Pass completion and possession

May 16, 2014
Pass completion and possession

Last week’s graph proved reasonably popular, so here’s another…

This graph is much simpler. It shows the average possession along the bottom, and the pass completion rate along the left.

These two metrics are generally considered to be, more or less, the same thing. They measure how well each side passes the ball. If your pass completion rate is very high, logically you’ll keep possession more. Or, to look at it the other way around, if your side is focused upon keeping possession, they’ll play safe passes and therefore complete a high percentage of them. Nothing too complex there.

This graph, then, which looks at Premier League sides over the course of this season, essentially confirms this pattern. Read more »

Points per game record versus top half and bottom half shows why Chelsea lost the title, and why Sunderland survived

May 9, 2014
Points per game record versus top half and bottom half shows why Chelsea lost the title, and why Sunderland survived

If there’s one result that sums up the crazy, unpredictable end to this Premier League season, it’s Chelsea’s 2-1 defeat at home to Sunderland.

That was Jose Mourinho’s first home league defeat as Chelsea manager, after 78 games, and proved crucial at both top and bottom. Chelsea’s chances of winning the league title took a huge blow, while Sunderland continued their great escape.

However, to a certain extent that result was typical of their campaigns, because Chelsea and Sunderland are the two sides in the division that have collected more points against top half sides, than against bottom half sides. Read more »

Chelsea 1-3 Atletico: Juanfran skips past Hazard for two goals

May 2, 2014
Chelsea 1-3 Atletico: Juanfran skips past Hazard for two goals

Atletico set up an all-Madrid European Cup final with a convincing victory at Stamford Bridge.

Jose Mourinho welcomed back John Terry but Petr Cech was still out, and Frank Lampard was suspended. He surprisingly named six natural defenders in his starting XI, with Cesar Azpilicueta pushed forward to the right of midfield and David Luiz in the holding role.

Diego Simeone named Adrian Lopez, rather than Diego or David Villa as Diego Costa’s support, while Gabi’s unavailability meant Mario Suarez played instead.

Same drill as last week, alas – text is over at the Guardian, but some StatsZone graphics to accompany it below… Read more »