Just over halfway through the season and it seems like Willian made the right decision in moving to Chelsea. It has taken some time for him to adjust to the Premier League but recently he has adjusted well and has now cemented his place in the starting 11 as one of the Blues’ key players. Mourinho looks like he favours the directness of the Brazilian on the right side, ahead of the technical playmaker Mata.
During Sunday’s game against Manchester United Willian was on fire, driving at the defence and going past players with ease. He was one of the star performers and was vital to the win. None of the away players could keep up with his pace and direct approach, especially on counter attacks.
Home at Last
Yes, Eto’o stole the show with his hat-trick but Willian was equally as important, creating 2 chances, which was the most created by the home team. Willian completed all 3 of his attempted dribbles and attempted to score on two occasions, with one shot on target and the other shot blocked by the opposition. He attempted 5 crosses and was successful 3 times (60% accuracy). Out of his attempted crosses, 1 was from open play, with the other 4 from set pieces.
As well as being one of the most creative and attacking players for Chelsea on Sunday, Willian was one of the Blues’ best passers, completing 34 out of 46 total passes. Out of these, 8 (24%) of them were forward passes, 12 (34%) were backward passes, 8 (24%) went left, and 6 (17%) went right. This is quite a good, even, distribution, considering he was playing right midfield. 9 (22%) of Willian’s passes were made in the defensive half, with the remaining 25 (78%) being made in the attacking half. Out of his 25 attacking half passes (most on the team), 10 of these were made in the final third. He also passed the ball into the final third 3 times.
The Brazilian had 67 touches of the ball in which he was disposed 3 times and lost possession 17 teams, the joint highest on the pitch alongside Hazard. He only managed to overrun the ball once. Although, he was able to intercept the ball twice and recovered the ball from United 7 times. Out of these recoveries, 3 were made in the defensive third, 3 were made in the midfield third and 1 was made in the attacking third. In the 86 minutes that he played before being replaced by Matic, Willian completed 3 successful tackles out of 4 attempts. He won 9 out of his 12 ground duels (75%) and lost all 3 of his aerial duels.
Make way for Willian
With the Brazilian producing star displays each week for Chelsea, he has moved further up the pecking order. Making the right side his own, it is looking likely that the unhappy Juan Mata will move on. Regardless of this, Willian and his teammates will be pushing on for top spot.