Chelsea’s victory over Manchester United – Chalkboard analysis
An exciting, crucial game at Old Trafford resulted in a deserved 1-2 win for Chelsea. The tactical battle throughout the game was quite subdued – both sides set up as expected once we had the team sheets, and the only real change was when United pushed forward late on.
There were some notable individual performances throughout the game, however, that can be displayed and analysed through Chalkboards.
Firstly, there was an interesting difference in styles from the distribution of the two goalkeepers. Edwin van der Sar constantly passed the ball short to his centre-backs to play out from the back, whereas Petr Cech preferred to hit long balls for players to challenge for in the air.
Part of United’s problem was, like in Munich, their inability to keep the ball. There were too many wayward passes throughout the game, with Ryan Giggs being amongst the main culprits. This Chalkboard compares his passing record to his equivalent on the Chelsea side, Florent Malouda.
Malouda has been Chelsea’s best player in recent weeks, and was given the man-of-the-match award here. Part of his value is the fact that he’s not simply a flair player, he’s also a hard-working player and defensively sound as well. This shows his ability to win balls in the centre of the pitch.
Jon Obi Mikel was another reason why Chelsea kept possession well. His near-perfect pass completion record was only broken when he attempted an almost brilliant through ball for Malouda just before half time.
Nicolas Anelka was rightfully preferred to Didier Drogba from the outset. His link-up play in the first half (top Chalkboard) was superb, as he often dropped deep to link with Malouda and Joe Cole. In the second half (bottom Chalkboard) however, as Chelsea were under pressure he was starved of service and barely contributed in his 25-minute spell, so Ancelotti turned to Didier Drogba, more comfortable at holding the ball up.Chelsea’s victory over Manchester United – Chalkboard analysis