Points per game record versus top half and bottom half shows why Chelsea lost the title, and why Sunderland survived

May 9, 2014
Points per game record versus top half and bottom half shows why Chelsea lost the title, and why Sunderland survived

If there’s one result that sums up the crazy, unpredictable end to this Premier League season, it’s Chelsea’s 2-1 defeat at home to Sunderland.

That was Jose Mourinho’s first home league defeat as Chelsea manager, after 78 games, and proved crucial at both top and bottom. Chelsea’s chances of winning the league title took a huge blow, while Sunderland continued their great escape.

However, to a certain extent that result was typical of their campaigns, because Chelsea and Sunderland are the two sides in the division that have collected more points against top half sides, than against bottom half sides. Read more »

Chelsea 1-3 Atletico: Juanfran skips past Hazard for two goals

May 2, 2014
Chelsea 1-3 Atletico: Juanfran skips past Hazard for two goals

Atletico set up an all-Madrid European Cup final with a convincing victory at Stamford Bridge.

Jose Mourinho welcomed back John Terry but Petr Cech was still out, and Frank Lampard was suspended. He surprisingly named six natural defenders in his starting XI, with Cesar Azpilicueta pushed forward to the right of midfield and David Luiz in the holding role.

Diego Simeone named Adrian Lopez, rather than Diego or David Villa as Diego Costa’s support, while Gabi’s unavailability meant Mario Suarez played instead.

Same drill as last week, alas – text is over at the Guardian, but some StatsZone graphics to accompany it below… Read more »

Bayern Munich 0-4 Real Madrid: Real go ahead through set-pieces, ensure thrashing with counter-attacks

April 30, 2014
Bayern Munich 0-4 Real Madrid: Real go ahead through set-pieces, ensure thrashing with counter-attacks

Real Madrid produced a remarkable performance at the home of the European Champions to progress to the final.

Pep Guardiola named a more adventurous team than in the first leg, playing Thomas Muller at the top of the midfield, with the knock-on effect that Philipp Lahm was moved to right-back.

Carlo Ancelotti made only one change – Gareth Bale was fit to start on the right, so Angel Di Maria swapped sides and Isco dropped out.

This game was over before half-time, with Real’s gameplan working brilliantly. Read more »