The 2013-14 English Premier League season is five games old and as such certain statistical trends are starting to emerge. Here is a look at some of the numbers from the previous weekend's fixtures.
Morgan Amalfitano Offers Width
West Bromwich Albion’s Morgan Amalfitano offered a varied distribution game in his team’s 3-0 thumping of Sunderland.
Not only did he attempt a game-high 14 crosses, 10 more than the next most frequent crosser on his team (Nicolas Anelka) and six more than the most abundant crosser in the game (Sunderland’s Adam Johnson), but he also served the most key passes of any player in either team with three total.
Of the 14 crosses, three found a teammate, which accounted for the most accurate crosses from one player in the game.
The numbers suggest the width he provided was a tactical theme throughout the 90 minutes.
Amalfitano dished out 44 total passes (sixth most on his team) in the match and connected 82 percent of them.
His 90th-minute goal salted the 3-0 result for West Brom.
Chelsea’s Dismantling of Fulham
After a frustrating midweek Champions League loss to Basel, the Blues bounced back on the Premier League weekend with a professional showing against Fulham.
Mourinho’s side won the game 2-0 but the score was forgiving for the Cottagers, who were thoroughly outplayed in multiple phases of the game.
The possession was vastly in the favor of the Blues club, who had the ball for 64 percent of the proceedings, a serious uptick from their average possession rate of 57 percent in the English Premier League so far.
Apart from just slicing open Fulham with pass-happy tactics (603 passes for Chelsea to 331 for Fulham) the Blues out-shot their opponents by 20 shots (24 shots for Chelsea and four for Fulham).
It is no wonder Ashley Cole and company were able to find the ball so frequently when considering their defensive efforts. They tackled the Cottagers 27 times (Oscar was the most prolific tackler, completing seven total). Compare that to Fulham who only managed 16 tackles in the game.
“The Special One” will more than likely hope for similar performances from his side in the coming English Premier League games.
Manchester City exposed what has been a clear issue for the reigning Premier League Champions Manchester United—their recent trend of leaking goals far too easily.
11 - Man Utd have conceded 11 goals in their last six PL games, after only letting in 10 in the previous 18 matches. Problem.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 23, 2013
City dropped four goals on United in the highly anticipated Manchester Derby. That figure held up as the most goals scored by a team in one game during this weekend’s slate of Premier League fixtures.
Perhaps the onslaught of goals was related to the vast difference in the offensive output. Whereas City attempted to thread five through balls in the match, United attempted none.
City were able to get six percent of their shots inside the six-yard box, while United did not manage to get one effort from such short range.
Manchester City also benefited from the creativity of Fernandinho and Samir Nasri, who each chipped in three key passes, helping to lead to City’s 18 total shots (just 14 for United).
While United may have had more possession (58 percent), greater aerial success (55 percent) and a higher passing accuracy rate (86 percent for United, 80 percent for City), it was the Sky Blues who won the day in style, finishing 22 percent of their attempts compared to just seven percent for the Red Devils.
Data gathered from WhoScored?