Manchester City vs. Chelsea: 5 Stats to Tell the Story of the Match

Peter Brownell@pbnoregard11Contributor IFebruary 24, 2013

Manchester City vs. Chelsea: 5 Stats to Tell the Story of the Match

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    Manchester City's 2-0 victory over Chelsea brings them three points closer to catching Manchester United atop the Premier League.

    The following list presents five statistics which aim to show why City was able to dominate a relatively hapless Chelsea side.

    One theme, in particular, emerges from the data: the spectacular skill of David Silva.

    All statistics are courtesy of the EPL Index, a website powered by Opta.

1 Penalty Saved

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    Joe Hart's heroic right hand was critical in ensuring Manchester City's 2-0 victory over Chelsea.
    According to this tweet from Opta, a Lampard saved penalty is a rarity:

    5 - Frank Lampard has only seen five of his last 35 Premier League penalties saved by the goalkeeper. Rare.

    — OptaJoe (@OptaJoe)
    Hart was not called upon too often but when his team needed him to make a massive save, the Englishman answered the call.

    Perhaps he felt particular pressure, having committed the foul himself.

8 Key Passes

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    David Silva continues to cement his legacy as one of the great creative geniuses in the Premier League.

    The Spaniard directly created both City goal's with two assists.  The first was particularly sublime, slotting a perfectly weighted back pass in traffic to an open Yaya Touré. 

    Silva's eight key passes were by far the most of any player in the match. Sergio Agüero, Juan Mata and  Eden Hazard were the only players to manage more than one key pass in the match besides Silva.  They each had two.

    He knows how to find himself in dangerous areas, too, entering Chelsea's penalty box with the ball five times in the match—the most of any player on his team (tied with James Milner).  

29 to 12: Possessions Won in Midfield

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    The old saying that soccer matches are won in the midfield third of the pitch appears to ring true in this match.

    Manchester City dominated the midfield, winning back possession on more than double the occasions of Chelsea.

    They did so 29 times (nearly once every three minutes).  Chelsea were only able to muster 12 ball recoveries in the middle of the pitch, helping explain why they only put two shots on target.

    Silva was the game's most prolific midfield ball winner, recovering possession six times for City, the most of any player in the match.

    Francisco Javier García Fernández and Rodwell were next closest, winning the ball back in the middle third of the field 4 times each. 

14 Passes into the Final Third

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    While Silva's passing may have directly created the most shots of anyone on his team, James Milner deserves accolades for his role in Manchester City's final third link-up play.

    Milner led the game with 14 passes into the final third, the most of anyone by five passes.  Ashley Cole added nine for Chelsea.  Silva and Cole's teammate Branislav Ivanovic each had eight of their own.

    61 percent of Milner's total passes were on the most dangerous third of the pitch.

6 Accurate Crosses

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    Chelsea's 21 percent crossing accuracy is not a figure they will be pleased with when evaluating their effort in this match.

    The Blues were only able to connect six accurate crosses during the entire 90 minutes.

    Eden Hazard and Juan Mata were the only players to manage more than one successful cross.  They both connected twice. 

    Mata was the team's most prolific crosser in terms of attempted crosses.

    He whipped seven total crosses into the box.