Premier League Team-by-Team Review- By The Numbers: Looking At The Attack

As the dust settles on a highly entertaining Premier League campaign and Arsenal winning the FA Cup to finally end their trophy drought(and also “Since Arsenal last won a trophy” jokes), let us look at some of the numbers posted by the teams and try to make some sense out of it. Some of these statistics are well known to anyone who follows football seriously. We will try to compare these numbers with last season’s numbers to see if teams have improved, regressed or stayed the same.


The table below shows some of the numbers posted by all the twenty Premier League teams in the 2013-14 season.(These numbers are only for the Premier League and do not take into account performances in the cup competitions)


  • Manchester City created the highest number of chances in the league: 533. This is just 28 more than the last season’s created chances-505. But, in a clear indicator that the champions are much more efficient than last season, they scored 36 goals more than last season: 102 compared to 66.
  • Manchester City’s Conversion Rate (Goals/ SoT) of 42.7% is the highest in the league.
  • Runners-up Liverpool created 488 chances this season. Surprisingly, they created 505 chances last season. Like Manchester City, Liverpool too scored a significantly higher number of goals this season: 101 this season; 71 last season.
  • Liverpool’s improved goalscoring owes a lot to a massive improvement in Shot Accuracy. At 40.1% it is the second highest in the league. More pertinently, this is an improvement of nearly 10 percentage points when compared to last season. In fact, last season, Liverpool had more shots last season than this season: 648 in 2013-14 compared to 739 in 2012-13.
  • Shots on Target too saw an increase from 232 last season to 260. Liverpool’s Conversion Rate of 38.8% is the second highest late in the league.
  • Chelsea created the second highest number of chances(506) in the Premier League. This is a significant increase from the 442 chances they created last summer.
  • They also took the highest number of shots-692- this season. But unlike Manchester City and Liverpool, their Shot Accuracy is pretty poor; at 33.1% it is the joint lowest(along with Tottenham) among the top 10 teams. This certainly has something to do with the areas from which Chelsea are taking their shots.
  • Last season, Chelsea had a Shot Accuracy of 33.8%. They had a total of 626 shots last season of which 212 were on target.
  • With 71 goals from 229 shots on target, Chelsea’s Conversion Rate of 31% is much lower than the 42.7% and 38.8% posted by Manchester City and Chelsea.
  • Last season, Chelsea scored 75 goals from 212 shots on target with a Conversion Rate of 35.3%.
  • Arsenal created 403 chances this season. This is only the 7th highest in the Premier League. Everton(415), Tottenham(439) and even Newcastle United(420) created more chances than Arsenal.
  • With a total of 521 shots, of which 212 were on target, Arsenal posted the highest Shot Accuracy of 40.7% in the league. This is probably indicative of the fact that Arsenal take more shots from within the 18-yard box.
  • On the flip side, Arsenal’s total number of shots(521) is only the 9th highest in the Premier League. While this number as such does not explain anything, the number of shots taken by Arsenal has been on the decline for the past 5 seasons. As we will see later, they have also been conceding more shots over the past 5 seasons. This, possibly, explains, Arsene Wenger’s recent comments about wanting his team to improve its offensive potential.
  • Tottenham created 439 chances this season; last season, they created 514 chances. Even accounting for the sale of Gareth Bale and managerial changes it is a staggering drop.
  • Tottenham, with 55 goals this season, scored 11 more last season(66).
  • Everton, who have improved “stylistically” under Roberto Martinez, created 415 chances this season; last season they created 486.
  • Tottenham’s Conversion Rate of 28.5% is only higher than Norwich, Fulham, Newcastle and Crystal Palace. 51% of their shots are taken from outside the 18-yard box. These shots have a low probability of hitting the target.
  • Manchester United created 387 chances this season; last season, they created 438 chances. Last season they scored 86 goals; this season they scored 64 goals.
  • In 2013-14 United took 525 shots of which 184 were on target; in 2012-13 they took 561 shots on target of which 212 were on target.
  • Manchester United made an astonishingly high number of crosses this season: 964. This is the highest in the league by some margin. The next highest is 764 by Manchester City.
  • Stoke City, who have changed their style of play under Mark Hughes, created 327 chances this season; last season they created 282. In 2013-14 they scored 45 goals compared to 34 goals scored in 2012-13 under Tony Pulis.
  • This improvement on the attacking side of things has come at the cost of a slight regression in their defensive performances. They conceded 7 goals more this season(52) compared to last season(45). Stoke also have the lowest number of headed goals-2- this season. Last season they had 10.
  • Newcastle United took more shots than Arsenal, Everton, Manchester United and Southampton but have lesser Shots on Target compared to all these teams. There Shot Accuracy stands at 32.2%
  • Compounding matters further, they have the second worst Conversion Rate in the league: 23.2%. They have 43 goals from a 185 shots on target. With 54% shots taken from outside the box they lead the league in terms of this parameter. From the 310 shots taken from this zone, they scored 8 goals.
  • Crystal Palace’s goal tally of 33 is the second lowest in the league. Cardiff City are the worst with only 28 goals.
  • Crystal Palace took 413 shots which is the lowest in the league. But their Shot Accuracy of 34.4% is the 7th highest in the league. In contrast, their Conversion rate of 23.2% is the joint second worst in the league.
  • Of the relegated sides, Cardiff City created the least number of chances in the league: 297. Interestingly, Hull City-who survived comfortably-too created the same number of chances. That is down to Hull City’s defence which conceded 53 goals compared to Cardiff’s 74. We will look at this in another article.
  • Norwich City, who were the lowest scoring side of the league with 28 goals, created more chances(343) than Crystal Palace, Hull City, West Ham United, Aston Villa, Fulham and Cardiff City.
  • They also took more shots than all the above mentioned teams. Their Conversion Rate of 18.9% though is the lowest in the league by a considerable margin. Crystal Palace and Newcastle United are the next best with a Conversion Rate of 23.2%.
  • Fulham had the 6th highest Shot Accuracy at 34.6%.
  • Their conversion rate of 26.8% is also the highest among the relegated sides. Their relegation can be better explained by looking at their defensive numbers which we shall do in the next article.

Stats are compiled by Chaitanya Gööner with the help from squawkawhoscored



Written by Dinesh V

Co-founder of Soccersouls. Living a start-up life 24/7
Follow @dineshintwit

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