Brazilian Chelsea star performance dips: Is this where it went wrong?

Oscar for Chelsea

Chelsea and Brazil's Oscar saw his performance dip against Mexico. Here's a look at what happened.

After the World Cup's opening game, it was Brazil's Oscar who was being hailed as the star.

He scored one and created another, but it was a feat he was not able to replicate as the hosts were held to a 0-0 draw by a Mexico side who were every bit as dangerous themselves.

Oscar vs Croatia 01 1 1 90
Oscar vs Mexico 02 0 0 84

So where did it go wrong for the playmaker? Was there anything obvious he did differently?

The statistics below illustrate that Oscar touched the ball an almost identical number of times - playing six minutes less - with his pass completion rate very similar.

The major difference between his contribution here were the fact he managed to only create one goalscoring opportunity against Mexico, and one successful dribble. Against Croatia he was far more dynamic, winning seven dribbles and creating three chances.

  MatchMatchdayPass Accuracy %Key PassesWon ContestTouchesMins
Oscar vs Croatia 01 83.33 3 7 72 90
Oscar vs Mexico 02 81.58 1 1 69 84

Oscar was also more conservative against Mexico, making forward passes, less passes in the final third, and more passes in his own half of the pitch.

  MatchMatchdayFwd PassBackward PassAccurate Back Zone PassSuccessful Final Third PassesMins
Oscar vs Croatia 01 12 9 4 13 90
Oscar vs Mexico 02 8 9 10 9 84

It appears clear that the Chelsea man was restricted from an attacking point of view by a strong Mexican midfield who took the game to Brazil.

Oscar was pushed back, and had to work harder, with Brazil enjoying less possession than they did against Croatia.

  MatchMatchdayPossession Percentage
Brazil vs Croatia 01 60.00
Brazil vs Mexico 02 53.00

With less time on the ball, and unable to dribble and find space with the same success, Oscar could not enjoy the sort of creative freedom he craved, spending more time in areas of the pitch in which he is less dangerous.

Against Cameroon in the final game he needs his forwards to offer more movement and give the African defence more to think about, and free himself up in the process to effect the game.

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