Analysis: Lessons from Italy 1-1 Croatia

Whether you're stuck without a telly or you're following the fallout on a second screen, check FourFourTwo's Twitter commentary during the match for illuminating analysis using the completely free Stats Zone app, fired by Opta statistics updated live during the game.

A few things StatsZone users noted during the Italy-Croatia match:

Italy, and specifically Andrea Pirlo, bossed the first half. @CareFreeChronic showed how he attempted and completed far more passes after 25 minutes than before.

One of Italy's main outlets was Antonio Cassano, whom @CareFreeChronic noted was drifting to the right and creating chances.

By necessity, Croatia's first-half tackles were therefore concentrated in the left-back zone. Or, as @natefc asked: "Reckon Italy are focusing on a certain area of the pitch?"

Croatia needed a half-time reshuffle, and coach Slaven Bilic provided one, changing his team to a 4-2-3-1 and pushing Modric further forward. This helped nullify Pirlo but also allowed Croatia's full-backs to come forward. @ZazooShah noted how left-back Ivan Strinic was receiving the ball further forward, keeping Italy right-wingback Christian Maggio into defensive duties. And eventually it worked: @rmd282 noted that Strinic's first completed cross created Mario Mandzukic's equaliser. 

Facing the possibility of first-rounf elimination, Italy need to show a bit more tactical flexibility. @CouchPundito compared Italy's long balls against Croatia and Spain: "Moving the ball over long distances is a key feature for Italy." Will the Irish team be able to cope with it? We'll find out on Monday...

ANALYSIS Prandelli's failure to make changes leaves Italy facing another 2004

Follow FourFourTwo on Twitter for commentary, news, features and more

Euro 2012 Stats Zone is a free-download app from FourFourTwo powered by stats from Opta, updated LIVE in-play during all Euro 2012 matches. Stats Zone is brought to you in association with Coral

DOWNLOAD STATS ZONE (users outside the UK download here)

Topics