Chelsea FC 0-0 Sevilla FC Match Report

Starting Line-up: Mendy; Chilwell, Zouma, Silva, James; Kanté, (C) Jorginho (Out 65’); Mount (Out 62’), Havertz, Pulišić (Out 90+1’); Werner (Out 90+1’)

Subs: Caballero, Arrizabalaga, Emerson, Azpilicueta, Rüdiger, Christensen, Tomori, Kovačić (In 65’), Ziyech (In 62’), Abraham (In 90+1’), Giroud, Hudson-Odoi (In 90+1’)

First Half

Chelsea started their first Champions League game of the season slowly. Lampards’ men were struggling to win the ball off of Sevilla and they were getting in behind. Within the first 2 minutes, Thiago Silva overcomitted and left his position which opened up space for Ocampos to go through 1v1 however even if he managed to score it would have been ruled out for offside. Sevilla were clearly looking to play the ball more down their left hand side and were getting their LB high up the field and pushing Reece James back. Despite this the 20 year old was able to block a few of the crosses they were putting in however Sevilla were definitely on the front foot so far.

When Chelsea were able to get the ball, Mason Mount was drifitng inside and taking up similar spaces to Kai Havertz which was making it difficult for Chelsea to keep the ball as Sevilla was pressing them quickly and effectively. Sevilla were also very effective in pressing Thiago Silva and Kurt Zouma

Image Credit: via BT Sport

Zouma was out of position, Ocampos is there to press James if he receives the ball and the passing option to Jorginho has been blocked off. This meant Chelsea had to resort to long balls to get the ball away from danger as well as trying to progress up the pitch. Werner was struggling to hold the ball up (0/2 Aerial Duels won) as he was up against a very physical defender in Diego Carlos.

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Chelsea started to grow into the game, Jorginho and Kanté were dropping deeper to receive the ball of the centre backs and were getting more involved in the build up. This allowed them to keep the ball better in their half however they were still struggling to get the ball up to the forwards due to Sevilla blocking the passing lanes. Sevilla almost took advantage of a poor touch from Jorginho in the right half space however he took down Ocampos and stopped him and Sevilla from getting on the counter attack.

As Chelsea were keeping the ball better in the build up with Jorginho and Kanté dropping deeper, it allowed Reece James and Ben Chilwell to get further up the field and try to push the Sevilla wingers back. Chelsea were growing in confidence slowly however Sevilla were still getting chances and came close to scoring from a header which Mendy did well to save. It was now Chelsea’s turn to press and they almost won the ball in the Sevilla box however the away side did well to beat the press and play out. Sevilla then had a good chance as they were able to switch the ball over to the right hand side and create a 2v1 however they weren’t able to capitalise on the situation.

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Werner almost made it 1-0 after some good movement from the German and a good pass from Pulišić put Werner through 1v1 but the touch around the keeper was too heavy and the ball went out for a goal-kick. Fortunately for Werner he would have been ruled offside anyway. A few minutes later Werner had another chance to put Chelsea ahead after the ball landed to him in the box from a Reece James cross but he was not able to put enough power into the shot and the Sevilla goal keeper was able to catch it with ease.

One player which seemed to not look right in the game was Christian Pulišić. He seemed uncomfortable on the right, wasn’t getting on the ball as much as he liked and the dynamics were different as he is used to cutting in from the left. However in the last 20 minutes or so of the first half the American was drifting into central areas and linking up with Kai Havertz and Timo Werner. This opened up space in the wide areas for Reece James to push on forward and start putting crosses into the box however they were not leading to much.

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Sevilla then came close on two occasions. The first came from a header at the back post from Suso who leaped over Ben Chilwell but his attempt went just wide. The second from a poor clearance from Zouma which then was volleyed by Ocampos however another good save from Mendy denied the Spanish side a goal. Right before the end of the first half Chelsea had a really good chance to score however Werner wasn’t able to connect with the ball as he’d have liked to and was clearly disappointed with his attempt.

Second Half

Sevilla started the second half just like they did the first, pressing high up the pitch and trying to stop Chelsea from playing out. As Jorginho and Kanté were dropping deeper it did make it a bit easier for Chelsea. One change from the first half position wise was that Mason Mount had gone over to the right hand side and Christian Pulišić was now in his favoured left wing position. Two minutes into the second half Kurt Zouma had a good chance to put Chelsea ahead after he connected from a brilliant Chilwell corner but the ball went right into the keepers hand. Chelsea definitely looked more lively in the final third now that Pulišić was on the left, he was linking up well and rotating Werner which opened up space for Ben Chilwell to get up and join the attack down the left.

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Zouma again had a good opportunity from a Chilwell corner a few minutes later however the shot was off target. Sevilla were dropping off slightly and this allowed Jorginho to show his ability at distributing the ball, especially to the full backs Reece James and Ben Chilwell who were pushing up high and wide. This was because Pulišić and Mount had gone into the half spaces to occupy the full backs and open up space for James and Chilwell to push on. Sevilla were almost able to counter Chelsea and take advantage of the wide areas after a good switch by Sevilla which was well kept in by Jesus Navas however Ben Chilwell defended well to block the cross and stop the attack.

Werner had a good chance to score from the edge of the box, he dropped deep and found himself in a pocket of space in front the Sevilla defence but his curled attempt wasn’t powerful enough to beat the keeper. Chelsea were slowly on the ascendancy and were looking likely to score first. Reece James and Ben Chilwell were getting more involved in the attack and Chilwell had a good chance to score from a Reece James cross but it was right at the keeper. Lampard then decided to change up the personnel, taking off Mason Mount and bringing on Hakim Ziyech for his UCL debut for Chelsea on the right hand side of the attack.

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Werner was getting into the left half space and getting into 1v1 situations with the RCB however he wasn’t able to beat the defender. Chelsea were getting the ball in dangerous areas but were just missing the final execution to be able to break through the Sevilla defence. Frank Lampard then brought on Kovačić for Jorginho to get him to carry the ball from deep up the pitch. Sevilla came close to getting the first goal after a first time volley from a corner which went just over the bar.

The introduction of Kovačić allowed Chelsea to beat the Sevilla press much easier thanks to his brilliant ball retention and ability to turn with the ball and dribble up the field, and by doing this he was almost able to set Werner through on goal but the Germans touch went slightly wide. He tried to save the attack by putting the ball into the box but it was cleared. Both sides pushed to create a chance in the last 10 minutes but neither side were able to produce that bit of magic to create the breakthrough.

Next Game

Chelsea travel up North to take on Manchester United in the Premier League. Manchester United are coming into this game off a brilliant win away to PSG and will be full of confidence. Chelsea and Lampard will need to be solid defensively going into this game if they are able to contain the likes of Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford, Paul Pogba and, Thiago Silva’s’ old team-mate, Edinson Cavani. Lampard will also need to find a way to get his attack to break down the United defence which was so impressive in Paris.

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