5 Reasons why Chelsea drew 2-2 against Burnley at Stamford Bridge

4) Mauricio Pochettino’s tactics

Mauricio Pochettino
Photo: Crystal Pix/MB Media/Getty Images

Chelsea’s encounter with Burnley, culminating in a 2-2 draw, starkly highlighted a crucial shortfall in their gameplay: the absence of control, especially against a 10-man opposition in the latter half. Football, particularly at the highest level, demands not just skill and strategy but also the ability to dictate the tempo and rhythm of the game. This aspect was conspicuously missing from Chelsea’s performance, a flaw that becomes even more glaring when juxtaposed with the hypothetical approach of a team like Manchester City, known for their meticulous ball retention and control, even under pressure.

The fundamental principle of controlling a game goes beyond mere possession. It involves strategic movement, both of the ball and the players, to manipulate the opposition, create spaces, and exploit weaknesses. Against a team reduced in numbers, the opportunity to exert such control typically increases, with the expectation that the dominant team will capitalize by exhausting the opposition and methodically breaking down their defenses. However, Chelsea’s approach, as evidenced in the match, was more chaotic than calculated, with the ball often transitioning quickly between teams and the play lacking a discernible pattern or purpose.

This chaotic nature of the game was reflected in the sheer number of chances created by both sides, totaling 51 attempts on goal—a figure surpassed only once since Premier League records began in 2003-04. Such a statistic, while indicative of an open and attacking game, also underscores a lack of defensive discipline and midfield authority to govern the flow of the match effectively.

Mauricio Pochettino’s tactical setup and game management have come under scrutiny in this context. The Argentine’s strategies, while often effective in generating offensive opportunities, seem to falter in establishing the kind of control over the game that prevents the opposition from creating chances. This is not merely a question of defensive solidity but of an overarching system that allows a team to assert its will, making the opposition reactive rather than proactive.

In modern football, where the margins between victory and defeat are finer than ever, the ability to control a game can be the difference between success and disappointment. It’s a quality that distinguishes the very best teams, allowing them to navigate difficult situations, conserve energy, and reduce risk. Chelsea’s recent performances, highlighted by the draw against Burnley, suggest a need for a tactical reevaluation, focusing on how to translate their undeniable talent and offensive capabilities into a more controlled and deliberate style of play.

1 Comment on "5 Reasons why Chelsea drew 2-2 against Burnley at Stamford Bridge"

  1. George Munankumba | April 1, 2024 at 9:12 am | Reply

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