Chelsea lifted the UEFA Champions League trophy for the second time in their history on Saturday night after defeating Manchester City 1-0 at the Estadio do Dragao in Portugal.
Thomas Tuchel deserves even more credit for the Blues’ Champions League triumph as his system recorded impressive underlying numbers.
Summer signing Kai Havertz scored the only goal of the game in the 42nd minute to ensure the Blues won their first piece of silverware under Thomas Tuchel. Although Chelsea only won by a one-goal margin, the statistics told a different story as they registered 2.1xG (expected goals) over the 90 minutes, trouncing City’s measly 0.4xG, the lowest the Citizens recorded all season.
The Blues’ impressive underlying statistics were a common theme during their Champions League run as they bested all of their opponents on the popular metric in every other knockout round too. The Blues registered 3.0xG over the two legs while their aggregate xGA (expected goals against) was just 1.1, an impressive feat considering their opponents.
As highlighted by Twitter user @MC_of_A, Chelsea defeated their Round of 16 opponents Atletico Madrid 3-0 on aggregate thanks to goals from Giroud, Ziyech and Emerson, a deserved victory according to xG. The Blues registered 3.0xG over the two legs while their aggregate xGA (expected goals against) was just 1.1, an impressive feat considering their opponents.
They then faced Porto in the quarter-finals, seeing off the Portuguese side 2-1 over two legs with Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell on the scoresheet in the first league before Mehdi Taremi netted a consolation goal for the Dragons. Both sides struggled in front of goal, according to xG, with Chelsea and Porto registering 2.9 and 2.0 respectively.
Thomas Tuchel’s side then overcame Spanish giants Real Madrid 3-1 in the semi-finals but the underlying numbers suggest Chelsea would have blown away Los Blancos if not for poor finishing. The 13-time European champions registered just 0.9 xG over the two legs while Chelsea recorded a whopping aggregate of 5.3xG as they spurned a number of guilt-edge opportunities, especially in the second leg at Stamford Bridge.
In the Blues’ four knockout ties their cumulative xG score was a huge 13.3, limiting their opponents to just 4.4xG along the way, statistics that will be impressive reading for Tuchel who has made his side a counter-attacking phenom who are very difficult to break down.
They could, however, force Tuchel to dip into the transfer market for a striker this summer as they underperformed their xG by 4.3 goals with Timo Werner, in particular, spurning a number of high-quality chances throughout the campaign.
In fact, the german frontman scored just 10 goals across the Premier League and Champions League this season despite registering 18.5xG, a huge disparity for a forward who cost the Blues £47.5m last summer.