xG Check

xG Check: Manchester United and Newcastle beat the system

United were outplayed in every aspect while Spurs will struggle to create as many clear chances in another game this season

11:20am on Tuesday 29th September 2020
Paul Macdonald
EPL Sep 26, 2020 W
  • Brighton xG: 3.0
  • Man Utd xG: 1.5
  • Brighton hit woodwork league-record five times

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted that 'they got away with one' after their fortunate 3-2 win at Brighton, and he wasn't kidding.

Brighton hit the woodwork five times, the most by any team in a single game since the statistic was being gathered, and for them to lose this match - from a penalty awarded after full-time, no less.

But to play devil's advocate, perhaps it wasn't as clear cut as xG would suggest. All of Brighton's efforts that hit the woodwork had a total of just 0.70, so not from high-tariff positions. The best chance that boosted their xG was the one that Leandro Trossard (0.55) missed just moments before Solly March's equaliser, and the position of the defenders around him made the chance much harder.

So yes, they struck the woodwork plenty of times, but the quality of chances wasn't huge.

Brighton 2-3 Manchester United: Player Ratings, Match Stats, Player Stats

EPL Sep 27, 2020 D
  • Tottenham xG: 3.2
  • Newcastle xG: 0.9
  • Newcastle's first SOT was 90th min penalty

Tottenham will not endure a more unfortunate afternoon than they did against Newcastle on Sunday.

Leaving the outrageous handball decision given against Eric Dier to hand Newcastle an injury-time penalty converted by Callum Wilson (0.75), the visitors didn't have another shot on target in the entire game where they offered minimal resistance.

As for Jose Mourinho's side, Harry Kane squandered 1.5xG worth of chances on his own, hitting eight shots in total, including five on target. They ran into a goalkeeper in Karl Darlow who was in inspired form, making 11 saves and a number of them were of high quality.

Like Brighton, Spurs hit the woodwork too, with Hueng-Min Son hitting the bar and the post, but the overall volume of their chances, and the positioning of the best ones, means this is a truly false result in every aspect. For Steve Bruce, it's better to be lucky than good.

Tottenham 1-1 Newcastle: Player Ratings, Match Stats, Player Stats

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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