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Analysis of Scored and Conceded Goals by a Football Team throughout a Season: A Network Analysis

Clemente, F.M.C. ; Martins, F. ; Mendes, R.

Kinesiology Vol. 48, Nº 1, pp. 103 - 114, June, 2016.

ISSN (print): 1331-1441
ISSN (online):

Journal Impact Factor: 0,585 (in 2014)

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Network analysis can provide a new set of important information about players’ and teams’ behaviour throughout a match. Despite their pertinence, football analysis using network metrics is limited. Therefore, the aim of this study was to analyse the goals scored and conceded by a single team during a full season using network methods. Thirty-six games were analysed and from these the data about players’ connectivity in forty-six goals scored and fifteen goals conceded were collected. The results showed that the most used players during the plays that resulted in goals were the forward players in the forward regions, mainly in the penalty area. The lateral defenders and midfield players were the players that most originated the attacking plays that resulted in goals. In sum, it was possible to conclude that network metrics can provide a new visualization and understanding of team-members behaviour, as well as characterize some patterns of play giving the sport’s analysts complementary information to the traditional notational analysis.

Keywords: Match Analysis; Football; Network; Collective Behaviour; Goals.