A lot of Graham Potter’s brilliance during Chelsea’s 2-0 win against AC Milan was different to the performances this season from Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea. One element he couldn’t shake off though, was the almost inevitable Jorginho penalty.
Across 100 matches for Chelsea, Tuchel saw his Italian midfielder score 14 penalties, they came from 78 matches and give a surprisingly good record of goals to games for a player that almost exclusively relies on spot kicks. Those goals make up for exactly half of his 28 Chelsea goals so far as he finished top scorer in the 2020/21 season with just seven goals.
If you had to write a typical Tuchel Chelsea game you would be hard pushed not to include a Jorginho hop, a Jorginho step, a Jorginho jump and a Jorginho penalty goal.
In fact, in the matches that he scored penalties, Chelsea didn’t lose once, winning 11. Potter now has that feeling. Working under his fourth Chelsea manager, Jorginho is still the penalty taker and even the attacking instincts of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Romelu Lukaku didn’t stop him from taking the ball in those situations.
The 30-year-old opened the scoring for Chelsea’s season with a penalty for the third time in four seasons as well with a goal against Everton this year. Despite the difference in technique, it’s a staggeringly good record. Another chief penalty taker in the league is Harry Kane. He has 56 in his Spurs career, 29 in the league and 15 since Jorginho came to the country.
Kane was on target from the spot against Frankfurt in the Champions League just one night after Jorginho’s own goal in the competition, but the English striker missed another one late in the game, blazing over. For the criticism Jorginho gets from time-to-time, mainly revolving around the lack of pace he puts on his kicks, he rarely misses the target and is yet to do so for Chelsea in the league.
The beauty is sending the keeper the wrong way and having them watch the ball slide past into the opposite corner. Kane is less subtle: if the net has to come off, then so be it. The ball is going over the line whether it takes the keeper with it, that’s collateral damage.
His power usually beats most keepers but it’s also what sent his penalty flying over Kevin Trapp’s goal against Frankfurt. When it comes to misses, Kane has failed to score four of his league kicks, 10 overall for club and country – a success rate of 56/66 (84.8%).
Jorginho has missed three of his league penalties, none since last season, whereas Kane missed earlier this campaign against Nottingham Forest, while the Italian has an overall record of 40/47 (85.1%).
It’s only marginally better than Kane’s and really they are both masters of the art in different ways, but Jorginho’s coolness when it mattered for Potter was made more obvious as Kane’s nerve got the better of him as Spurs were only one goal ahead in the dying stages of their match when he blazed over the crossbar.