Stat Attack: Van Gaal is better than Mourinho

This year’s Champions League sees Inter Milan and Bayern Munich play the finals, we all know that. But were these the two teams who anyone even thought would make it to the final in the start of the season? Probably not.

Who would take the crown and make history by winning a treble as both clubs have already conquered their respective countries both in league and cup. Odds favor Inter but is it really that clear? Is Inter really that far ahead of Bayern?

It brings us to comparing the personnel of the two clubs. The players and the managers. Much has been said and the debate will rage on till the start of the game. What does their recent history tell us about them?

First off, whoever wins the final, will become join the elite two who won the Champions League with two clubs: Ernst Happel (in 1970 with Feyenoord and 1983 with Hamburg) and Ottmar Hitzfeld (in 1997 with Dortmund and 2001 with Bayern Munich).

Jose Mourinho was assistant to Louis Van Gaal in the late nineties when they were both at Barcelona. However, this is the first time they will face each other as managers and it seems like Van Gaal is better equipped than his Inter counterpart Mourinho as Van Gaal has won 60% of his matches in Europe whereas Mourinho has failed to win more than half of his.

Van Gaal’s upper hand is also visible in the tactics section where Van Gaal’s men have scored 1.91 goals per game with Mourniho’s men at 1.38 per game. The table flips here because Mourinho’s men have also conceded less (0.86 goals per game to 1.02 of Van Gaal’s).

Louis Van Gaal’s UEFA Champions League record

Louis van Gaal

Joined

Left

G

W

D

L

GF

GA

W%

Ajax

01/06/1991

30/05/1997

32

20

7

5

54

20

63%

Barcelona

01/06/1997

30/05/2000

28

14

7

7

63

46

50%

Barcelona

01/06/2002

30/05/2003

14

11

2

1

27

9

79%

Bayern Munich

01/07/2009

Current

12

7

1

4

21

13

58%

Totals

86

52

17

17

165

88

60%

Jose Mourniho’s UEFA Champions League record

Jose Mourinho

Joined

Left

G

W

D

L

GF

GA

W%

FC Porto

01/06/2002

01/06/2004

13

7

5

1

20

12

54%

Chelsea

01/06/2004

19/09/2007

33

16

9

8

48

27

48%

Internazionale

29/05/2008

Current

20

9

6

5

23

18

45%

Totals

66

32

20

14

91

57

48%

What other advantage Inter Milan has over Bayern Munich is that Lucio is the stand-out defender in the Champions League. He has made 50 tackles and succeeded in 80% of them. But that’s not all for sure. Bayern’s Mark van Bommel and Bastian Schweinsteiger are in on 3rd and 4th with 40 tackles with 75% success and 39 tackles with 74% success respectively.

Also, Lucio has been involved in the second highest number of head to head encounters after Barcelona’s Dani Alves (150). Lucio had 130 duels and he won 74% of them. In this category, Bayern is left way behind and the only player on the horizon is the Argentinean Martin Demichellis with 64 duels and 72% success rate.

Only Bordeaux conceded lesser goals per game (0.6) than Inter’s 0.75 goals. Despite conceding more yellow cards than any other sides, they’ve blocked more opposition shots (39) and more last man tackles (7). Which translates into that Inter have kept the opposition at bay throughout the tournament, forcing them into taking long shots rather than penetrating inside penalty area. 60% of the total shots on target have been long range – the largest ratio in the tournament.

Arjen Robben vs Wesley Sneijder. Sneijder is creative and crafty but Robben is clinical and ruthless. Robben has an attempt on goal every 17 minutes and 23 seconds whereas Sneijder only attempted once every 31 minutes and 45 seconds. Only Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney have been more relentless than Robben.

Top Five – Minutes per shots

Player Team

Time Played

Shots

One shot every (mins)

Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid

180

11

16 mins 22 sec

Wayne Rooney Manchester United

300

18

16 mins 40 sec

Arjen Robben Bayern Munich

417

24

17 mins 23 sec

Lionel Messi Barcelona

537

29

18 mins 31 sec

Didier Drogba Chelsea

176

9

19 mins 34 sec

Robben (65%) is also way more accurate than his compatriot Sneijder (27%). Robben scored very crucial goals for Bayern against Fiorentina in the last 16 and against Manchester United in the quarter finals to ensure Bayern’s passage. And when it comes to keeping the ball, only Lionel Messi and his teammate Franck Ribery have completed more dribbles than Ribery.

Arjen Robben vs Wesley Sneijder – 09/10 Champions League

Arjen Robben

Player

Wesley Sneijder

9

Appearances

10

600

Minutes On Pitch

858

Goal Attempts

4

Goals

3

150

Minutes per goal

286

Passing

0

Goal Assists

5

On the contrary, Sneijder has been concentrating on creating chances rather than attempting on the goal. He has created 22 chances including three assists. Overall, Sneijder delivered five assists compared to zero for Robben.

Player Team

Assists

Chances Created

Wesley Sneijder Internazionale

3

22

Franck Ribéry Bayern Munich

2

14

Philipp Lahm Bayern Munich

1

12

Xavi Barcelona

2

12

Lionel Messi Barcelona

0

11

Also read: Bayern and Inter battle for the treble


Thanks for Castrol Performance for all the data used in this post.
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