5 Most Mind-Blowing Stats of the Premier League Weekend
Once again, the Premier League weekend provided number junkies tons of data to drool over.
After sifting through dozens upon dozens of figures from all of the fixtures this weekend, there are a few statistics that stick out as particularly unique.
The list starts with the most aerials in a Premier League match this season, minimal offense from Manchester City, a fearless and abundant dribbler, a perfect passer and a brilliant first half from England's top club.
According to this tweet from Matt Furniss of Opta, Saturday's fixture between Stoke City and Reading had the most aerials of any game in the Premier League so far this season by at least 30.
Most aerial duels in a PL game this season - Stoke v Reading today....by a clear 30-odd. Long ball FEAST
— Matt Furniss (@Matt_Furniss) February 9, 2013
Stoke held a slight edge in the metric, winning 66 of the 107 total aerial duels.
A closer look at each team and their pass types helps explains these extremely inflated numbers.
Stoke attempted 85 long balls and Reading 62, both of which accounted for 18 percent of their respective distribution attempts.
The old stereotype that English football is heavily reliant on the long ball was on clear display in this match.
7 Total Shots
Manchester City desperately needed three points to stay within relative striking distance of their rivals Manchester United atop the Premier League table.
While some look to blame Joe Hart for his goalkeeping error, their 3-1 loss to Southampton was a serious display of offensive futility.
City managed a meager seven total shots, second lowest of any team in the entire league this weekend. Of the seven, three were on target, three were blocked and one missed the frame entirely.
Only Reading attempted fewer shots (six). Every other team besides Manchester United, Aston Villa and Newcastle were able to fire off at least 10 shots.
8 Take-Ons Attempted, 5 Successful
In a world where skillful one-on-one soccer players are becoming a dying breed, Gareth Bale continues to buck this trend.
The Tottenham man combines powerful strides, balance, timing and quick feet to blow past defenders.
Saturday's victory over Newcastle was no different. The Welshman attempted eight take-ons and was successful five times.
He accounted for 50 percent of his team's take-on success. As a unit, Newcastle only mustered up enough successful take-ons to tie Bale with five. Simply put, he was a threat all game with the ball at his feet going forward.
Oh yeah, he also scored two goals. Not too shabby a day at the office for Bale.
100-Percent Pass Completion
Chico Flores suffered an ankle injury after about 33 minutes of Swansea City's drubbing of Queens Park Rangers.
Up until that point, Flores was having a perfect passing game. He completed 100 percent of his 31 passes attempted.
Sure, he only played a third of the game, but consider this: Ki Sung-Yueng was the most prolific passer for Swansea in terms of volume with 74. Sung-Yueng played all 90 minutes and averaged less than a pass a minute.
Flores averaged almost exactly a pass a minute and connected every single one. For 33 percent of this match, Flores was precise—literally.
40-Percent First-Half Conversion-Rate Percentage
Manchester United did all of its scoring on Sunday in the first half.
It was not as if they were peppering Tim Howard and Everton with shots, either. The Red Devils were extremely efficient with their shooting from the first whistle until halftime.
United trotted to the dressing room with a 40-percent conversion rate.
They had five total first-half shots: Wayne Rooney missed the target in the fourth minute, Robin van Persie hit the post in the 10th minute, Ryan Giggs scored in the 13th minute, Phil Jones missed the target in the 20th minute and van Persie scored in the 46th minute.
One can only imagine that Sir Alex Ferguson is dreaming about another ridiculously potent start to his team's Champions League match with Real Madrid on Wednesday.