Twente 2 – 2 PSV: Match data analysis of a balanced affair

Posted on 30 October 2011

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Having lost both Eredivisie encounters with Twente in his previous season with PSV, manager Fred Rutten seemed intent on preventing this happening again. In the end PSV trailed the eventual champions Ajax by four points, having won only two of a potential twelve points in the double clashes with direct title rivals Twente and Ajax. Twente manager Adriaanse went into this game with a very offensive starting eleven, but saw his midfield overrun at times and might just have been happy to see his team translate the equality in terms of goal scoring chances into a late comeback goal, after Strootman’s 72nd minute red card, to settle for a final 2-2 score line.

 

Twente’s offensive 4-3-3 formation

The starting elevens

In earlier reports, Twente’s starting formations has been described as a fluency between traditional 4-2-3-1 and 4-3-3 formation, with a tendency to transform into 4-2-4-like situations in chasing situations or dominant home games. Today, Adriaanse played the pair of Luuk de Jong and Nacer Chadli in central midfield, leaving Wout Brama the only defensive minded central midfielder. Up front, pacy wingers Ola John and Emir Bajrami were responsible for serving target man and Twente top scorer Mark Janko. A remarkable change in defensive terms was Bengtsson starting ahead of Twente captain Wisgerhof.

 

PSV’s regular 4-3-3

Fred Rutten made the switch from last year’s conservative 4-2-3-1 to a much more open 4-3-3 style, with high-flying Kevin Strootman the focal point of the team in a complete defensive midfield role. The young Dutch international thrives in this position, seemingly capable to perform a hybrid holding/playmaking role. Up front is where Rutten made his variation, as talented winger Zakarya Labyad keeps Jeremain Lens benched for the second Eredivisie match in a row.

 

InStat Football data analysis

Possession and attacks

Both teams scored two goals, with Twente coming back to level the scores in the end. A look at the possession and creation will shows that this balance in the final score was expressed in other possession and creation related parameters too. In the below graphs, the balanced overall aspect of the game is well presented. Note that the spell of Twente dominance near the end of the match occurred after PSV’s Kevin Strootman saw a 72nd minute red card.

Possession of the ball was 51% Twente versus 49% PSV, with Twente’s possession consisting of 126 spells versus PSV’s 134. With those 126 possessions, Twente created 85 attacks (defined as possession of the ball in the opponent’s half), for an attack ratio of 67%. PSV created 81 attacks, for a slightly lower attack ratio of 60%.

Of Twente’s 85 attacks, 8 were created through set pieces and the remaining 77 (91%) in open play, with a spread in terms of left-center-right of 22-35-20. PSV’s fraction of set piece related chances was double that of Twente, having created 14 chances from set pieces and spreading the remaining 67 (82%) in terms of left-center-right side of the pitch as 20-30-17.

PSV’s open play was more based around more counter attacks, with 17 (25%) of their 67 open play chances arising from such situations, compared to Twente’s 10 (13%) of 77.

 

Shots, possession and attacks throughout the course of the match. Red Twente, blue PSV.

Goal scoring chances

Twente’s 85 attacks led to 18 shots, for a shot to attack ratio of 21%. PSV performed slightly more efficient, as may be expected with a higher rate of counter attacks, with 20 shots from 81 attacks, or a shot ratio of 25%.

Of Twente’s 18 shots, 12 were from inside the box, compared to PSV’s 7 of 20. Yet, Twente found the target with only 4 of their 18 shots, compared to PSV’s 9 of 20. Twente’s 6 shots from outside the box were all off target, while PSV’s 13 shots from outside the box were on target a neat 6 times.

 

Passing

In terms of passing, both teams performed nearly identical. Twente achieved an overall pass completion ratio of 80%, with 392 of 492 passes completed, while PSV’s pass completion was 354 of 471, or 75%. Twente’s higher overall pass completion seems partly related to their higher fraction of non-attacking passes (31% vs 27%), with non-attacking passes having a completion ratio of 95% to 98%.

Both teams attempts a comparable amount of passes into the box, with 13 (33%) completions of 39 attempts for Twente and 11 (32%) completions of 34 attempts for PSV.

 

Ola John versus Emir Bajrami

In terms of duels, challenges and dribbles, Twente’s Ola John had a fantastic game. Competing for a team-high 23 ground challenges and winning 12 (53%) of them, he also completed a team-high of 8 dribbles out of 13 attempts. Compare his performance to his contra-lateral team mate Bajrami and note the differences. Bajrami competed for the second most Twente ground challenges, but won only 5 of his 19 attempts. Meanwhile, he also completed less than half of Ola John’s dribbles, three of seven attempts.

Another stunning difference between Ola John and Bajrami was to be found in terms of offensive passing. Even though Bajrami’s overall pass completion ratio of 76% was slightly higher than Ola John’s 74%, John completed 5 of his 9 open play passing attempts into PSV’s box, making him responsible for over half of Twente’s completed open play passes into their opponent’s box, while Bajrami failed both of his only 2 open play passing attempts into PSV’s box.

 

Ola Toivonen

While all but one of PSV’s players put in very comparable individual performances across all objective defensive and offensive parameters, captain Ola Toivonen formed the negative exception. His abject performance was illustrated in virtually every department.

Toivonen competed a team-low of just 7 ground challenges, winning only 2 of them. He won only 2 of his 7 air challenges, which you wouldn’t expect from a 1.90 meter captain of the team. He failed his single dribbling attempt and won only a single defensive tackle. Toivonen played a part in only 29 (36%) of PSV’s attacks, the third lowest behind central defender Bouma (27) and right winger Labyad (24).

The Swedish international completed 24 (73%) of 33 passes, but only 14 (58%) of his completed passes were with attacking intentions, a team-low figure. To conclude on his miserable performance, only a single PSV outfield player, center back Bouma, made fewer than Toivonen’s single attempted pass into Twente’s box, a pass that he failed to complete too.

 

In the end

The stats tell the story of a rather balanced game, with Twente too often failing to find the target with the 18 attempts that their slight dominance in attacking possession created. PSV, on the other hand, operated much more efficiently with their 20 attempts that were created from a higher fraction of counter attacking play.

In individual terms, Ola John makes a strong claim for man-of-the-match, being responsible of most of Twente’s offensive game play. PSV captain Toivonen provided the single negative exception in an otherwise very balanced team performance.

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