England marched into the quarter finals Euro 96 after a 4-1 destruction of the Netherlands, a game that was shown again on ITV Sport. This is the third part of our series, see parts one and two here: England 1 v 1 Switzerland England 2 v 0 Scotland The main story of the game statistically was that England created and converted higher quality chances, while the Dutch struggled to turn shot volume into genuine goal threat: After experimenting with formations against Scotland, England changed again, with a nominal 4-1-4-1, with a stark balance between attack and defence. We can see Paul Ince in ahead of the centre backs and the rest of the midfield and attack pushing up: 1-0 up at the half thanks to an Alan Shearer penalty, the goals came thick and fast for England in the second half. Firstly, Teddy Sheringham found the tiniest gap and headed in from Paul Gascoigne’s corner. The difficulty to beat so many players and his man in a duel for the ball is reflected by the expected goal value of 0.03. This was a hard chance. No wonder he celebrated so gleefully. Then the most famous goal from the game, Shearer’s back post finish after being teed up by Sheringham. Intriguingly, Sheringham has been quoted “if I shoot there I have a six out of ten chance of scoring” while if he rolls the ball to Shearer he has “an eight out of ten chance”. Modelling probabilities via expected goals allows us to put real numbers onto this likelihood and we grade Shearer’s chance at a shade over four out of ten (0.42)–that’s still a great chance in terms of shot quality, but we suspect that a premium goalscorer such as Shearer would agree more with his teammate’s assertion than our own. Sheringham’s second goal made it 4-0 and came after the Dutch keeper Edwin van der Sar could only parry a long range shot from Darren Anderton. Outside of Shearer’s penalty it was the best chance of the game grading out at 0.46: Patrick Kluivert pulled one back late on to make the final score 4-1, but it was England’s day. They topped the group and set up a meeting against Spain in the quarter finals. Come back to see our review of that game on Saturday.
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