Valencia – Real Madrid: Zidane’s Old Strategy Falls Flat Against An Inspired Valencia (2-1)

Valencia broke a long lull in play with a Guedes goal, creating a glut of transition opportunities that Madrid survived until the end of the first half. The Valencian onslaught continued after the restart and Madrid countered with a repetitive crossing approach that failed to pay off. Garay secured the three points late in the game before Benzema obtained a consolation prize in the 93rd minute.

Tactical analysis and match report by Om Arvind.

This season, Valencia have been one of the best examples of the statistical concept of regression to the mean. In any event where a certain factor of luck is involved, like football, outcomes that differ from what one would expect based on underlying statistics are not sustainable over long periods of time. When a team starts scoring or conceding goals again in a way that is more suitable to their underlying statistics, this is an example of ‘regression to the mean’, as the unexpected results do not occur any longer.  They started off their campaign on a terrible finishing run, with strikers like Rodrigo Moreno missing chance after chance. This put them fifteenth in the league – four points off the relegation zone – on the fifteenth matchday, greatly jeopardizing head coach Marcelino’s job. But the board showed patience and, eventually, the results started to match their high net expected goals The amount of goals a team is expected to score based on the quality of the shots they take. – which was good enough for fifth best in LaLiga come March.

Coming into . . .

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Om Arvind (21) is a massive Real Madrid fan who works as a Managing Editor for When not watching and writing about his beloved Los Blancos and contributing to Between the Posts, he spends his time crafting video analyses for the youtube channel The School of Real Madrid. He adores deep-lying playmakers, something that was molded by his time watching the likes of Xabi Alonso. [ View all posts ]


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