1996 European Championships
Group C – Match Round 3
Italy 0 – 0 Germany
Old Trafford, Manchester
Wednesday 19th June 1996
By Alistair Bain (@allybain)
To give us some context on the data here is a quick overview of each team:
Germany Attacking Structure
- Germany’s attacking set up saw Sammer play far deeper & bring the ball out the back himself. To compliment this Moller dropped much deeper that the first two games to pick up the ball & make forward actions.
- Strunz & Hassler were placed to overload the right wing area & share responsibilities for width & penetration.
- Bobic worked hard to both press & link as the target man, often assisting Ziege on the left flank. This gave Klinsmann license to choose whether to drop deep or run in behind.
- Ziege was a constant threat on the left wing, flanked on the inside by Eilts who offered the base of midfield & often covered Ziege to afford him more freedom.
Italy Attacking Structure
- Casigraghi was often the focal point of Italy’s attack, working very closely with Zola whose work rate throughout the match was terrific.
- Donadoni & Carboni linked up well on the left flank, with Donadoni constantly pulling Strunz out of position & allowing Carboni the space the fly forward.
- Fuser & Mussi had a solid relationship, with Fuser given license to move inside & attack the wing, with Mussi ably assisting him wherever required.
WHAT DO THE NUMBERS TELL US?
Value of Chances
Given how impressive Germany had been in the opening two games this performance came as a surprise. In Stewart’s report he had noted the context and the scheduling implications of the match, which clearly had an impact on a performance that on another day may not have been enough. All 6 of their chances fell between minute 25 and 65, which for a team with trophy aspirations seemed very out of character.
If we remove the missed penalty value from their expected goals score (0.74 for the penalty) it’s probably has a fairer reflection on their xG value & the marginal edge the held over Germany. While they did attack more consistently than Germany, the closing period of the 1st half was clearly Italy’s most dominant spell & their inability to convert would ultimately put them out the competition.
Type of Chances Created
Germany only recorded 6 attacks during the match, split between build up attacks & free kicks. From this they only managed two efforts on target, overall a very poor display.
Italy pressed extremely well in the match, thus resulting in many counter attacks. Only 4 of these breaks were turned into converted efforts on goal, it was in periods of build up that they would excel. The azzuri created 9 attacks from build up out of 16, however with only 3 turning into chances that tested the keeper it sums up Italy’s day.
Where Chances are Created
When we breakdown where the attacks were registered for both teams we start to understand why the chance probability was so low. Two thirds of Germany’s 16 attacks (11) & Italys 6 attacks (4) were from outside the box, with each landing 3 & 1 attacks on target respectively.
The other interesting statistic which I found to be startling, especially as both teams have very competitent attacking options in wide areas, was that only 1 attack was registered in open play from a cross. Further to this we see that the cross came from a central midfielder in Albertini, from the inside right channel on the half way line, onto the head of striker Zola at the edge of the 18 yard box.
Who Created Chances
Given Germany’s poor attacking display its unsurprising that the output for individuals was low, so with that in mind it has to be Fredi Bobic who had two attacks recorded & both were on target.
Demetrio Albertini came in as Italy’s best statistical attacker, recording 3 attacks on goal himself & setting up a further 3 for his teammates. An honorable mention must go to Roberto Donadoni who had 3 attacks on goal, two of which landed on target with a total probability of 20%.
Using our very own Retro Football Analysis Match Simulator, we use the probability rating of each attack to calculate the odds of the matches outcome. Here are the results we got back.
Again the predictor will undoubtedly be skewed by the penalty value, which on another day could have changed the course of the game dramatically. We also have to consider Chiesa’s late miss in the game, one that carried a large probability percentage. Ultimately both misses saw Italy exit the competition at the first hurdle, with a squad many would regard as more than capable of lifting the trophy.