Thursday, 25 November 2010

Champions League Match Day 5 - Brief Analysis

A few snippets of interest from this week’s round of Champions League Group matches:

Luka Modric and Denilson

Luka Modric had a wonderful game last night at White Hart Lane, scoring a beautiful goal and dictating the rhythm of Spurs’ play. In his new deeper role, Modric gets more of the ball than any of his teammates and is continually looking to get the side moving. In a similar role on Tuesday night was Arsenal’s Denilson, who also had the majority of the ball.

A quick glance at the comparison above could lead one to believe that both players had a similar influence of their sides. However, a closer look shows that despite Denilson’s passing being accurate and slightly higher up the pitch, it is too often short, sideways and non-threatening. Modric played balls in front of Bale, Lennon and the full-backs, starting lots of attacks down the wings where Spurs are so effective. This lack of ambition is not entirely Denilson’s fault however, as Arsenal like playing short, sharp passes in front of the opposition’s defence sometimes to the detriment of their wingers.

Barcelona’s passing masterclass

Away from home in a potentially tricky tie with Panathinaikos, Barcelona won in the most comfortable way possible. Even by Barcelona’s standards, the diagram below is astonishing.

Barcelona completed almost 700 more passes than their opponents last night, with full-back Dani Alves completing 110 of them. Xavi and Iniesta also completed over 100 passes during the match, with 95% accuracy, and Xavi was substituted after 70 minutes!

Valencia and Inter - Shooting Comparison

I admit that Bursaspor are a poor side, but the below comparison is still interesting nonetheless.

Internazionale had almost twice as many shots at goal compared with Valencia, but had to settle for a measly 1-0 win, while the Spanish side netted six times.

Diagrams courtesy of the excellent Total Football - Champions League iPhone app

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