Crystal Palace 4–3 West Ham
xG Result: 2.1-1.7
Verdict: A high scoring game that Palace edged on xG and actual goals according to FBRef.com. The first three goals came from just 0.61xG, while West Ham’s next two goals were both worth over 0.7xG. Palace’s penalty probably added at least the margin they won on xG by to their total – Eze was fouled and denied a chance to take a shot that would have been worth far less than the 0.79 the subsequent penalty was worth – and West Ham can feel hard done by not to have gained a point here.
Brighton 6–0 Wolves
xG Result: 3.3-0.8
Verdict: A thoroughly deserved win for Brighton who dominated a poor Wolves side. Their xG was never going to keep pace with their actual, but 3.3 was still a significant attacking return. The away side were awful and couldn’t maintain their recent solid defensive process. Their poor attacking and lack of chance creation was evident again, however, with Julen Lopetegui’s side recording sub 1 xG for the sixth game in a row.
Brentford 2–1 Nott’ham Forest
xG Result: 1.6-0.7
Verdict: A fair result that ensured Forest would be back in the bottom three with four games to play. Brentford had already squandered a 0.8xG effort before the away side took the lead through Danilo’s 0.53xG effort – some 75% of their overall xG – but were pegged back when Ivan Toney’s 0.05xG strike slipped through the wall. A Josh Dasilva effort worth the same amount sealed the win in the 94th minute.
Manchester Utd 1–0 Aston Villa
xG Result: 1.2-0.6
Verdict: A deserved win for Man Utd, and a disappointing attacking output for Villa, who had been in such good form. Bruno Fernandes’ 0.1xG effort decided a match that, apart from a 0.4xG chance for Marcus Rashford early on, largely consisted of low qualify efforts.
Bournemouth 4–1 Leeds United
xG Result: 1.9-1.6
Verdict: A very unfair result in a game that should have ended in a draw on xG. Bournemouth were clinical, but once again Illan Meslier let his side down, shipping 4 goals from a fraction of the expected. The Leeds keeper has now conceded 18 goals from just 11.4 expected in his last five games. Rumours are rife that Sam Allardyce will be appointed to oversee Leeds final four games, and the first thing the ex-England manager should do is drop the underperforming Frenchman.
Brilliant Toon Star Performers Again
Newcastle Utd 3–1 Southampton
xG Result: 4.3-0.8
Verdict: This was another sublime attacking display from Eddie Howe’s side, who were full value for their win against a Southampton side that now looks doomed. Newcastle have really kicked on with their attacking process in recent weeks as both Aleksander Isak and Callum Wilson have hit top form, and fans of the Magpies will be ruing a January and February where their side weren’t quite at their best. But for that, the Toon Army would be challenging Man City and Arsenal for top spot. As it is, they looked to have all but secured Champions League football, and on xG will be a genuine title contender next year, particularly as they look certain to strengthen in the summer.
Fulham 1–2 Manchester City
xG Result: 0.2-2.5
Verdict: A dominant display from City, even allowing for 0.79 of their xG coming from the penalty spot. Julian Alvarez’s brilliant winning strike came from a difficult chance worth just 0.05, but that was still a quarter of Fulham’s 0.2xG total highlighting how poor the home side’s attacking process was this game. City are now in pole position, and are now heavy favourites to win the league.
Liverpool 4–3 Tottenham
xG Result: 2.2-20
Verdict: A crazy game that Spurs will feel very unlucky to have lost. It’s hard to believe that is the case after a first half-an-hour that saw then accrue just 0.02 xG, but Ryan Mason’s side improved as the game went on and created several good chances. Liverpool’s penalty counted for about a third of their xG, but Jurgen Klopp’s side were extremely clinical, even if their defending left a fair bit to be desired.
Leicester City 2–2 Everton
xG Result: 3.4 – 3.1
Verdict: A pulsating affair between two relegation-threatened teams, with a combination of gung-ho attacking and poor defending producing a thrilling game and a whopping 6.5 combined xG. Both teams were awarded penalties here which bumped their totals up significantly, and it’s hard to argue against a draw being a far result. Both teams will kicking themselves having missed big chances, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin failing to score a chance worth 0.72 before Jamie Vardy squandered a 0.42 chance just seconds later. James Maddison’s missed penalty, however, was the biggest wasted chance of the lot.