8 Stats Zone screens that explain why Iceland annoyed Cristiano Ronaldo
"Iceland only tried to defend... they had two chances and then didn't try to score. They celebrated like they'd won the Euro cup or something. That's a small mentality. That's why they'll do nothing."
Well, it's certainly an alternative view on Iceland to what we've all been hearing. Just when you thought that Cristiano Ronaldo couldn't get any poutier, he gets agitated by the tournament minnows after they fought their way to a grafting 1-1 draw against his Portugal side.
Perhaps he should instead be directing his ire at the defending from his own team which gave the Nordic nation their equalising goal five minutes into the second half, when Basel's Birkir Bjarnason turned in Johann Gudmundsson's cross at the far post unmarked. Nobody closed down, nobody tracked... and the Seleção got stung.
— Síminn (@siminn) June 14, 2016
Click above for Icelandic commentary of the goal
So why's CR7 so riled up? Stats Zone can explan...
1. Portugal didn't take their chances
Goddam you, Iceland: why must you make CR7 aim all of his efforts straight at the goalkeeper? And how dare you put up defensive walls from late free-kicks? Shame on you.
This was the crux of the issue, though: Portugal cracked off 26 efforts on goal over the 95 minutes, but only nine hit the target. Keeper Thor Halldorsson was relatively untroubled by those that did. Iceland had four shots meanwhile, and hit the target with all of them; indeed, they had one of the game's best chances inside just three minutes when Rui Patricio saved from Gylfi Sigurdsson after fine work from the Swansea man.
2. Iceland didn't want the ball
Goddam you, Iceland: what gives you the right to cede possession to high-quality international players who ply their trade at much higher levels than you? Shame on you.
On another day, Portugal's dominance would have yielded the results it warranted. It took Iceland 67 minutes to rack up just 100 passes, after their opponents had managed that total in just 15.
Portugal were so comfortable in the first half that they managed to be accurate with three of every four passes in the attacking third. They attacked the wings with venom, and caused chaos with aerial balls into the box. When Nani scored it was no surprise. But... but. Letting Iceland back into the game was absolutely their fault.
— Stats Zone (@StatsZone) June 14, 2016
Iceland looked to counter down the wings, but they were so deep that they could barely manage to get away from their own penalty area. In the end it was left to poor Kolbeinn Sigthorsson to fight for aerial balls in the hope that something would stick – and later on the targetman caused problems when he was winning almost everything in midfield.
3. He didn't score himself
... from 10 (!) shots. One hit the target: a header with five minutes remaining that he really should have buried.
4. Portugal's crossing was good, but unrewarded
Generally when a team connects with a quarter of the balls they put into the box, there's a pretty good chance a couple will fall right for you – not least when you've chucked 41 of them in during a match.
Portugal had successfully connected with five of their first 11 deliveries into the box then, much later, Ronaldo himself was at fault for squandering that big late chance after a sumptuous cross from Nani (see above). They got their goal from a low one, when Andre Gomes squared for Nani to finish off.
— Stats Zone (@StatsZone) June 14, 2016
So it will have certainly aggravated Ronny that Iceland scored with the only cross they connected with, in nine attempts.
5. Yes, Iceland defended. So?
Goddam you, Iceland: ever heard of getting yourselves the second-best player in the world? You should try it sometime.
Ronaldo is used to playing against deep defences in La Liga – it's how most weaker teams try to keep good sides at bay. So quite why he chose to vent after this match in particular is anyone's guess. Perhaps it's because usually his team doesn't draw 1-1.
Defending, however, is an artform so some say (it was only last night that Italy were getting praise heaped on them, remember)... and a bit or bastardry always helps too. Iceland made a ref-angering 17 fouls, many of them close enough to their goal for Portugal to threaten from; they got their bodies in the way for seven big blocks (Portugal made none); they completed 17 tackles to their opponents' seven. Sometimes you just have to acknowledge that a backline has done its job – even with a little luck along the way.
Black triangles = fouls; Circles = clearances; Crosses = tackles; Diamonds = interceptions; Grey blocks = blocks
6. He's still not over Greece 2004
Well... er, get over it. Tomorrow is a new day...