The xG Review: March 17th – 19th 2023

Our trader looks back at this weekend's Premier League matches from an xG perspective

Steve, Senior Trader

Steve, Senior Trader

12 months ago

Despite fewer Premier League games this weekend due to the FA Cup, there was still plenty of goals and plenty to talk about.

Terrific Toon

The weekend kicked off with Newcastle recording a thoroughly deserved win to keep their top 4 hopes alive. The Magpies were well ahead of a poor Nottingham Forest side even before Alexander Isak’s late penalty bumped their xG up to 2.4. Forest, meanwhile, created little, notching up just 0.4xG, with 0.14 of that coming from Emmanuel Dennis’s sublime chipped finish. Reliant on their home form to survive, Forest’s poor process at the City Ground in recent games is a big cause of concern.

They remain in a relegation battle, as do Wolves, who had looked to be pulling clear following back-to-back wins. However, home defeats against Bournemouth, and now Leeds, have dragged them right back into the scrap. In fairness, the men from Molineux were unlucky here and deserved something from the game, clocking up a season-high 2.7xG for to Leeds’ 1.6. They were once again profligate, however, with Pablo Sarabia and Raul Jimenez both squandering big chances, the latter firing at Illan Meslier when it was easier to score. When Wolves did finally get the ball in the net, it was from a 35-yard volley from Jonny Otto, with the left-back scoring with a first-time effort worth just 0.05xG. Wolves process here was actually pretty good, but they are an alarming combination of wasteful up front and porous at the back, something that Julen Lopetegui will have to rectify quickly.

Tight At The Bottom

Elsewhere, Bournemouth missed a chance to climb out of the bottom three, losing 3-0 away at Aston Villa. Villa were full value for their victory, clocking up 3.5 xG to Bournemouth’s 1.3 in a game that they won 3-0. The West Midlands side are surely now safe, while the Cherries remain precariously positioned.

As do their South coast rivals Southampton. Saints salvaged a late point in a game that ended 3-3 and was basically the same on xG, with the home side recording 2.4xG to Spurs’ 2.3. However, both the actual score and xG were boosted by a farcical penalty that was somehow awarded by Simon Hooper and not overturned by VAR. But for that, Saints would have found themselves behind on both metrics.

Leicester remain embroiled in a relegation scrap but can count themselves a little unlucky not to have beaten Brentford, with the game ending 1-1 and Leicester winning 1.3-0.6 on xG. This was the third home game in a row that Brentford had failed to win on non-penalty xG.

Everton grabbed a valuable point away at Chelsea following a 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge. The home side deserved to take 3 points on xG, winning 2.3-1.2, but a good chunk (0.79xG) of that came from a Kai Havertz penalty, and a draw was actually a pretty fair result all things considered.

Finally, Crystal Palace slumped to a 3-1 defeat at Arsenal in their first game following the sacking of Patrick Vieira. In fairness, Palace performed fairly well despite still deserving to lose, clocking up 0.8xG to the Gunners’ 1.6. Mikel Arteta’s side remain in pole position, while Palace will hope their new manager can improve both their points total and process.