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Euro 2012: Spain Euro 2012 Scoring Chance Index Totals

With a 4-0 win over Italy, Spain saw themselves once again crowned as European Champions. In this post I looked at - as I have done for each and every Spain game during Euro 2012 - scoring chances from that win and in this post are the updated tournament totals.

For an introduction to the Scoring Chance Index, including what actually constitutes a scoring chance, all is explained in this post.

What was interesting looking at Spain through the whole tournament was the difference between their group numbers and the ones from the knockout stage. In topping Group C, Spain out-chanced their opponents by a margin of 25 (44-19), yet their three knock-out games saw them out-chance their opponents by a margin of 10 (20-10): conceding around half as many chances as in the group stage but themselves having more than half less. Knock-out 'winner takes all' play is of course far more tense and less prone to open, attacking play but it was interesting to see the the role that their defence played in their tournament victory.

The individual totals for the tournament are as follows (click to enlarge):

Some observations on the final numbers:

  • Xavi's figure of +29 really is phenomenal. He was involved in 13 more chances than any other Spanish player and his total is a shade under +5 per game. Whilst he was +20 at the end of the group stage his total of +9 in the three knock-out games was also a team high.
  • There was plenty of discussion around the role of Fernando Torres and whether he should have started or was more effective from the bench. In total, Torres played just 173 minutes throughout the tournament but finished with a +13 mark. One aspect of his play not in question was his excellent movement and this was utilised late against tired defences and this led to his high score, but most impressive was that he averaged 15.12 scoring chances per 100 touches and 6.76 scoring chances per 90 minutes - both team highs and illustrates his efficiency in the final third.
  • The only player in the Spain squad to register a + defensive mark was goalkeeper Iker Casillas. This means that no Spanish player was involved in stopping a scoring chance and whilst I haven't studied all other teams I am certain no other side would have a similar total. In particular compare this to both England and France who had multiple plus marks and (coupled with the low numbers they conceded) it does suggest that the 'quality' of chance conceded was low.