Quick statistical analysis of Rangers loss to Burnley

written by – Rangers Report    cover photo courtesy of RFC

Given that this was only a preseason friendly, the access to data was limited.  So the following will only focus on the entry data that I tracked during the match.

Link to data

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Game States

From the time of the penalty until Burnley’s second goal, they had 67% of the entries into the final third.  Seven of their twelve entries (58%) in this time span were controlled & six of those seven were central CZE (these led to four shots, including the second goal).  Only 17% of Rangers six entries were controlled – Joey Barton had three of the entries & Tavernier had two. Barton & Kranjcar had the only controlled entries (one each, both were distributions to the left flank).

After going up 2-0, Burnley had 52% of the entries into the final third – so this number evened up – which you would expect once a team gets a 2-0 lead…they sat back.  71% of Rangers entries were controlled in this game state & only 27% of Burnley’s entries were.  Both teams generated three shots directly from entries, Burnley’s third shot was the goal.

Rangers shut off after going down the third goal, as six of the next seven entries were by Burnley & ten of the next 14.

At the time of the Rangers’ substitutions, they had 51% of the entries.  After that point, they had 55%.

After Rangers scored, Burnley had the next seven entries into the final third.  

Martyn Waghorn, courtesy of RFC

Offensively, Rangers relied on entries on the left (39%) & on the right (36%) to get into the final third.  Only 25% were central.  

Of the entries on the left, 71% were controlled but that only led to a positive result 53% of the time & only one shot.  Only 33% of McKay’s CZE led to a positive result & 75% of Lee Wallace’s did.  McKay was usually Wallace’s outlet when he entered the final third – did McKay alway have that immediate outlet, or was he not looking for it?

Most success came with central controlled entries – but they were limited.  They led to a positive result 75% of the time & two shots….but only 53% of entries central entries were controlled.  It was a challenge for our midfield to create those central controlled entries.  Halliday led the team with three central CZE (100% controlled rate centrally)  & Kranjcar had two (50% controlled rate).  Joey Barton had zero controlled entries centrally, preferring to play the ball out to the flanks (had a 50% controlled rate overall).

Another concern was Rangers’ struggle to enter on the right side with controlled plays.  Only 45% of entries were controlled.  They had moderate success when they were able to (67% success rate, one shot) & very little success when a non-controlled entry occurred on the right (27%, zero shots).  James Tavernier only had two controlled entries on the right (50% controlled rate).  Barton & Halliday also had two.  Waghorn only had one controlled entry, while Michael O’Halloran came on & generated two CZE on the right (one led to the own goal).

The success rate on controlled entries was 62%, well below the average rate so far this season (77%).  Additionally, Rangers generated a shot on 11% of CZE, which was also well below this season’s shot rate of 21%.  

Driving Possession into final third v Burnley

Defensively, the center backs obviously struggled with plays coming through the middle.  86% of central controlled entries led to a positive result, including seven shots & a goal.  50% of their central controlled entries led to a shot.  Additionally, Burnley earned a penalty & added another goal on non-controlled entries that were central.  


These numbers are skewed by the fact that Burnley changed their approach after getting the second goal.  They had a 54% controlled rate at that point – after the second goal their controlled rate was 29%.  

When they did enter the final third with a controlled entry, it led to a positive result for Burnley 83% of the time, including a shot on 40% of their CZE.

While two of the central non-controlled entries were a penalty & a goal, the center backs did handle the 13 other central NCE – but all of those clearances (outside of one) came after Burnley was already up 2-0.

Another area of concern is that 33% of non-controlled entries against Lee Wallace & Clint Hill/Danny Wilson led to a positive result, including two shots.  The split stats between Hill & Wilson:  38% of NCE on the right led to a positive result when Hill was in the match (1 shot), 25% led to a positive result when Wilson played (1 shot).

You can follow Rangers Report on Twitter @TheGersReport


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