Originally published here
Liverpool v West Ham, nil nil, frustration and, ultimately, a disappointing result given Liverpool’s improving home form where they have recorded 5wins in the last 6 games.
We know the basic stat numbers from the game but lets look a little more closely at those numbers for there is good detail hidden within those basic numbers.
This is how the Total Shots battle between the clubs played out. TSR is the share of the total shot count that each team records. I have then mapped that over the 95 minutes and the results are shown above.
Liverpool were the dominant early shots team, the club who was showing more recorded attacking ambition. The gap between the two teams closed to a 50/50 share just before half time, but it didn’t take long for normal service to resume.
It’s pretty amazing how consistent the gap between the two teams’ TSR was in the second half. For a full 45 minutes Liverpool hovered around 60%share of the TSR and this points to Liverpool’s dominance, solely in terms of shots, being pretty consistent.
This graph shows us each teams shots frequency by taking shots for and then dividing them by time on the clock.
The chart above shows Liverpool’s shots per minute increase slowly but steadily in the last 20 minutes, which indicates quite obviously that Liverpool weren’t satisfied with their game position. This is normal for a home team especially against a West Ham team with some of the worst away number in the Premier League this year.
West Ham’s line shows a couple of spikes in the last 20 minutes which indicate their rare shot attempts, but West Ham didn’t show any decrease in their shot frequency as time ticked down, as would of befitted a team who were completely content with the single away point.
Now, we know things about shot quality already: Liverpool 8 SoT to West Ham’s 1 so there is no real need to show each teams shots breakdown. Instead I want to look at the pitch location of Liverpool’s shot attempts.
Location Of Liverpool’s Total Shots Attempts
This doesn’t need too much explanation. Liverpool may have won the total shots battle handily but look at the pitch location from which Liverpool took their shots from. 12 of Liverpool’s 20 shots attempts came from outside the box.
Now, this high number (12/20) is a combination of West Ham’s defensive shape forcing Liverpool to shoot from low quality areas, a lack of shot selection discipline from Liverpool. But overall, maybe it’s just about patience. West ham were set up to be stubborn and prevent Liverpool from creating chances or shooting from high quality zones of the pitch, namely center of the box.
West Ham succeeded in executing their game plan, Liverpool took shots from poor areas and although the away keeper was tested frequently, very few of those shots on target were taken from the ‘red zone’ or the center of the 18 yard box.
In fact, it was West Ham who took a higher number of shots from inside the box and ‘red zone’. Maybe Allardyce may have had a point when he said it was West Ham who had the better chances.
Location Of West Ham’s Shot Attempts
Five shots from the center of the 18 yard box and just 3 from outside the box. It’s pretty clear who, on paper, created the higher quality of shooting chances in terms of the location of where those shots were taken from.
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