West Ham United goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski continues to be the pick of the club’s new talent, as was evident during yesterday afternoon’s Premier League clash against Chelsea, at London Stadium.
The summer signing kept a clean sheet, his first of the season, as Manuel Pellegrini’s Hammers collected their first home point of the campaign, discontinuing Maurizio’s Sarri’s team’s 100 per cent record, but just how good was the Polish shot-stopper’s performance? Find out today as we carry out a tactical analysis of his Blues display.
Key Stats And Analysis
For the first phase of our tactical analysis, we have enlisted the help of our friends over at Wyscout to bring you the below graphic, analysing all of Fabianski’s key goalkeeping stats in East London.
As you can see from the image, an array of stats are there to analyse, the first of them being his zero conceded goals, the first time he has achieved this in a competitive match since swapping Swansea for East London in June.
The former Arsenal star’s xCG rating was an impressive 1.21, just below his average, while he had plenty more work to do than usual, the visiting attackers having six shots at him, efforts that we will analyse in great detail, later on.
Those very attacking stars included the likes of an in-form Eden Hazard, FIFA World Cup 2018 winner Olivier Giroud and substitute and ex-Real Madrid man, Alvaro Morata, the Hammer was up to the task of keeping them all at bay.
A third of the saves that the Poland star was forced into making required the use of his reflexes, one of his most eye-catching attributes is his excellent reflexes, and he was given ample oportunity to show these off.
Our next stat from the graphic is exits, clearances to you and me, and more evidence that Fabianski was a busy man, making three of them under pressure, again, more than his average, which is in column above the Chelsea encounter.
The ex-Gunners star was not required in the aerial sense, but the one stat that isn’t so much in his favour, in the image, is the accuracy of his long passes, with only half of them (8 out of 16), reaching their intended targets.
However, in terms of short passes, Fabianski was flawless, completing three out of three with 100 accuracy, comfortably better than his average percentage, although he only needed to distribute the ball five times, as opposed to his usual 7.7.
We are now going to, using the Wyscout’s fantastic video replays feature, going to take you through each of the Blues’ six shots on target that Fabianski was made to save, some of them simple, some of them wonderful.
Below is the image from the first piece of work of the afternoon for Swansea’s Player of the Year last term, a straight-forward catch after Giroud tamely volleyed a corner, goalbound.
The second save on ten minutes was much of the same for the Pole, visiting defender Antonio Rudiger had stepped up and out of defence, firing a low long shot right into his arms.
Fabianski would have had to have thought a little bit more about the third, as the arguable Premier league Player of the Season, Hazard, so far stepped inside and got a snap shot away, still, it was straight at him and he comfortably made the save.
One would argue that it would take until the fourth stop that the Irons’ No1 was properly tested and what an outstanding save it was, getting his face in front of the ball to deny sub Morata from converting a golden opportunity, the moment that theoretically won the hosts a point.
The fourth and final save that would be easy work for Fabianski arrived on 75 minutes, Brazilian David Luiz, know for his surprising free-kick capabilities, took a punt on a long-range free-kick and it trickled through to him, he can save those all day long.
If the fifth Chelsea shit on target was simple work, the sixth and last would be far from it, with the travelling Blues thinking that they had snatched the game away with a last-gasp moment of magic, only for Fabianski to tip substitute Ross Barkley’s accurate effort around the post, to the relief of the on watching Claret & Blue Army.
In the third part of our comprehensive tactical analysis, we have, once again, adopted the use of Wyscout’s tools and statistics to display a comparison between Fabianski’s most recent display and the one before that, the previous Sunday’s 1-3 victory over Everton, at Goodison Park.
We are first drawn to goals conceded, the Polish International letting one in on Merseyside, a header from Gylfi Sigurdsson on the stroke of half-time, which made the scoreline 1-2.
The xCG rating is exactly the same, but what is not exactly the same is the number of shots he had to face, five, one fewer, showing that his performance was poorer away from home, with him letting one of five past him, while none of six against the West Londoners.
As opposed to a third, half of his saves against the blue of the Toffees were with reflexes, and he was forced to carry out one more exit/clearance.
Fabianski had one aerial duel to contend with, in the victory and that was lost by him, a situation that could have seen his team plunged into great danger, no hint of that at London Stadium.
His long passing was marginally better at Goodison and he also achieved a perfect record with his short passes, too, there, though he distributed the ball more, instead of passing or clearing it, we can clearly see that he was in much better form on Sunday, on home soil.
In conclusion, our tactical analysis has discovered that Fabianski’s first clean sheet in Claret & Blue was a far better display than he has put in previously for the club, as before Sunday’s encounter, he had conceded goals at an average of well over one-per-game.
Out of the Hammers’ nine summer signings, the ‘keeper, who won Man of the Match for the first time as a West Ham player, with his exploits at London Stadium, continues to be the shining light and he will hope he can keep that up forevermore, starting with next Saturday’s league visit of Manchester United to Stratford.