By Andrew Brocker
3 July 2012
So with Euro 2012 concluded, was possession really nine-tenths of the score?
Does the completion accuracy of your tiki-taka really correlate to your chances of getting your name on the trophy?
Does the clinical ability of your players to convert a higher percentage of your shots into goals than your opponent does with theirs matter? (Yes, this matters most of all; read on to see why).
Below is a breakdown of the essential Euro 2012 statistics, with thanks to the WhoScored stats department for the data.
Win rate of teams with superior passing accuracy: 48.4 per cent (loss 29 per cent, balance was draws)
Let’s begin taking a look at win-draw-loss results for teams that achieved a greater passing accuracy than their opponents. Overall, teams that did this won 48.4% (15 wins) of the 31 matches played during Euro 2012, losing 29% of the time (9 in total). Portugal were the prime anomaly winning two matches in which they achieved an inferior passing accuracy, while the greatest differential in pass accuracy overcome to claim a win was achieved by Greece in their win over Russia, where they posted a pass accuracy of 68% to 87%.
Win rate of teams with superior ball possession: 45.2 per cent
Teams that achieved a greater share of ball possession won 45.2% of the 31 matches played (14 matches) losing 32.3% of the time (10 matches). Again it was Greece in their win over Russia that overcame the greatest differential in ball possession to win, posting a share of 31% to Russia’s 69% while Portugal snared a victory over the Dutch while holding just 38% of possession. There were also some dogged performances that saw teams surrender much of the ball but manage a draw, including England’s full-time draw with Italy in the quarter-finals where they held just 32% of the ball, similarly in England’s draw to France in the group stages where they held just 35% of the ball and Italy’s opening round draw with Spain in which they claimed just 34% of possession.
Win rate of teams with both superior passing accuracy and ball possession: 45.2 per cent
There was a strong correlation between teams achieving a superior passing accuracy and maintaining a greater share of ball possession. In fact there was just one match of the 31 played at Euro 2012 in which this did not occur, that being England’s win over Sweden in which the English achieved a pass accuracy of 83% to Sweden’s 80% while ball possession was split at 50% each. In terms of win-draw-loss percentages, teams that achieved both a superior pass accuracy and share of ball possession won 45.2% (14 matches) of the time, losing 32.2% (10 matches) of the 30 matches in which this occurred.
Win rate of teams with greater share of shots: 51.6 per cent
So let’s take a look a shooting statistics. Overall, teams that created more shots than their opponents won 51.6% of matches played (16 in total), losing 25.8% of the time. There were two matches in which teams managed to win while defending an onslaught of shots, those being again Greece’s win over Russia in which they surrendered 31 shots to their 8, and Denmark’s win over the Netherlands where they survived 32 shots to 8. England’s draw against both Italy and France were again noteworthy as they surrendered a total of 57 shots across both games, while chalking up a mere 14 of their own.
Win rate of teams with a greater share of shots on target: 60 per cent
Considering shots on target, there were 25 matches where one team achieved a greater share, while 6 matches where both teams created an equal share of shots on target. In those 25 matches, 60% were won by the team with a greater share of shots hitting the target (15 in total) while teams with an inferior number of shots on target won 20.0% of the time (5 matches in total). Italy managed to win their semi-final against Germany despite giving up 8 shots on target to their 4, while again England’s performances against Italy and France saw them claim two full-time draw results, while conceding 15 shots on target to their own total of 2.
Win rate of teams with both greater share of shots and of shots on target: 61.9 per cent
There were 21 matches of Euro 2012 in which a team had both a superior share of shots and shots on target. In these matches, the team that achieved this 61.9% of the time (13 matches) while teams that had both an inferior number of shots and shots on target won just 3 times, 14.3%. These 3 teams were Czech Republic in their win over Poland in which they 3 fewer shots and 1 fewer shot on target, Denmark in their win over the Netherlands in which they had 24 fewer shots and 1 fewer shot on target and lastly Italy in their semi-final win over Germany in which they had 9 fewer shots and 4 fewer shots on target. The greatest share of shots on target created in relation to opposition shots conceded was achieved by Sweden in their 2-0 win over France in which they created 6 shots on target to France’s 4, while creating just 12 total shots compared to Frances 24.
Win rate of teams with simultaneous greater pass accuracy, possession and shots: 50 per cent
There were 24 matches played at Euro 2012 where a team achieved each of these marks against their opponents, winning 50% of the time, while losing 25% of matches played. The usual suspects were amongst the teams to win despite conceding in each category, including England’s win over the Ukraine in which they posted a pass accuracy of 81% to 85%, conceding 43% possession to 57% and 10 shots to 16. Germany also achieved this feat in their 2-1 win over the Netherlands.
Win rate of teams with simultaneous greater pass accuracy, possession, shots and shots on target: 62.5 per cent
There were 16 matches in which a team achieved each of these marks at Euro 2012. Teams that did so won 62.5% of those 16 matches, losing just twice. The teams that managed to defy this overwhelming control of the match and still win were Denmark in their win over the Netherlands and Italy in their semi-final win over Germany.
Win rate of teams with a greater percentage of shots being shots on target: 62.1 per cent
Of the 31 matches played at Euro 2012, 29 saw one team have a greater percentage of their shots hitting the target than their opponents. (The two matches where both teams recorded an equal strike rate, were Portugal v Denmark and Spain v France.) Of those 29 matches, the team with the higher strike rate of their total overall shots hitting the target won 62.1% of the time (18 matches) while just 4 teams managed to win when posting a less efficient shots on target per shots taken mark.
Win rate of teams with a greater percentage of shots as goals: 78.6 per cent
Ok so let’s conclude looking at the win rates for teams that were the most efficient in front of goal, recording a greater strike rate of goals per shots taken. Of the 31 matches played at Euro 2012, 28 matches saw a team record a higher percentage of shots taken as goals than their opponents. The win rate for teams that did so was 78.6% (22 matches) with just one team able to win despite seeing their opponents post a greater share of their shots as goals. That team? Germany in their quarter-final win over Greece, a match which saw Germany score 4 times from 26 shots taken (15.4%) against Greece’s opportunistic 2 goals from 10 shots (20.0%).
Andrew Brocker blogs at BettingExpert and an archive of his writing is here. You can follow him on Twitter here.
Spanish squad has highest ‘market value’ at Euros: £579.7m
Follow SPORTINGINTELLIGENCE on Twitter
Sportingintelligence home page