July 8, 2012; Foxboro, Massachusetts, USA; New England Revolution forward Saer Sene (39) and midfielder Lee Nguyen (24) congratulate forward Jerry Bengtson (27) after he scored a goal against the New York Red Bulls during the second half at Gillette Stadium. The New England Revolution won 2-0. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-US PRESSWIRE
Rivalry wins never come cheap, and the Revs 2-0 victory over New York proved that theory. While the scoreline looked one-sided, the stat sheet wasn't necessarily as such. Both sides created a fair share of dangerous opportunities, and while New England certainly dominated the game for long stretches, the numbers certainly prove this match hung in the balance on more than one occasion.
In this week's Revs by Numbers we dive into the stats head-first and break down a huge win at home over a bitter rival. With coach Jay Heaps getting his side to play some of the most attractive soccer in the league, the numbers are beginning to reflect a side that's on the upswing. After the jump, we take a look at the main stat sheet from Sunday night's big win in Foxboro!
|New England Revolution||
||New York Red Bulls|
|15||Attempts on Goal||12|
|9||Shots on Target||3|
|5||Shots off Target||6|
|10||Open Play Crosses||20|
|47%||Duels Won %||52%|
|75%||Passing Accuracy %||82%|
First and foremost, don't let the possession stat fool you one bit. New York had to chase the game quite a bit after Lee Nguyen put the Revs ahead (what would eventually turn out to be for good) in the 24th minute, and you can see how much possession the Red Bulls had on the night (quite a disparity, 61.5%-38.5%). As I've stated before, so many soccer fans flip out about the possession stat and what it stands for, and it's often times non-indicative of the actual match result. Repeat after me: "Possession isn't that big of a deal". There, I feel better. You can completely have a handle on the match and dominate without having the ball the entire time.
Coupled with that possession stat are the passing numbers, and quite frankly they were good on both sides. New York had the better stats (82% completion, 476 total passes), but the Revs fared well also (75%, 302). Again, New York, having seen more of the ball, attempted and completed more passes, but on the flip side, when the Revs had the ball, they didi really well to take care of it.
One of the bigger gaps between the two sides can be found in one of the most important stats in the sheet: Shots on Target. If you play FIFA video games as much as I do, you certainly have heard Andy Gray say more than once "if you don't hit the target, you can't expect to score". New England won this particular stat category handily, getting 9 of their 15 attempts on goal. That's 9 shots that Ryan Meara had to deal with, and the more you pepper the net with attempts, the more chances you have of scoring. New York could only get 3 attempts on target out of their 12, so needless to say, the clean sheet wasn't in danger too often.
Outside of the corner kick stat (NY had an 8-4 advantage), everything else was fairly even. Rivalry games tend to get chippy, so you saw both teams commit double-digit fouls (16-13 NY), and the "duels won" category was fairly even also. This match wasnl't as cut and dry as the scoreline made it seem, as New York certainly hung in as long as possible. Some could say they looked likely to score before newcomer Jerry Bengtson put the match out of reach in the 84th.
After all that, let's take a look at a few individual numbers that stick out:
Stephen McCarthy and A.J. Soares both contributed double digit clearances on the night with 11 and 10 respectively. Seems like a minor stat, but that's really what I want my starting CB pair doing. Now, you could say that you'd want this number lower because it means there were less opportunities, but I look at it like they're doing the job well over and over again.
Lee Nguyen and Chris Tierney both led the team with 36 completed passes, showing how strong that left flank has become in recent weeks. With such strong numbers coming down the left side (although Nguyen did drift into the middle quite often on the night) the strikers up top should see better service in the coming weeks.
Benny Feilhaber, often times applauded for his offensive contributions, led the team in the "tackles won" category with 6. It's time to give credit where credit is due: tantrums aside, Benny has been the MVP of this team during their 5 game unbeaten streak. He's played both ways, and unlocked opposing defenses with his great vision and passing.
With Toronto FC coming to town, and this squad playing perhaps it's best all season, you can expect the trend of positive numbers to continue. While the defense continues to get better and improve, the midfield and strikers are proving this side is one of the most talented in the league.
While the numbers never tell the whole story, it's pretty safe to assume that things in New England are certainly looking up, and who knows how far up the mountain this story goes?
The Revs only had 38% of possession on Sunday night in a 2-0 victory. Is this stat "over-rated"?
Yes (8 votes)
No (4 votes)
Possession is only part of the story (24 votes)
36 total votes