I have an idea for a new feature of my column. It’s a running comparison of shot quality (what people call “expected goals”) over the course of a match. I divide the game into five minute increments and for each shot taken I weight the shots by location. For shots outside the 18 I give it a 0.03, inside the 18 gets 0.11, inside the 6 yard box gets a 0.3, and penalties get 0.7. This creates a chart that looks like this:
What you see here is that Arsenal started slightly better, Stoke got a big boost from the penalty, then Arsenal surpassed Stoke after halftime and never looked back. Stoke matched Arsenal around the 80th minute, but then leveled off and Arsenal finished the match strong.
I could do the same thing for pass quality. Here I weighted all passes (0.01), final third passes (0.1), key passes (0.3), and through balls (0.7).
Arsenal’s pass quality (attackingness?) took a huge bump in the same pattern as the shots quality. Stoke matched Arsenal pretty close for the first 30 minutes of this game, but then Arsenal put on the afterburners and got what I consider a well deserved win.
Anyway, let me know what you think of these new charts in the comments below.
6 – Shots by Theo Walcott (led all players)
2 – Shots by Cheerful Charlie Adam (led Stoke)
1 – Shot by Charlie Adam from the penalty spot
1 – Shot by Charlie Adam from kickoff
1 – Blatant stamp by Charlie Adam on Alexis, which allowed Iwobi to get the ball and score
1 – Shot by Mesut Özil, which was Arsenal’s only big chance, which was a header, which he headed over the keeper
77 – Passes by Xhaka (led all players)
30 – Passes by Imbula (led Stoke)
5 – Key passes by Alexis (led all players)
2.7 – Key passes per game Alexis is averaging this season (leads Arsenal this season)
2.6 – Key passes per game by Ozil this season
4.2 – Key passes per game by Ozil last season (led the League)
2.1 – Key passes per game by Alexis last season
4 – Successful dribbles by Walcott (of 7, led all players)
3 – Successful dribbles by Ox (of 3)
8 – Ball recoveries by Xhaka (led all players)
7 – Ball recoveries by Imbula or Adam (led Stoke)
3 – Tackles by Xhaka (of 3 attempted, led Arsenal, Alexis also had 3 but was 3/4)
17 – Passes from Coquelin to Xhaka (led all players)
13 – Passes from Xhaka to Ozil (the second most common pass combination)
1 – Great save by Cech to deny Penis Crouch a goal
1 – Place where Arsenal sit in the League table
1 – “Achievement” which Stoke have accumulated over the last 45 years and which they sing a song about whenever they play against Arsenal. That moment of glory? Breaking Aaron Ramsey’s leg.
Sources: 442 Stats Zone App, WhoScored.com, that basket of deplorables known as Stoke City supporters