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DTWE – Report | Chapter 4: Milan Outplay Roma, Chelsea’s Struggles Continue & More

After the last weekend of complete club football action before the first international break of the 2023/24 season, it is once again time to look back on some of the big storylines in our Decode The Weekend column. Using data and insights from our analytics platform,, we have picked out some interesting stats and observations from three matches.

🇮🇹 Serie A: Roma 1-2 Milan

The headline fixture on Friday night saw Italian giants Roma and Milan square off. José Mourinho’s men were still searching for their first win of the season, while Milan had looked very good in their first couple of matches and led the way in the league in terms of goals scored.

The Rossoneri proved quite dominant in the first half, as they could build up very comfortably in their fluid structure and went on to cause a fair few problems in the final third as well. A few interesting observations were that right-back Davide Calabria was always inverting, left-back Theo Hernández often started quite deep to form a back-three in the build-up before pushing on, while defensive midfielder Rade Krunić dropped in between the centre-backs at times.

Soccerment’s exclusive Match Report, available at | STATS

Further up, the wing combinations continued to cause problems as Hernández and Rafael Leão caused a lot of damage down the left with support from Tijani Reijnders, whilst the new-look right-sided pair of Christian Pulisic and Ruben Loftus-Cheek also looked good. Goals from Olivier Giroud and Leão put Milan in a very comfortable position, but Fikayo Tomori’s sending off made things a little interesting at the end even though Roma only scored when it was too little too late.

Key Stats:

  • Possession: 42.9% – 57.1%
  • xG: 0.56 – 1.44
  • xGOT: 0.1 – 1.8
  • xPoints: 0.56 – 2.18

Takeaway: Despite the late hiccup, Milan remained in control of the match for the most part and came away with a deserved win.

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Premier League: Chelsea 0-1 Nottingham Forest

Chelsea’s tough start to the new season continued this weekend, as they failed to get the better of Nottingham Forest at Stamford Bridge. Having dropped points to Liverpool and West Ham in their first two games, their only win of the league season so far came against Luton Town last Friday, after which they survived a major EFL Cup scare against Wimbledon.

Chelsea’s two big problems so far this season seem to be a failure to impose complete control on matches, which is played into by their concerning lack of clinicality in front of goal. Chance creation has not been a problem for them as they are the fifth-best team in the league in terms of xG with a tally of 8.79, but they’ve only found the back of the net five times.

Notice, as well, how they only went blow-for-blow with Forest until the visitors took the lead, after which their deeper defending enabled Chelsea to pose a more dangerous and sustained attacking threat. The xG timeline of the match (with Chelsea denoted by the blue line) illustrates this quite well.

Cumulative Expected Goal timeline from Soccerment’s exclusive Match Reports.
Get access to the complete Match Report at | STATS

There are a few mitigating factors for Chelsea’s poor start to the season such as injuries and a couple of positives such as decent underlying attacking numbers, but Mauricio Pochettino most definitely has some work to do in this international break.

Key Stats:

  • Field Tilt: 76.1% – 23.9%
  • xThreat: 1.7 – 0.3
  • xG: 2.29 – 0.95
  • xGOT: 0.3 – 0.8

Takeaway: Ultimately, Chelsea’s shocking lack of efficient finishing cost them the game.

🇧🇪 Pro League: Genk 1-1 Anderlecht 

Sunday was a day of massive fixtures and results in Belgium including Gent’s win over Club Brugge and the 2-2 draw between last season’s champions Royal Antwerp and title contenders Union Saint-Gilloise, but our focus will be on what was the least exciting of those matches.

Genk’s 1-1 draw against Anderlecht was a bit of a slugfest at times after the hosts went down to 10 men as early as the 15th minute, but it highlighted one of Anderlecht’s issues in the early stages of this season. Although they are currently level on points with leaders Gent, their actual performances have remained disappointing.

Against the backdrop of a lot of issues behind the scenes, record Belgian champions Anderlecht have slumped to becoming a mid-table side in recent years. Since 2018/19, they have only finished in the top four on two occasions, both of which were under Vincent Kompany. Last season, they ended up down in 11th, and this season does not look much better.

Brian Riemer’s side have picked up 13 points from their six games so far, but our xPoints model suggests they only deserved about 7. They stand 9th in the league in that regard, 9th on xG as well and 8th on xGA – a perfectly mid-table team.

Simply put: Anderlecht are just not that good anymore. Their showing against the 10 men of Genk depicted that quite clearly, as they failed to establish any real control of proceedings and even looked second-best for long stretches of the match.

Expected Threat Timeline from Soccerment’s exclusive Match Reports.
Get access to the complete Match Report at | STATS

Key Stats:

  • Possession: 42.3% – 57.7%
  • Field Tilt: 42.7% – 57.3%
  • xThreat: 0.7 – 0.8
  • xG: 1.21 – 0.50

Takeaway: Despite being a player up for most of the game, Anderlecht failed to establish control and barely did enough to deserve a draw.

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About the Author: Neel Shelat
Neel Shelat is a self-styled missionary of the religion of football. With an unwavering passion for the game, he spreads the word about football from all corners of the world through in-depth features, profiles, analyses, and podcasts. Over the span of three years, Neel has established himself as a prominent freelance journalist and analyst. His insightful contributions have graced platforms like Al Jazeera, Forbes Sports, among many others. If you wish to stay updated with his latest insights and thoughts, you can follow him on Twitter at @ShelatNeel. 
This series of articles is a collaborative effort between Neel Shelat, Soccerment Research, and the xvalue Team.

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