What the Data Tells Us about a Vintage Premier League Season | MicroStrategy
Data Visualization

What the Data Tells Us about a Vintage Premier League Season

Have you got your breath back yet? What an exhilarating Premier League title race. Congratulations to Manchester City and to Liverpool for pushing the Cityzens all the way. Throughout the season, we’ve been collecting data from Opta and presenting the analytics in our online dossier. We crunched the numbers one last time to see who were the best (and worst) performers.

Three African strikers shared the Premier League’s top scorer honors this season, with Liverpool’s Egyptian superstar Mo Salah, Senegalese forward Sadio Mané, and Arsenal’s Gabonese hit man Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang all tied on 22 goals.

Looking behind the data, however, we see that Mané was the most clinical finisher, with one goal every 3.95 attempts on goal, while teammate Salah netted once every 6.22 shots. Aubameyang scored his 22 goals from 94 shots, or one goal per 4.27 attempts, but will rue the 23 big chances he missed—including one in his final game that would have given him the Golden Boot outright.

The Premier League’s top strikers, season 2018-19

Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha won more penalties (six) than any other player. In midfield, it may be no surprise that their respective club’s penalty takers, Gylfi Sigurdsson (Everton) and Paul Pogba (Manchester United), were the top scorers from the middle of the park with 13 each, followed by Crystal Palace’s dead-ball specialist Luka Milivojevic.

Chelsea’s Italian playmaker Jorginho finished the season as top passer with 3,118, almost one pass per minute (3,165) with an accuracy rate of 89%.

In defense, second-placed Liverpool’s defence held tightest, conceding just 22 goals (0.57 goals per game) while the club’s wing backs, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson, both topped the defenders’ assist charts with 12 and 11 set-ups respectively, nearly twice the nearest next contributors on six.

Crystal Palace’s Aaron Wan-Bissaka put his body on the line most, with an average of 3.7 tackles per game.

In between the sticks, we see that nine ‘keepers were ever-presents, finishing all 3,420 minutes of the 38-match season. Among them was West Ham’s Lukas Fabianski, who underlined his value to the Hammers with 148 saves—more than any other stopper in the Premier League—as the East London club secured tenth spot. Special mentions go to Everton’s Jordan Pickford and Cardiff City’s Nathan Etheridge, who both saved three penalties each during the season.

Not a single goalkeeper was sent off this season, but Burnley’s Tom Heaton and Leicester City’s Kasper Schmeichel were the top offenders with three yellow cards each. Two Watford players topped the ill-discipline chart, with Etienne Capoue incurring 14 bookings and one red card throughout the season. Teammate José Holebas came second with 12 yellows and one red.

Throughout the season, 1,042 goals were scored in the Premier League from 3,323 shots on target—722 from open play and 320 from set plays and dead balls, with strikers scoring just over half (52%).

Back-to-back champions Manchester City logged the most shots and goals in the Premier League en route to silverware

That’s a look at the season in numbers! We’ll be back soon to examine the European leagues, but in the meantime, explore our online dossier for yourself.

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