After starting during the week in the Champions League game against Galatasaray, Andre Schurrle again started for the Blues this weekend against West London rivals Fulham. The German has found it hard to settle in at Chelsea this season and some fans have questioned the £18m price tag that was paid for him. But when money like that is spent then the quality is surely going to be there somewhere.
This weekend, the German forward shut up his critics, scoring a second half hat-trick to give Chelsea the three points and ensure they stayed top of the Premier League. He will be hoping he can continue with performances like these and if he can then who needs a striker?!
Schurrle proved to be the difference between the two teams, further backed up by his stats. He had the top attacking stats in the League this weekend. The forward took a total of 5 shots in the game scoring three. He had the best minutes per goal average (29), even though he scored his first hat-trick for the blues within 16 after his first strike. Out of the players who had played at least 45 minutes of football, Schurrle had the best minutes per shot (17), and the best minutes per shot on target (29). He also had the best chance and clear-cut chance conversion percentages.
The German completed 19 out of 26 passes, with a pass completion rate of 73%. His distribution around the pitch was equal when passing forwards and back, as it was when passing left and right. Out of his 26 attempted, 8 went both forwards and back (31%), and 5 went both left and right (19%). He attempted 4 crosses, only completing 1, and passed the ball into the penalty area once.
He made 37% of his passes (7) in the defensive half, and 63% of passes (12) in the attacking half. Out of his attacking half passes, 30% of these were in the final third. And he also passed the ball into the final third on three occasions.
When in possession, Schurrle had 50 touches of the ball, being dispossessed twice and taking 2 unsuccessful touches. He lost possession of the ball on 17 occasions but made 3 ball recoveries, once in the defensive third and twice in the midfield third. He only won 2 out of 7 ground duels (29%), but won all four of his aerial duels. He was faced with a ground duel every 12 minutes, and was faced with an aerial duel every 21.
This was undoubtedly the German forward’s best display in a blue shirt and will give him a huge boost in confidence. Based on this weekend, he looks like he is finally living up to his price tag, but he needs to be producing displays like this more often if he is to cement a place in the blues starting eleven and cement his place on the plane to Brazil in the summer.