David Luiz believes that Chelsea controlled the game and tried everything to win in Sunday’s goalless stalemate against Everton at Stamford Bridge.
In spite of the Blues enjoying 69% of possession while also making 688 passes to the Toffees’ 310, Maurizio Sarri and Co. had to settle for a rather disappointing draw that some felt more like a defeat, not least of which is central defender David Luiz.
There certainly was some truth to this thought as the west London club failed to take any of their 15 overall chances in front of goal (compared with Everton’s six) yet the Brazilian international kept things into perspective, citing the Merseyside club’s great defensive organisation as effective in stopping his side from taking maximum points.
Quite impressively, the match was a perfect illustration of how the Blues’ swashbuckling approach can be neutered, a ploy that has not been seen since the Community Shield defeat by Manchester City, with Jorginho starved of the ball amidst the harrying Everton press.
“We controlled the game,” said the Brazilian centreback before going on to praise the Toffees’ defensive solidity. “The marking from Everton was amazing. They blocked the space in the middle so we didn’t have a lot of combinations in the middle and from the sides, and in the end they were a bit lucky because we tried to score but didn’t score.
“We did everything to try to win. Sometimes it’s possible, sometimes it’s not, and we’re still there, trying to be at the top of the table so we’re going to fight until the end.”
Despite the supposed attack-versus-defence nature of the match, Luiz felt that physicality played little part in the opening period and claimed that both squads were able to “play” football rather than attempt to dominate with sheer physical prowess.
Quizzed on whether the first half was too physical, Luiz said: “A bit, not really.” I think both teams have more players to play football than to play physical, with power and strength.”
On a final note, Luiz reflects on the kind of tactics the opposition employs during a visit at the Bridge, saying Chelsea will need to freshen up their methods in order to put the ball in the back of the net. “Most of the teams now come here with two lines and trying to lock us up so it’s up to us to find the way to score,” said the Brazilian.