This stat shows how England struggled to create from open play

first_imgGareth Southgate mastered the art of playing to England’s strengths at the World Cup.No team had more shots on target from set-plays and their efficiency from the dead ball took them all the way to the semi-finals. 1 But, to some extent, this hid the Three Lions’ attacking deficiencies from open play.The stats make for grim reading: England had an average of 0.9 shots on target from open play per 90 minutes. Only Iran had fewer.Here’s a game-by-game breakdown: Croatia: 0; Sweden: 1; Colombia 0; Beglium 1; Panama 2; Tunisia 2.In ten hours of game time at the World Cup, Southgate’s men had six shots on target from open play (one of which deflected off Harry Kane’s heel).Saudi Arabia managed the same amount in 180 minutes of football.England are the second-top scorers at the tournament and Harry Kane looks likely to go home with the Golden Boot.But take set-pieces out of the equation and it is clear this young, promising side still lacks that extra bit of creativity in the final third.center_img England’s midfield did not create much from open play last_img

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