Jan 15, 2024

Reimagining Football Match Analysis with Minute-by-Minute Performance Benchmarks

In the reality of football analytics, traditional metrics such as possession, shots, corners, and dangerous attacks have long served as the cornerstone for evaluating team performance during matches. However, these basic statistical indicators, while informative, often fall short in providing context and depth to the unfolding narrative of a game. Recognizing this gap, an innovative approach to match analysis has emerged, leveraging a vast database of 400,000 football matches to assess the average value of each basic statistical indicator for every minute of the match. This nuanced method offers a fresh perspective, allowing fans, analysts, and coaches alike to gauge the significance of performance metrics in real-time, comparing them to established benchmarks.

Beyond Basic Statistics: The Importance of Context

Consider the scenario where a team holds 63% possession at the 10th minute of a match. On the surface, this might seem like a dominant performance. However, without a point of reference, the true value of this statistic remains ambiguous. This is where the minute-by-minute performance benchmarks come into play. For instance, if Manchester City typically averages 71% possession at the 10th minute, the 63% figure might suggest a below-par performance for them. Conversely, for a team like Osasuna, which may average 39% possession at the same stage, a 63% possession rate would be significantly above their norm, indicating an extraordinary performance.

Leveraging a Comprehensive Database for Deeper Insights

The development of this analytical approach is made possible by harnessing data from 400,000 football matches, creating a robust framework for understanding the dynamics of the game. This extensive database enables the calculation of average performance metrics for each minute of play, providing a detailed and dynamic benchmarking system. Such a system not only enriches the analysis of individual matches but also enhances the comparative study of team performances over time.

How It Works

The methodology behind this approach involves analyzing historical match data to establish average performance metrics for each minute of play. These metrics serve as benchmarks, against which current match statistics can be compared. By doing so, it becomes possible to instantly assess whether a team's performance at any given moment is above, below, or at par with their usual standards.

Applications and Implications

The minute-by-minute performance benchmarks have far-reaching applications across various aspects of football:

  • Enhanced Match Analysis: Fans and analysts can now understand the context behind the numbers, making match analysis more insightful and engaging.

  • Strategic Coaching Insights: Coaches can use these benchmarks to devise strategies that exploit periods of relative strength or address moments of vulnerability.

  • Improved Player Evaluation: This approach offers a new dimension for evaluating player contributions, focusing on how individual performances align with or deviate from expected benchmarks.

  • Betting and Predictive Analytics: Bettors and predictive models can benefit from understanding how current match statistics compare to historical averages, offering a more informed basis for decision-making.


The introduction of minute-by-minute performance benchmarks represents a significant evolution in football match analysis. By moving beyond basic statistics and incorporating historical context, this approach offers a more nuanced and comprehensive understanding of the game. As the football world continues to embrace data analytics, innovations like these not only enrich the spectator experience but also open new avenues for strategic analysis, player evaluation, and predictive modeling, ultimately enhancing our appreciation and understanding of the beautiful game.