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Man City v Chelsea: Controlled Zone Entries

Continuing Bitter and Blue's analysis of the 0-1 loss to Chelsea on Monday night, we are going to look at controlled zone entries for each team. How frequent were those zone entries, by what method was the zone gained and which players were the drivers of those zone entries.

Laurence Griffiths

For previous work on zone entries:

City v Ajax

Aston Villa v Man City

Dortmund v Bayern Munich

Spain v Uruguay

Previous articles on Man City 0-1 Chelsea:

@zacmacphee looks at Mourinho's tactical masterclass


So, about those zone entries. A controlled zone entry is simply defined as a successful pass or a carry into the final third of play. Turnovers (dispossession of the opposition in the final third) has also been included. In previous zone entry work, I have included failed entries, this piece will not touch on failed entries.

I just want to focus on the successful entries, the method of that entry and the individual players who were driving those entries.

Man City 0-1 Chelsea

The controlled zone entry count for Monday's game was 47-41 in favour of Man City. Considering Man City's home dominance and some home advantage effects, Chelsea's zone entry performance in this game is pretty darn good.

This is the how those zone entries looked minute by minute:


Chelsea cooled off in the last 20 minutes in order to solidify their shape, this allowed City to posses more of the football and fashion a greater number of controlled entries.

This is how the controlled entries for each team looked in a per minute format:


A slow start early doors, and then a cooling of the overall frequency of entries at the tail end of the game. Chelsea's defensive shape reduced the overall frequency of game entries.

Type Of Zone Entry

Man City had a greater number of passes and carries. Chelsea were hurting Man City with the number of turnovers/takeaways in Man City's defensive third. Chelsea's speedy press worked.

Pass Carry Turnover Long Ball
Man City 24 20 1 2
Chelsea 18 14 5 4

Method Of Player Zone Entry

Hazard was the top performer. No surprises there. Ivanovic was Chelsea's next best performer and this may give us a clue as to the amount of space Man City, and thier inverted left winger, allowed the Chelsea man to attack into.

Toure was tops for Man City, Silva had a quiet day. Jovetic was sensational during his second half sub appearance. The oft-injured forward recorded 8 controlled entries (5 carries, 3 passes) against a "set" Chelsea defence intent on protecting their final third and penalty area.

Encouraging signs regarding Jovetic.

Club Player # of Entries Carry Pass Long Pass Turnover
Chelsea Hazard 11 8 2 1
Man City Toure 9 2 7
Chelsea Ivanovic 8 8
Man City Jovetic 8 5 3
Man City Silva 7 3 4
Man City Navas 7 6 2
Chelsea Willian 5 1 3 1
Chelsea Luiz 5 2 2 1
Man City Kolarov 5 1 3 1
Chelsea Ramires 4 2 2
Man City Demichelis 3 1 2
Man City Zabaletta 3 1 3 1
Chelsea Eto'o 2 1 1
Chelsea Azpilicueta 2 2
Chelsea Matic 2 1 1
Man City Dzeko 2 1 1
Man City Hart 2 1
Chelsea Cech 1 1
Man City Kompany 1 1 1
Chelsea Terry 1 1

Outcome Of Player Zone Entry

The numbers are all there for you guys to sift through. I'm not entirely sure it is fair to list the outcome of each zone entry, there are an awful lot of factors that shape whether a zone entry results in a shot or a loss possession once the final third zone has been gained by player x.

As it is, Hazard, Toure, Luiz, Navas and Silva had a good number of shots created off of their individual zone entries. But, yet again, we look at Jovetic's cameo and see that the forward saw 5 shots created from his final third zone entries.

Club Player # of Entries Shot Loss of Possession Back Out
Chelsea Hazard 11 4 6 1
Man City Toure 9 5 4
Chelsea Ivanovic 8 1 7
Man City Jovetic 8 5 3
Man City Silva 7 4 3
Man City Navas 7 4 1 2
Chelsea Willian 5 3 2
Chelsea Luiz 5 4 2
Man City Kolarov 5 3 2
Chelsea Ramires 4 1 2 1
Man City Demichelis 3 1 2
Man City Zabaletta 3 2 1
Chelsea Eto'o 2 1 1
Chelsea Azpilicueta 2 2 1
Chelsea Matic 2 1 1
Man City Dzeko 2 2
Man City Hart 2 2
Chelsea Cech 1 1
Man City Kompany 1 1
Chelsea Terry 1 1

Tables are sortable, so have a play around. As always it is interesting to see which teams created the most zone entries, the ebb and flow of those zone entries and which players were the driving force behind those entries.

Hazard is a beast, City missed some key players. There are reasons to be excited about Jovetic's ability, although we need to see way way more games and cameo's like this before we can begin to count on the players performance.