xG seems to be everywhere these days in modern soccer coverage, but the values of each individual shot are not always easily apparent.
To help with that, I am planning on making this a weekly post where I post the top 5 shots of the week ranked by their xG (plus the best one from Arsenal, if it didn’t make the cut).
There will be a GIF of the shot (as long as I can find the video of the shot somewhere) and a quick explanation of each of the pertinent variables that went into why the shot was rated that way according to my xG model. You’ll also get a touch of snark from me to keep things light.
TRIGGER WARNING LOTS OF LIVERPOOL AHEAD
5) Gabriel Jesus, Manchester City*
Assisted shot from feet, taken from the center of the six yard box, classified as a big chance.
This can’t escape the comment that it never should have counted because David Silva was clearly offside. This is not something that you will be able to find in the data, though, and it’s why watching the games is important. Also: VAR now!
4) Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Liverpool
Shot from feet, following a rebound, from the center of the six yard box, classified as a big chance.
He’s totally worth the £40 million Liverpool spent on him.
3) Wilfried Zaha, Crystal Palace
Assisted shot from feet, taken from the right side of the 18 yard box, following a fast break, classified as a big chance.
Crystal Palace are far and away the leaders at creating great chances, but not at finishing them. For the season, my xG model has them with 14.7 xG and just 3 goals. SPOILER ALERT: that’s really bad.
2) Joel Matip, Liverpool
Shot from corner, following a rebound, from a corner situation, taken with feet, from the center of the six yard box, classified as a big chance.
So much going on on this one, David Moyes will have his hands full tightening up this defense.
1) Mohamed Salah, Liverpool
Assisted shot from feet, taken from the center of the 18 yard box, following a fast break, classified as a big chance.
Mo Salah has been a great signing for Liverpool, I wonder why he didn’t work out at Chelsea? (The answer is Jose Mourinho hates fun attacking players obviously)
Lastly the best chance from Arsenal for the week:
Assisted shot, taken from feet, from the left box, following a fast break.
Aaron Ramsey takes great shots but he has a pretty long track record struggling to finish them. It is unfortunate that the best chance of the match for Arsenal fell to him instead of someone a bit better at finishing.