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Bobby McMahon

Bobby McMahon

You can see me on Soccer Central most Mondays and Thursdays on Rogers Sportsnet in Canada. I write a regular column for Forbes.com and Soccerly.com and frequently guest on various podcasts and radio shows.


TANGENTS

Champions League In Graphic Detail – Basle’s Faulty First Half Shooting, Ribery Towers Over City

Written by on September 28, 2011 | 4 Comments »
Posted in General, UEFA Champions League

Basle may have been down 2-0 after only 17 minutes against Manchester United but there were clues in their first half performance that all may not have been lost.

Manchester United have been giving up a lot of chances in the Premier League and such was the case against Basle. The problem was that in the first half the Swiss team could not hit the target – as this graphic shows.

But it must have been a case of finding their range because in the second half it was very different. Again, seven attempts but this time five were on target and three turned into goals.

Out of all the passing statistics Michael Carrick’s 28 out of 28 in the attacking third of the field stood out.

But on closer inspection not one was a telling played ball played into the Basle penalty area.

Bayern defence fell under a lot less pressure than their Manchester City counterparts as the graphic shows. Only one clearance for Bayern provided unsuccessful while City’s success rate was only 40%. The areas the clearances were made from are also interesting.

Bayern were also extremely good at keeping Manchester City on the periphery and City rarely penetrated the Bayern penalty box with passes in the final third of the field. The graphic shows that City were able to play across the park but once they tried to move forward with any penetration Bayern shut them down.

Although Schweinsteiger was the player Bayern looked to in order to set the tempo and rhythm to the game it was Franck Ribery who carried the most potent creative threat. His battle with Micah Richards  was a feature of the games during the first half in particular.

Although he was only successful with 4 of 13 take-ons the measure of his threat might be better illustrated by the number of times he was fouled.

The Carlos Tevez incident has overshadowed the fact that Roberto Mancini was extremely displeased with the performance of Edin Dzeko.

The Bosnian striker was extremely ineffective and as the graphic shows, close to invisible in the match.

The CSKA Moscow game against Inter had 5 goals, and lots of attempts on goal as both teams traded chances.

But overall both teams were careless in possession and were often devoid of any really creativity. Both sides emphasized the need to get the ball into wide attacking positions but the final cross by both teams was woeful.

CSKA in particular were wasteful and pumped aimless balls into the Inter penalty box that the defenders dealt with easily.

With Diego Forlan cup-tied Diego Milito started in attack with Giampaolo Pazzini.

With Inter playing away from home both players were forced to drop deep to pick up passes and help their defence. Milito worked through the middle and both sides of the field.

Pazzini was substituted in favour of Zarate just after half time and he was also forced to drop deep to stay involved. Pazzini  did however manage the score from the one chance that he was offered to him in the CSKA penalty area.

CSKA were able to offer the ball to their strikers further up the field as you can see from the Doumbia and Wagner Love illustrations.

Nonetheless Inter still won 3-2 and eased some of the pressure from a match-day one loss.

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4 responses to “Champions League In Graphic Detail – Basle’s Faulty First Half Shooting, Ribery Towers Over City”

  1. Ed Gomes says:

    Group C

    Hey hey, don’t forget my Benfica. A lot of pundits not happy with the 1-0 win, which is crazy. Through the years, the newbies, or so called lesser teams, play the hardest especially at home.
    Benfica dominated play, and it was surprising a second didn’t come. Otelul had two shots on target, and they were both at the keeper. A nice and tidy, and very important, away win to keep pace with Basel, at top of the group.

    Speaking of Basel, shame on Man United. They looked, lets’ say, bad. As a Man United fan in the EPL, I was shocked by the performance, especially playing at home. Carrick for me is a complete waste. I know that sometimes he seems to disapear, but his job is to make sure the ball goes away from goal. Whether that’s through passing,clearances or movement, he’s doing what is asked of him. It’s just that he looks bad doing it.
    I was happy that this was a draw. If Basel led the group with 6 points, it would have gotten very tricky for Benfica and Man United.
    By the way, they might not win a game, but Otelul will make it difficult.

    Group A

    Ah, even the so-called title contenders, but CL newbies, have trouble. City has a tremendous squad, and in my opinion a very good manager. But what they have failed to realize is that every single match will be a tough one for them, especially in the CL. Yes they will have run away wins, but teams are now treating them as a feather in the cap when gettin points off them.
    Bayern is an experienced squad, and if anything, I thought they could have had more. Gomez comments after the match were also telling. He said that he thought they had started out nervous and hesitant, and couldn’t understand why due to their excellent form. Once they settled down, everything fell into place.
    That tells me that City never imposed themselves on Bayern. At least the Bayern players didn’t think they did.

    Will Napoli find a way to disapoint its great fans. The biggest concern for them is wearing down.

    Group B

    It’s never easy to travel to Russia for a match. Inter should be thrilled this one came in September and not in the dead of winter.

    By the way, who would have thought that Trabzonspor would be leading the group at this time. Nobody!

    Group D

    The only group so far that is holding to form.
    On a side note, a lot of talk of Kaka being headed to Arsenal or PSG. I wouldn’t be surprised if Malaga also dipped its foot in the pool. That being said, Kaka is a very pridefull player that will want to show his worth at Real, after a miserable start.

  2. Ed Gomes – I don’t think anyone should be upset with any away win the Champions League – particularly when you are playing an underdog on either of the first two match days. That is when we usually get the surprise results.

  3. Soccerlogical says:

    Rumors persist that Fox Soccer Report’s producer called Bobby McMahon asking him to do post Champions League analysis for the last 15 minutes of yesterday’s show, yet Bobby refused to sit in.

    ED – I think Benefica are even stronger (in the midfield) this year but even though Cardoza has produced, I think they need someone more formidable to lead the line.

    *Looking forward to the Marseille vs Dortmund match. If Marseille play to their potential, this group (which also contains Arsenal’s questionable defense) can be very tight.

    PS I gotta admit, watching the Manyoo vs Basel match, Gary Neville is a very intelligent and composed analyst/commentator. Any chance we can ship Warren “The Wanker” Barton back across the pond and get a proper former pro to give his opinions?

  4. Ed Gomes says:

    The knock on Cardozo has always been that he’s stiff and not very good on the ball. With Benfica switching to a 4-2-3-1 formation, everyone piled on that he wouldn’t be mobile enough to be up top alone.
    The one thing that Cardozo has always done is put the ball in the back of the net. He scores, and to his credit, he’s not just a goal poacher. He has also been great sitting up top alone with Nico, Nolito and especially Aimar zipping behind and around him.
    Benfica’s midfield is substancially stronger this year, with real depth. They have a legimate shot at going deep into the competition.

    I can only assume that Bobby said no, because he realizes that a proper review show should be put together.
    Let me say that FSC finally has the look of a channel, that cares. The new studio(s) is much better, and more importantly it’s being treated properly. We now see normal commercials instead of the infomercial types. I also like the mentioning of other FOX programing.

    I know that Group a has been listed as the “Group of Death”, but Group F has squads that are very similar in talent. This group could very well be “Group of Death 2”.
    I know that Olympiacos gets a lot of credit, but they rarely advance. But what they do do well is make it difficult and drain a team.

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