A Statistical Look At How Mulumbu Stifled Chelsea

The role of the central midfielder has changed over the years. The majority of managers now deploy a water carrier in their side who is comfortable doing the dirty work in the middle – the niggly tackles and taking one for the team. Chelsea were one of the standout sides who deployed such a player, when Jose Mourinho stuck Claude Makelele in the middle of his title winning team, and he got a taste of his own medicine on Saturday.

The Blues were lucky to snatch a last gasp point at home to West Brom on Saturday with a controversial penalty, and that was largely because of the Baggies’ Youssuf Mulumbu.

The stocky midfielder was in great form. Not only did he complete all four of his attempted tackles, three of which were on Belgian star Eden Hazard, but he also completed 38/44 of his passes. His intelligence off the ball was also displayed again, as his made seven interceptions during the 90 minutes, more than anyone else.

The majority of the game was played just in front of the West Brom defence, naturally, and Chelsea managed 17 shots at goal, but with Mulumbu sat in the heart of the Baggies’ side the Blues just couldn’t do enough.

Saturday the 9th of November 2013 – the day Mulumbu stifled to Blues.