Premier League 2020/21: Newcastle United vs Chelsea – Tactical Analysis

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EPL Analysis

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The Premier League returns after the international break. Newcastle United faces Chelsea in the first match of the weekend. Both the teams are in good form and the odds in this natch is with Chelsea only. Newcastle lost 2-0 away to Southampton in their last match before the international break and are down in 13th. Frank Lampard’s men are six games without defeat in the league and have won back-to-back matches. Chelsea has only won one of their last three away games against Newcastle. Chelsea is having a dream run and they win this match comfortably by scoring two goals. Here is the tactical analysis of the first game in the Premier League after the international break where Chelsea continues their winning streak in the league.


Lampard chose the formation of 4-3-3. Kai Havertz was not included in the squad. He was not declared fit. Mendy starts in the goal. Thiago Silva is not in the squad so thas why Kurt Zouma starts for the match followed by Antonio Rüdiger by his side.  Ben Chilwell is the left-back whereas Reece James is on the right side. The midfield consists of Mason Mount, N’Golo Kanté, and Mateo Kovačić. The front three is ruthless. Timo Werner has started all the matches this season and he is starting for this match also. Tammy Abraham and Hakim Ziyech are gonna be with him the attacking trio. The Lineup is pretty good and all the new signings are adapting to their new team and also getting the best out of it.

Steve Bruce set the formation as  5-4-1. They prefer a lone striker. Chelsea is an attacking team so according to the opponent, they do need five defenders to stop Chelsea from scoring. Karl Darlow starts in the goal. He has only kept one clean sheet this season. Javier Manquillo, Federico Fernández, Jamaal Lascelles, Ciaran Clark and Jamal Lewis start as the defenders for Newcastle. Jacob Murphy, Isaac Hayden, Sean Longstaff, and Allan Saint-Maximin are the four midfielders in the game. The lone striker is Joelinton. Here is the analysis of the comfortable win of Chelsea at St James Park.

Tactical analysis

Chelsea has an easy win against Newcastle. They had 71% possession overall in the game. Newcastle only had eight shots whereas the blues had 14 shots. Newcastle couldn’t create many chances as they were playing a defending game which made them suffer the defeat. Chelsea which were attacking from all the flanks and the centre was giving trouble to the five defenders. Chelsea had 670 passes whereas Newcastle had only 211 passes in the game. The pass successful percentage was 90% for Chelsea and 70 % for Newcastle. The stats prove that Chelsea was the better team in the game and they deserved to win also. Chelsea had more passes in the opponent’s half than their own. They had 379 passes in the opposition half and only 291 in their half. Chelsea had 46 duels in the game where are Newcastle had 39 duels.

Chelsea players exploiting space

The formation of Newcastle was 5-4-1. They kept this formation to avoid the dangerous attacks by the blues. However. Chelsea was able to break the defence of the opponent and also would exploit the space behind them. Mount and Ziyech were key players to give them through passes and exploit the space. Ziyech had 43 passes in the game whereas Mount had 68 passes. Mount had 90% success rates of the passes. 

The above image shows how Mount exploits the space. Werner is in front of him, he sees the space and gives the through ball and it makes a Chelsea attack. The defenders are scrambled and they cant get back to defend. 

Ziyech plays from the right and he has a great vision. He exploits the space from the right side. He saw Abraham and he gives across right in front of him. Abraham was on the scoresheet in the match, He was assisted by Werner. 

Newcastle United’s different gameplay

Chelsea was constantly using the fallbacks to create space and also to attack from the wings. They made the field wide enough to have a good flow of passes. Newcastle, on the other hand, was doing the exact opposite. Instead of exploiting the space, they were making the ground small which led to not create better chances for a goal. Fernández had the least touches in the game. He only had 29 touches. Murphy lost possession of the ball maximum times in the game.

Here is an example of the tactics, which Newcastle used. Nine players are in the centre and they are in the attacking phase. No Newcastle players are going wide or getting down the flanks. They are clustered in the centre. The Chelsea players are closing in during the defensive phase. Newcastle’s strategy was not a good one. There is a lot of space left on both sides and they didn’t utilize it like Chelsea players were doing.

Chelsea’s successful strategy

Chelsea was in a different position during their attacking phase. They also had a lot of bodies on the opponent’s side. James and Chilwell were constantly attacking from their side. They had options whenever they attacked.

Here you can see the difference in the strategy and also in the tactics. Newcastle also had a similar number of players during the attack as Chelsea. The only change is the way the players are in the attacking phase. Chelsea players are spread all over the ground to create more space and to make the ground wide. James and Chilwell are wide on the sides. Ziyech is in the centre with the defenders behind him. 

No pressure from Newcastle United

Chelsea was constantly keeping pressure on the defence and they were making it tough for Newcastle payers to get the ball in their possession. Newcastle, on the other hand, was playing too defensively. There was no pressure from the players during a Chelsea start. The defenders were able to come to the half-line with the ball. No Newcastle player was giving pressure on them.

Rüdiger and Zouma came till the half-line and there was no pressure The lone striker is the only one in their half. Newcastle should have given pressure near their penalty box which would have been a good strategy to get more possession and also to get more chances. This was a bigger mistake than not exploiting the space. Chelsea players didn’t feel the pressure and they were playing with ease.


With this win, Chelsea are in the third position in the league with 18 points, They are in the third position because of the goal difference. Chelsea has scored the maximum number of goals this season till now. They have 22 goals and they only conceded 10 goals till now. Newcastle drops to the 15th position after the loss and they only have 11 points in nine games. Lampard will be pretty satisfied with the way his team is playing. The transfers are showing the value they bring. They will face the league leaders, Tottenham Hotspurs next weekend. Newcastle should bounceback giant  Crystal palace in the upcoming weekend. Chelsea would also be focusing on the Champions League match in the midweek.