.

No comments :