clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Analysis: Goals Scored And Game State in the PL

Morning. Seeing as there is a fair chance that today's 4th round cup tie may be called off due to a combination of heavy snow, early kick-off and frozen pitch i thought I'd post up a short analysis piece about goals in the PL.

Hope you enjoyed the picture! Hat tip to @Wanchope_Dickov

Today we are going to look at goals. Not this kind, although it's a beauty:

That was some goal, eh?

We are going to be looking at the spread of goals scored at certain game states. By goals scored at certain game states I mean a goal scored when the game is tied and a goal scored when a team is winning or losing.

Goals and Game State

minus=losing, evens=drawing, plus=winning.

A goal scored at minus 1 denotes a goal scored by the team in a losing by a goal. A goal scored at plus 1 denotes a goal scored by the team winning by a goal, etc etc

Minus 7 0
Minus 6 0
Minus 5 0
Minus 4 4
Minus 3 11
Minus 2 43
Minus 1 125
Evens (0) 282
Plus 1 121
Plus 2 44
Plus 3 18
Plus 4 6
Plus 5 1
Plus 6 1
Plus 7 1


This is the basic breakdown of the numbers in the 2012.13 PL season so far.

Chart 1


The above chart better illustrates the basic numbers listed above.

We can clearly see how crucial that zone of -1, evens, +1 is. The vast majority of goals are scored when the teams are within 1 goal of each other. I am amazed that the number of goals being scored at +2 (winning 2-0 or 3-1 etc) is nearly a 1/3 less than the numbers of goals scored at +1.

Maybe somewhere inbetween a goal at evens and a goal at +2 is the 'sitting off' point whereupon we see teams abandon some of their attacking intent and trade some of that currency in for a more solid defensive shape in order to protect that one goal lead.

Now, I am not sure if this is a normal distribution or if these numbers will 'level out' as the season progresses, we have no previous data on this kind of investigation. My take on these numbers is that performance when the game is tied, and specifically, shooting and goalscoring is a big deal. The sheer number of goals scored to break open the tied game (evens) tells us that.

Chart 2


The above chart shows us the goal distribution in % format.

A very high 43% of all PL goals scored this year have been scored at a tied game state, thus breaking the draw and propelling one team into the lead. There are some interesting things going on here.

We know about goals scored at a tied game state but look at the drop off from evens to +1. There's a whopping 57.98% decrease in goals scored between evens (going into the lead) and +1 (extending the 1 goal lead to a 2 goal lead).

Now, let's look at the gap between +1 and +2 (a 2 goal lead to a 3 goal lead) The drop off in goals scored is 63.62% between those two game states.

The percentage decrease between evens and +1, and +1 and +2 is large and not too disimilar. In short the chance of scoring a goal falls off massively once a team has the lead, and falls off again when a team already has a 2 goal lead.

Overall 80.36% of all goals are scored at the crucial -1, evens, +1 game state.

Next time we'll be looking at the ability to create and prevent shots at certain game states, along with scoring %, save %, shots on target ratio and pdo. Hopefully by looking at those measures at a game tied game state we can tease out a little more detail about certain teams.