I’m gonna try to keep the editorial to a minimum here because frankly Allen and Sid did a great job of it our podcast that you can hear here. Today I’m just gonna try to tell the story of our match against Elche in the numbers, and hopefully you can draw your own conclusions from there.
Gerard Moreno brought the magic
Gerard played 49 minutes in this one and still, to no one’s surprise, led our team in xG. He and Paco combined for 1.1 of our 1.8 total xG and Paco had 0.8 of the xA. Almost all of this happened while Gerard was on the pitch. The offense was absolutely electric during the first half, with Trigueros plugged into the offense, Moi making great runs down the left, and the two super forwards connecting as mentioned above. It was jarring how much things changed as soon as he came off the pitch.
Parejo in the center of everything again
Dani Parejo attempted 90 passes in this one. Eleven of those passes were what are called ‘Progressive Passes.’ Progressive passes are a little complicated, but essentially they include any passes in the forward 60% of the pitch that travel 10 yards further forward than any of the last six passes the team has made in a move, or any pass into the penalty area. That’s more than the next two highest numbers on the team combined. Parejo creates the platform, the template, and when Gerard is on the pitch he takes that platform and turns it into electric offense.
We took 11 shots in this match. Seven took place in the first half and after Gerard came off the pitch we didn’t have another shot until the 77th minute, something that I just have a hard time believing when I see it in data. Elche had eight shots, five of them were after the break. Only two were on target... which is itself very frustrating.
What’s really, really interesting to me, and it’s something in the data I’ll have to work through a bit more, is that we won the xG battle 1.8 to 1.1 but the post shot xG we lost 1.8 to 1.6. Basically, the xG is from the shooters perspective and the post shot is from the keeper’s perspective. xG says how likely the shooter is to convert and post shot tells us how likely the keeper is to save it.
I’m frustrated, we should have won this game, but after the half and particularly after Gerard came off we just were totally unable to keep pressure on offensively and it cost us.