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LaLiga Institutional
LaLiga with sport

Matchday 15

Decision-making takes centre stage once possession is regained

The importance of winning the ball back for your team cannot be understated, but the decision made once possession has been regained is perhaps of even greater significance. The first pass that is played is vital to a side’s success in launching a counter-attack or it might be a case of playing a safe pass towards your own goal before building up a more intricate move.

Real Madrid are the league’s standout performer in the recovery stakes. However, Casemiro brings far more to the Real Madrid side than purely breaking up the opposition’s play. The Brazilian lies third in the league charts for the number of forward passes played after winning the ball back, a tactic that is central to success of the Blancos’ counter-attacking play.

It’s your Game

Matchday 9

Villarreal CF

1 - 2

CA Osasuna

DOM 17.10.202118:30

Season 2021/2022

Estadio de la Cerámica

RC Celta

0 - 1

Sevilla FC

DOM 17.10.202116:15

Season 2021/2022

Estadio ABANCA Balaídos

RCD Espanyol de Barcelona

2 - 0

Cádiz CF

LUN 18.10.202121:00

Season 2021/2022

RCDE Stadium

FC Barcelona

3 - 1

Valencia CF

DOM 17.10.202121:00

Season 2021/2022

Camp Nou

RCD Espanyol de Barcelona

2 - 0

Cádiz CF

LUN 18.10.202121:00

Season 2021/2022

Matchday 9

RCDE Stadium

Two high-octane sides go head-to-head

Matchday 9 of the LaLiga Santander campaign serves up an intriguing tussle between two teams that are separated by a mere two points in the league standings. The hosts, Espanyol, come into the clash as one of the top four sides when it comes to preventing opposition attacks from ending in a goal. What’s more, when teams do manage to break through the Catalans’ backline, they are confronted with an in-form Diego Lopez, who has helped Los Pericos to claim a place amongst the league’s top four sides in the save percentage stakes. At the opposite end of the field, the Barcelona-based side appear to be particularly fond of playing crosses into the near post. Indeed, Vicente Moreno’s charges lie second in the division’s standings for the percentage of crosses that land in the near post area. That said, the real hallmark of Espanyol’s game is reflected by the fact that they have secured a spot amongst the league’s top three teams for distance gained per possession. The Catalans’ fast transitions and limited number of passes mean that they rarely lose the ball in dangerous areas. These strategies combine to make Espanyol a defensively solid unit with a well-defined strategy when it comes to posing a threat in the final third.

This round of fixtures sees the boys from Barcelona come up against a Cadiz side who have remained faithful to the blueprint that saw them retain their top-flight status last time round. The Andalusians lie top of the long ball standings, whilst they currently occupy second spot for the number of through balls played. The visitors’ preference for this passing style proves that they’re a direct side who waste little time in making inroads into the final third. This playing style has placed Los Amarillos ahead of the rest of the division in terms of the percentage of short possessions

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Less is more for Álvaro Cervera

If there’s one thing that the Cadiz squad are clear on it’s the team’s playing style, which involves regaining possession before launching transitions at breakneck speed, without stringing too many passes together. As a result, Alvaro Cervera’s men register the fewest players involved in each possession of all of the LaLiga Santander sides. Once they win the ball back, which they usually do in their own half, they seek out the direct running of their widemen or target man, Alvaro Negredo, as they aim to take the most direct route to the opposition’s goal. This tactic means that the Andalusians are also the team who bypass the most opposing players per pass.

Meanwhile, when on home soil, Espanyol have one of the five smallest convex hull areas in the division when out of possession. The hosts are also hot on the tails of their Matchday 9 opponents in the distance gained per possession standings, where they feature amongst the division’s top three sides.

PLAYER FOCUS

All-action Raúl De Tomás

Once again this season, the Espanyol frontman has turned in some truly exceptional performances. Raul de Tomas is the proverbial fox in the box and his qualities make him a real thorn in opposition backlines. He currently leads the way in the team’s goals and dribbling charts and features amongst the league’s top 10 players for shots on target. He has three goals and an assist to his name in his eight outings so far this term. Opposition defenders are well aware of his pedigree and aim to curb the danger at source. Indeed, he is the Espanyol player with the smallest average distance to an opponent when receiving the ball under pressure (3.33m). Meanwhile, he leads the way amongst Los Pericos’ frontmen in terms of high-intensity actions, i.e. the number of runs made at above 28km/h over a distance of at least 10m.

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Metric of the Week

Matchday 15

Find out the meaning of each metric

Average Players involved in a possession

There are countless different ways to analyse a team’s possession. It can be examined in terms of duration, percentage, the players involved, etc.

The metric that we focus on this week, the number of players involved per possession, relates to the number of different players who come into contact with the ball each time the team has possession.

The sides that favour combination play tend to involve more players in each possession, whilst the teams that opt to play direct football and record low possession percentages post low figures in this particular metric.

HOW IT'S MADE

Beyond Stats offers incredible metrics which go beyond the ordinary in the football industry: it does not limit itself to gathering the data normally used for the standard analyses that reach fans, but goes one step further, collecting a vast amount of in-match information, almost in real time, thanks to LaLiga’ s Mediacoach proprietary tool, that is capable of revealing new perspectives on the game at a deeper level, allowing patterns to be traced and future predictions to be made. 

In every LaLiga stadiums we have up to sixteen high-resolution, fixed perimeter cameras for optical tracking which follow the positions of the players, referees, and the ball on the field of play, collecting the physical and technical/tactical data at the dizzying rate of 25 times a second. These devices permit the integration, through the Mediacoach analysis tool, of two technologies: tracking and eventing. Tracking is based on the positional information collected by the stadium perimeter cameras and allows for the generation of metrics such as distance covered, top and average speeds, and number of sprints. Eventing allows more objective events to be recorded: number of passes, corners, and fouls committed and received, for example. The information captured through tracking and eventing is integrated and stored in the system forming a high-volume set of data. 

The raw data collected is processed for analysis by a multidisciplinary team composed of LaLiga experts in business intelligence & analytics and football analysis, through machine learning and artificial intelligence processes made possible thanks to the Azure technology supplied by Microsoft, which is capable of processing large volumes of data. After processing, an algorithm is generated that permits the visualisation of the metrics that reach fans through Beyond Stats. These statistics allow fans to better understand why their team has won or lost a match, or to benefit from a panoramic view of their performance and expectations, gifting football fans an unprecedented immersion in the experience.