Gol! But! Tor! Where Europe’s Goals Are Coming From | MicroStrategy
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Gol! But! Tor! Where Europe’s Goals Are Coming From

In our latest exploration of the data behind Europe’s top five leagues, we’ve been looking at how players have been scoring and where they have been placing their shots. At MicroStrategy, we have accessed data provided by Opta for the top football leagues in England, Spain, Italy, Germany, and France, and we’ve created a customized real-time dossier for you to explore.

We’ve been posting regularly on our data observations from Europe’s top five leagues, and this week, I’m looking at how the goals are going in across the board.

Spain and Germany Lead the Dead-ball Game

More goals come from set plays (corners, freekicks, penalties) in Spain’s La Liga and Germany’s Bundesliga than the other top divisions. In both Spain and Germany, 31.5% of top-flight goals come from set pieces, ahead of France (31%), England (30%), and Italy (29%).

There is only a 2.5% ratio between all five major leagues, but it’s interesting to know that just under a third of all goals in Europe’s top leagues come from the dead ball.

Looking closely at England’s Premier League, we observe that around half of clubs also score between 25-33% of their goals from set plays. Interestingly, the most dangerous dead-ball team is Brighton and Hove Albion; 17 of the club’s 32 goals (53%) have come from set pieces. Bottom-placed Huddersfield Town has also scored more than half its goals from set plays (eight of just 15 league goals all season).

Free-flowing English champions Manchester City has bagged 11 of its 75 goals from set plays, just 14.5% of its goals total and the lowest in the Premier League. It just goes to show how dangerous the Cityzens are from open play!

Manchester City and Brighton’s approach to scoring could not be more different.

The Premier League and Bundesliga Strikers are Most Clinical

England’s Premier League and Germany’s Bundesliga lead the way on goals-to-shots-on-target ratio, with 31.5% of on-target shots beating the ‘keeper. This is ahead of France (31%), Italy (29.5), and Spain (29%).

Where are those goals going in? Well, in the Premier League, Bundesliga, Ligue 1, and La Liga, players’ best chance of scoring is in the bottom left, to the ‘keepers’ right.

Series A is the anomaly where the converse is true, with more goals going in the bottom right of the net—and by quite some way too, compared to the left (see graphic). We’d have to explore deeper to learn why this is—it could be to do with the number of left or right-handed players and goalkeepers in Italy, for example.

Where the goals are scored in the Premier League.

Where the goals are scored in Series A.


We’ll return next month with some more exciting data discoveries from Europe’s top leagues. Want to see more player and team data? Explore the dossier! Are you ready to create your own data analysis? Download MicroStrategy Desktop for free and get started.

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