Premier League 2011-12: Stat attack

In this post I will publish some notable statistics and some charts from last season’s premier league. For example, did you know that there were 1066 goals scored last season, an average of 2.81 goals per game? And yet the number of big chances, as defined by Opta, averaged 3.58 per game.

Below is a chart illustrating some of the most signifcant ‘types’ of goals scored last season in proportion to their average frequency (there is some overlap):

Most of the other charts should be pretty self-explanatory:

Frequency per game:

Successful Unsuccessful Total
Dribbles 12.99 16.48 29.47
Short passes 619.89 124.59 744.48
Long passes 60.56 49.24 109.80
Corners 3.07 6.15 9.22

The next chart identifies how teams fared from direct free kicks throughout the season. 5 teams didn’t manage a single direct free-kick goal last season, but it was not for the want of trying, as Chelsea had 38 attempts with no success! Compare this to Sunderland, the most prolific scorers from direct free-kicks, who converted 5 of their 19 (success rate of 26.7%) with contributions from McClean, Gardner and Larsson (3).

Stacked points chart, home and away.  Only 3 teams: Bolton, WBA and Wolves won more points away from home than at home.

The next chart breaks down the number of shots per team, in order of the final league table positions. Just looking at the table by eye, you can see a trend between league position and number of shots. But there are some exceptions, such as Newcastle and Stoke, whose league position belies the trend in number of shots taken.

The last chart I will publish in this post shows the frequency and success rate of headed shots per team.  We can use this to establish which teams tended to use the aerial threat of their attackers more/less than average. Here it is clear that Stoke, Wolves and Liverpool created the most headed shots, perhaps due to an emphasis on crossing the ball from wide positions.


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