xG Check

xG Check, 24 Dec: Premier League hosts the most boring game imaginable

While Real Madrid rue poor finishing and Dortmund are wasteful

10:00am on Tuesday 24th December 2019
Paul Macdonald

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.

LAL Dec 22, 2019 D
  • Real Madrid xG: 2.99
  • Athletic xG: 0.4
  • Fourth 0-0 draw of the season for Madrid

It's uncharacteristic of Real Madrid to draw two games in a row 0-0 - the last time it happened was in 2003 - but that's what has happened, and just like the Clasico in midweek and the recent home draw with Betis, they were much the better team and poor finishing let them down. Vinicius Jnr (0.15) and Toni Kroos (0.45) passed up good early chances, the latter striking the crossbar, while Karim Benzema rounded Unai Simon only to be denied by a goal-line clearance (0.55).

In the second half Nacho careered a header off the crossbar (0.5) and Jovic's glancing flick (0.09) hit the post before Sergio Ramos (0.45) prodded into the Simon's arms, though Ramos was never totally in control of the ball. Despite that, Madrid could and should have won this match twice over. It will be a concern going into 2020.

EPL Dec 21, 2019 W
  • Bournemouth xG: 0.15
  • Burnley xG: 0.15
  • Just five shots on goal in entire match

The most staggeringly poor game of football in a top-flight league in years, you know it's bad when the 50% of the highlights package focused on fouls that should have been red cards. Five shots in total in the match, amassing just 0.15 xG per team, Bournemouth and Burnley's attacking prowess was totally negligible, with just five attempts on goal in the entire contest, only two of which were inside the area.

Ultimately Jay Rodriguez's (0.13) header in the 88th minute was enough to win it, but in the horrid driving rain, a dire draw really should have been the deserved result.

BUN Dec 20, 2019 L
  • Hoffenheim xG: 1.3
  • Dortmund xG: 2.4
  • Dortmund miss high-quality chances

Dortmund are a renowned attacking force but they still miss too many chances and are too porous at the back to be considered a genuinely good side. Their xG for total is padded by a series of thumping wins an in truth, all too often in games like Hoffenheim they capitulate at the end when the game should be out of sight.

Julian Brandt (0.4), Achraf Hakimi (0.35) and Jadon Sancho (0.37) all missed clear openings, while Hoffenheim keeper Oliver Baumann produced a world-class save to tip Thorgan Hazard's long range (0.03) shot onto the crossbar. And at the other end, Hoffenheim only really created two clear openings and were able to put both away. In the most open Bundesliga season for years, Dortmund's inability to kill off games could come back to haunt them.

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