An update on defensive partnerships

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 10: Joe Hart (L), Vincent Kompany and Joleon Lescott (R) of Manchester City celebrate at the end of the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur at the City of Manchester Stadium on May 10, 2011 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

I've posted a couple of times previously on this subject, both as an overall look at performance and also specifically at the improvement of Joleon Lescott.

With the season now drawing to a close, I thought it worth revisiting the figures to look at how the burgeoning Kompany/Lescott partnership compares to that of Kompany/Toure - which laid the foundations for Joe Hart to break the club single season clean sheet record and top the Premier League charts.

Lescott, since Kolo Toure's suspension has played a huge role as the side timed hits end of season run perfectly and with a substantial run of games (fourteen consecutive alongside Vincent Kompany now) he is undoubtedly showing his best form for the club.

But how does this improvement translate in terms of the numbers? When I last posted on this (end of March), it was relatively early in the Kompany/Lescott partnership and it was evident as to how good - from a statistical standpoint at least - the Kompany/Toure partnership had performed.

The figures following the Stoke victory are as follows:

Partnership Competition # of Games Record Win % Conceded GAA Clean sheets
Toure/Kompany League 20 W10D6L4 50% 14 0.7 10
Toure/Kompany Cup 3 W2D1L0 66% 1 0.33 2
Toure/Kompany Overall 23 W12D7L4 52% 15 0.65 12

Lescott/Kompany League 14 W10D0L4 71% 14 1 6
Lescott/Kompany Cup 7 W6D0L1 85% 4 0.57 5
Lescott/Kompany Overall 21 W16D0L5 76.00% 18 0.85 11

Having now played a similar number of games, it is clear to see how the Kompany/Lescott partnership has improved compared to at earlier points in the season. They post a far superior win percentage, and whilst Kompany/Toure still hold the edge in terms of goals conceded, GAA and clean sheets, these are all areas that Kompany/Lescott have improved upon to the point where the differences are minimal. It is also important to note that in the three key games of late - the FA Cup semi-final, FA Cup final and the Tottenham league game, clean sheets were kept in all three with the scoreline in all three finishing 1-0.

The outcome of Toure's suspension is still unknown but the way the Kompany/Lescott partnership has flourished, Lescott is clearly in the box seat for next season.

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