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Barcelona’s possession game: Statistical facts before El Clasico 2012

January 24, 2012 By Isaac Asante
Barcelona are admired for their passing game and ability to dominate in terms of possession in most matches, regardless of the standard of their oppositions.

Barcelona's possession game have opened up the doors to goals and major victories...Relying on dominance through possession

It is in fact their dominance in games that have given them the confidence to rise without limit among other titans in world football. Generally, teams that profit from higher possession have more chances of creating opportunities and controlling games at their will.

This is a verity Pep Guardiola based his tactics on, right from the start of his spell at the club; and it has surely helped him develop a commanding side out of the Blaugrana. With the addition of accuracy and boldness to his recipe, Barcelona’s style has turned into an enjoyable type that many other clubs attempt to replicate.

 

Over the 20 games that they played in the last months since October 29, the Catalans have only drawn two and lost a single one. But in all their encounters, they never failed to convey their strong desire to be in dominion. In the next lines of this article, we look at statistical facts related to Barcelona’s possession game.

November 2011

- Barcelona never finished a match with less than 60% of possession.

- The game in which they were the most dominant was against Plzen in the UEFA Champions League, with 71% of possession. They won that match 4-0.

- Their 2-2 draw with Athletic Bilbao and 1-0 defeat to Getafe in La Liga saw them obtain 63% and 66% of ball possession respectively, which is higher than what they were able to manage in their 3-2 win over Milan in the Champions League (60%).

- They also surprisingly had “only” 60% of possession in their 4-0 victory over Rayo Vallecano. That result however - not different from the score lines in their games against Plzen and Real Zaragoza - was the best result they had in the month.

December 2011

- Barcelona stunned Real Madrid at the Bernabeu by largely controlling the game with 62% of possession against 38%. Astonishingly, that Clasico is also the game in which they had the less possession in December.

- Los Cules never got less than 70% in their other games in all competitions. Of course, it goes without saying that December was the month in which they scored the highest amount of goals during the entire year, with their goal margin in games ranging from 2 to 9.

January 2011

- Barcelona have drawn a single match in La Liga so far this month. They shared a point away to Espanyol, and it was in that game that they got the less amount of possession (61%).

- They got their best result in La Liga this month at the weekend against Malaga, and also their best possession rate, with 70%.

- They humbled league leaders Real Madrid on January 18 by dominating the game with 72% of possession.

Final Question

On the evening of Wednesday, January 25, can Real Madrid stop Barcelona from playing their possession game and rather push them to be negative for the first time in El Clasico since a long time?


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