Saturday, 11 December 2010

Champions League Match Day 6 - Brief Analysis

The Champions League Group stage is now over. 16 teams are through to the knockout stage, 8 will play in the next round of the Europa League and 8 are out altogether. The draw for the next round takes place in one week and is likely to throw up some very interesting ties.

Due to the fact that many teams had already sealed qualification, some of the games unfortunately lacked any real intensity or drive. However, there were some points of interest.

Quality over Quantity
Real Madrid brushed aside Auxerre 4-0 at the Bernabeu on Wednesday but somehow the French side managed to have more shots overall.

Benfica were in an even more wasteful and apparently desperate mood as they managed to lose 2-1 to Shalke despite having 16 more shots at goal than the German visitors.

Barcelona philosophy runs deep
Despite fielding a very young and inexperienced side, Barcelona showed Rubin Kazan that their passing philosophy is so ingrained that the youth can slot right in and be very effective too. Barcelona passed the Russian side to death, completing over 700 more passes in the match.

Valencia’s Possession
An impressive statistic in Tuesday’s 1-1 draw between Manchester United and Valencia was that the Spanish side had more possession at Old Trafford. Ever Banega in particular had an excellent night moving the ball around from the centre of the park, completing 25 more passes than anyone on the pitch.

Group Stage Statistics
At the end of the group stage we currently have the following statistics:

Top Goal Scorers
Samuel Eto’o (Inter Milan) - 7
Mario Gomez (Bayern Munich) - 6
Lionel Messi (Barcelona) - 6

Top Assists
Carlos Martins (Benfica) - 5
Aaron Lennon (Tottenham Hotspur) - 4

Most Successful Passes
Sergio Busquets (Barcelona) - 516
Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich) - 515
Xavi (Barcelona) - 458

Most Shots on Target
Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) - 16
Lionel Messi (Barcelona) - 15

Most Shots off Target
Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) - 24
Carlos Martins (Benfica) - 20

Most successful take-ons
Gareth Bale (Tottenham Hotspur) - 28
Lionel Messi (Barcelona) - 24

Most Crosses
Gareth Bale (Tottenham Hotspur) - 72
Samuel Inkoom (FC Basel) - 48

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

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