An analysis of Champions League match statistics
Official match-play statistics from the Champions League tournament between 2001-02 and 2006-07 are used to estimate the impact of various variables on the performance of the teams, measured by goal difference. We find that offensive tactics measured by simple variables, such shots on goals, for both home and away teams, as well as the ranking of the teams, or measured by transformed variables, such as such as shots on goal and corners per ball possession, have a strong positive effect. Variables with negative effects are: the punishment of the teams, measured by own yellow and red cards per fouls committed, or simply the red cards, the shots wide, the corners, the ball possession difference and how smart the defendants are playing, measured by the number of the opposite teams’ offside per own ball possession. In addition, the multinomial logistic regressions show that the differences in some match statistics and the ranking of the teams explain 9 out of 10 home victories and almost 6 out of 10 home defeats. Finally, one of the strongest explanatory variables, the positive difference in shots on goal, compared to equality in shots on goal between teams, leads to a probability of a home team victory by 66%.
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