Tactical Analysis: Tottenham 2 – 4 Chelsea

Tactical Analysis: Tottenham 2 – 4 Chelsea

A decisive 3 points for the blue part of London as they firmly hold their place atop the EPL table. AVB left red faced as Chelsea’s Italian gaffer controlled his emotions.

An absolute tactical battle ensued on the pitch and my word did AVB impress me. He has learnt from his previous mistakes and tried to pick out the weaknesses in the Chelsea squad.

This was Chelsea’s general movement throughout the game –

Self explanatory.

Tactical talking points –

(1) Roberto shifting Ramires to the left

Gareth Bale was all pumped up to give in a match winning performance for AVB. Fate on the other hand had different plans. His wife moved into labor in the last minute and he withdrew himself from the team-sheet. Dembele was not included as well.

Di Matteo on hearing this fantastic piece of news, quickly informed Ramires to shift himself to the left and Mikel to the right.

Sigurdsson was brought on for Bale and Huddlestone for Dembele. Neither of them have pace. AVB’s counter-attacking philosophy revolves on the wide players bursting through the flanks and cutting in. At the same time, Defoe finds space in between the center-backs to exploit the area between, while Dembele and Dempsey drag the defensive midfielders and the back 4 out of place with their respective movement.

Thats why I said Oscar would find it tough to close in on Dembele as his movement is very mobile in my tactical preview. It looks kind off like this after I watched their game against United.

The dotted line’s represent how the wide players cut in with their pace and trickery.

With Sigurdsson playing for Bale on the left, Tottenham’s counter became weak. Hence it was all on Lennon for 90 minutes and he did well. By shifting Ramires to the right, Lennon was well covered and MAZACAR plus Torres had more pace on the break with the Brazillian by their side.

(2) Torres’s work-rate is one of the best in Europe and RDM”S philosphy of shifting formations (4-1-1-4)

Torres in my opinion has been so influential in our wins. Though he might not have had an impact as great as that of MAZACAR, he is definitely close. Despite that fact that he has not gotten his name onto the score-sheet, he has worked really hard. He confused the Tottenham defensive line of Gallas and Caulker. Him doing so resulted in Cahill’s beautiful volley. He ran away as soon as the ball was kicked from the corner. Gallas thought he was still marking Fernando and in mid-air realized he was gone. Hence his clearance became weak due to loss of focus, which allowed Cahill to boot the ball towards Friedel’s goal. Moreover he drifted wide and messed up their man-marking system.

Usually he moves both the directions, but RDM wanted Fernando to move to the right and this let Oscar and Ramires to push up into a 4-1-1-4. I noticed this kind off formation, only in this game for the first time. Hats off Roberto !

Each attack was based on such a formation. When Chelsea first plotted the holy trinity of MAZACAR on the team-sheet against Stoke, pundits were quick to point out the problem of width. Chelsea initially answered to this problem by pushing the fullbacks further but the drawback was that Cole and Ivanovic found themselves in awkward positions. Striking examples include Cole’s goal against Stoke and Ivanovic’s volley against Norwich.
With Tottenham having Bale and Dembele, we could not leave space at the back of our fullbacks for them to exploit. Thus by remaking our front 4 , we were more attack minded, while being solid in the flanks as Tottenham find it difficult to direct play through the middle.
Torres made a mess of two good chances but honestly I do not care. As long as he sticks to the tactics of RDM and works hard for the team, we will still be scoring bucket-load of goals.

The part where Torres was through on goal and the ball was knicked from him was a case of him not being a natural assister.

He has become less selfish. More about the lion on the chest than the name on the back. With this whole false 9 thing revolving around his head, he was looking for a pin-point pass. Sadly for him, luck wasn’t on his side. The Liverpool Torres would not have passed to Mata in the Euro 2012 finals.
In my eyes though, RDM’s intelligence in picking out tactics has increased.
Sterner tests are coming up against Shakthar and United and I personally cannot wait !

Come on Chelsea ! Carefree since 1905.
Sherry Philips (@bluebloodSherry), Deputy Editor
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