xG Check

xG Check, 11 Feb: Leverkusen and Dortmund blow up the model

The German duo's clinical forwards barely missed a beat in a classic clash

8:30am on Tuesday 11th February 2020
Paul Macdonald
BUN Feb 8, 2020 W
  • Leverkusen xG: 1.05
  • Dortmund xG: 1.04
  • Low quality chances, exceptional finishing

In one of the most exciting matches of the weekend, Leverkusen and Dortmund produced a finishing clinic, the type of which you are unlikely to see anywhere else this season.

For seven goals to be scored against an xG of just over two is, frankly, unheard. Emre Can's ridiculous long-range curler (0.01 xG) barely registered an xG at all, while the bullet headers from Mats Hummels and Sven Bender mustered just 0.13 xG between them.

Ironically, one of the best chances of the match wasn't converted, when Kai Havertz ran through only to smash his effort against the post. But nine shots on target, seven goals.... yeah. This doesn't happen often at all and it led to a breathless, exciting contest.

ISA Feb 9, 2020 W
  • Inter xG: 1.5
  • Milan xG: 2.2
  • Clinical from Conte's men

Certainly a game of two halves in the Milan derby, with the Rossoneri in the lead by two at half-time only to lost 4-2, and in a match with precious little between the sides, superior finishing from Inter won the day.

Indeed, Zlatan Ibrahimovic's close-range header that smacked off the post with the score at 3-2 carried the highest xG of any chance in the match and vastly contributes to Milan 'winning' the xG score. But Marcelo Brozovic's brilliant volley, Stefan De Vrij's even-better header and Matias Vecino's difficult conversion carried a combined total of just 0.2 xG - 40% of the total provided to Zlatan's chance.

Indeed, Inter's excellent finishing wasn't that inferior to the brilliant efforts of Leverkusen the day before.

ISA Feb 9, 2020 L
  • Napoli xG: 3.2
  • Lecce xG: 1.8
  • Unbelievable free-kick for Lecce

This is a strange game from an xG perspective. Lecce's stunning free-kick winner from Mario Moncusu quite rightly carries a negligible xG, as does Gianluca Lapadula's brilliant flick header (0.05 xG), facing away from goal and with the defender in close proximity.

At the other end, Arkadiusz Milik and Piotr Zielinski had headers that had a combined xG of 1.2, which perhaps, certainly in the case of Milik, overrates the quality of the chance. Had either of those been on target it may have been a different game but Lecce had good chances of their own, including a big one from the head of Antonin Barak (0.4 xG).

The hard chances were scored, and the easier chances missed - that doesn't usually happen.

What is xG check?

Each week FC will aggregate the Expected Goals (xG) ratings from three respected sources and provide an average for both the home and away team. From there we will assess which matches have ended in a different manner than the xG would suggest.

EXPECTED GOALS (xG) assesses the quality of a shot based on several variables such as assist type, shot angle and distance from goal, whether it was a headed shot and whether it was defined as a big chance. From there that shot is assigned an xG score and the cumulative total of these scores provides a team's xG for a match. Stats Definition

But sometimes, xG doesn't tell the whole picture, so we also analyse the highlights of these games to look at the chances created by teams in a little more detail.

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