Sequences are defined as passages of play which belong to one team and are ended by defensive actions, stoppages in play or a shot.
Possessions are defined as one or more sequences in a row belonging to the same team. A series of passes leading to a shot which is saved and results in a corner kick would comprise one possession since the same team retains control, but for more than one sequence, since the ball has gone out of play. A possession is ended by the opposition gaining control of the ball.
Opta records detailed event data to provide a snapshot of the action at any moment during a match. By combining consecutive events into sequences we’re able to gain more insight into a team’s playing style and an individual player’s contribution.