Spain and Italy played out a 1-1 draw yesterday in what was considered to have been the best game of Euro 2012 so far.
For those that follow the blog regularly you will be familiar with what we here have coined ‘Scoring Chance Index' (or ‘SCI'): essentially a model we have developed to try and better understand and measure scoring chances in football. A full breakdown of SCI can be found at this introductory post.
There was an expectation that Italy may adopt an approach to restrict Spain's ‘tiki-taka' style, leading to a game where opportunities were stifled but this was not the case. Italy's 3-5-2 formation - whilst solid defensively - allowed them to play an expansive game at times and they threatened throughout, whilst Spain's lack of a recognised striker (with Cesc Fabgregas the most advanced) did not detract from their ability to create either.
In total there were 20 chances created (ten in each half): 11-9 in favour of Spain, with their being five apiece at the half (click the images to enlarge):
From my analysis the following was of particular note:
Spain's usual ‘suspects' of Xavi, Andreas Iniesta, David Silva and Fabregas were heavily involved
Italy's chances were more spread around but Antonio Cassano impressed in the first half and Thiago Motta's contribution was important after the break
Both goalkeepers scored well; indicating the quality of the scoring chances
There were no individual minus marks (errors) attributed to either side which shows that both sides created their chances rather than profited from errors on the defensive side
I'll be doing a more detailed analysis of all England's games during the tournament but will be trying to look at as many others as time permits.