Premier League

What is going wrong for Gabriel Jesus and Timo Werner?

The pair have taken plenty of flak during difficult starts to the season for their respective teams, but is that fair?

 
2:05pm on Wednesday 16th December 2020
By
David Lynch

Chelsea and Manchester City followed up their weekend stumbles with yet more dropped Premier League points on Tuesday.

Frank Lampard's side were unable to produce a response to their defeat at Everton as they were beaten 2-1 by Wolves at Molineux.

City, meanwhile, were held to a 1-1 draw by newly-promoted West Brom having played out a goalless stalemate against Manchester United on Saturday.

Initial analysis of those results saw both sides' toothlessness blamed, with strikers Timo Werner and Gabriel Jesus being singled out for the harshest criticism.

But is it fair for either player to take the flak? We've taken a look at the numbers to find out.

How did the teams do?

On face value, the numbers show that Chelsea were involved in an even contest in the West Midlands that should perhaps have ended in a draw.

The visitors took 13 shots to their hosts' 12, with four of those blocked, three finding the target, and six missing entirely.

However, it was the Blues who edged things in terms of the quality of their chances: finishing the game having created 1.18 xG according to InStat, with Wolves way behind on 0.52 xG.

That suggests that Lampard's men should perhaps have done more with their opportunities and claimed all three points, never mind zero.

As for City, they utterly dominated their home meeting with a West Brom side who today sacked manager Slaven Bilic regardless.

Pep Guardiola's team took 26 shots to their visitors' five, with eight of those blocked, seven on target, and 11 off target.

They also created 2.1 xG to the Baggies' 0.41, but still somehow came away with just a draw to show for it.

Ultimately, both sides had reason to feel disappointed that they did not win.

How did the players fare?

Werner's 90 minutes on the pitch at Molineux saw him take eight touches in the box, a figure no player other than Olivier Giroud (also 8) could match.

But those touches resulted in two blocked shots and one off-target effort, leading to him drawing a blank in front of goal.

The German ended the match with a 6.2 FC Rating.

As for Jesus, he took five touches in the box, second only to Raheem Sterling (12) of all the players to feature.

However, like Werner, he failed to manage a shot on target, seeing one effort blocked and one missing the target to earn an FC rating of 6.2 overall.

What's going wrong?

Werner is now without a goal in his last eight outings for Chelsea, while Jesus has not scored for Manchester City in his last seven appearances.

For the latter, it seems to be the case that he is struggling with a general creative malaise that has set in at the Etihad Stadium of late.

Despite his many qualities, Jesus is not in Sergio Aguero's class when it comes to finishing, and like most forwards across Europe needs a high volume of chances to chalk up a decent goal tally.

Unfortunately for him, while City recently set a new club record of six clean sheets on the bounce, they look a pale imitation of their former selves going forward and that is hurting their centre-forward.

23 yrs - S (C), AM (R) - Man City
87 
Defending
Creative
Passing
Attacking
Shooting
Decisive
Aerials
Physical
JavaScript chart by amChartsLDefendingCreativePassingAttackingShootingDecisiveAerialsPhysical10-10-5051015100%
630
Played matches
7
2
1
Shots P90
2.00
Shots On target P90
0.71
Successful passing %
82%
Final third passes P90
10.43

It is the same in some ways for Werner, whose respectable haul of eight goals in all competitions so far this season it is worth mentioning has been boosted by three penalties.

In the Premier League, Chelsea have yet to beat a team who are above 12th place in the table, and haven't tended to create quite as many opportunities in games against the sides any higher than that.

That is no help to Werner who, as we have seen from some glaring misses thus far, also needs plenty of service if he is to put up good enough numbers.

The German scored twice against Southampton but, otherwise, has struggled in the same away as his team against those further up the standings.

24 yrs - F (CL) - Chelsea
89 
Defending
Creative
Passing
Attacking
Shooting
Decisive
Aerials
Physical
JavaScript chart by amChartsLDefendingCreativePassingAttackingShootingDecisiveAerialsPhysical10-10-5051015100%
1118
Played matches
13
4
3
Shots P90
2.57
Shots On target P90
1.13
Successful passing %
80%
Final third passes P90
14.00

It seems Guardiola and Lampard have bigger problems to contend with than a simple loss of form from their main goal-getters.

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