Dirty City? Maybe Mourinho had a valid point…

Date published: Monday 5th March 2018 1:04

Pep Guardiola has complained long and hard about the treatment his Manchester City team have received this season, with some opponents going over the top – sometimes literally – in their tackling to break up the Premier League leaders’ scintillating brand of football. Raheem Sterling claimed last month that he and his team-mates were being “butchered” by some of their rivals.

But some, including Jose Mourinho, have pointed the finger back at City. The counter-argument is that Guardiola’s side regularly commit fouls when they haven’t got the ball if they are in danger of being caught out of shape.

It seems Mourinho and Co. have a valid point. Man City have conceded the fewest fouls in the Premier League this season (258), but when you add the context of how long opponents have spent in possession (for City, only 746 minutes of the 2610 minutes played this season according to Opta), Guardiola’s men concede more fouls per minute without the ball than any other team.

 

PL table ranked by fouls per minute spent out of possession
All stats courtesy of Opta

 

1. Manchester City – 0.35 fouls per minute out of possession
Fouls conceded (rank in PL): 258 (20th)
Possession conceded (%): 28.6
Possession conceded (mins): 746

2. Tottenham – 0.31
Fouls conceded (rank in PL): 300 (11th)
Possession conceded (%): 37.6
Possession conceded (mins): 980

3. Arsenal – 0.30
Fouls conceded (rank in PL): 299 (12th)
Possession conceded (%): 38.1
Possession conceded (mins): 994

4. Manchester United – 0.28
Fouls conceded (rank in PL): 324 (4th)
Possession conceded (%): 45.5
Possession conceded (mins): 1147

5. Watford – 0.26
Fouls conceded (rank in PL): 339 (2nd)
Possession conceded (%): 49.9
Possession conceded (mins): 1302

6. Liverpool – 0.258
Fouls conceded (rank in PL): 275 (17th)
Possession conceded (%): 40.7
Possession conceded (mins): 1062

7. Southampton – 0.257
Fouls conceded (rank in PL): 313 (9th)
Possession conceded (%): 46.7
Possession conceded (mins): 1218

8. Everton – 0.25
Fouls conceded (rank in PL): 360 (1st)
Possession conceded (%): 55.3
Possession conceded (mins): 1443

9. Chelsea – 0.24
Fouls conceded (rank in PL): 281 (15th)
Possession conceded (%): 44.7
Possession conceded (mins): 1167

10. Crystal Palace – 0.23
Fouls conceded (rank in PL): 321 (5th)
Possession conceded (%): 56
Possession conceded (mins): 1410

11. Brighton – 0.22
Fouls conceded (rank in PL): 318 (6th)
Possession conceded (%): 55.9
Possession conceded (mins): 1459

12. Huddersfield – 0.22
Fouls conceded (rank in PL): 317 (7th)
Possession conceded (%): 56
Possession conceded (mins): 1461

13. West Brom – 0.21
Fouls conceded (rank in PL): 336 (3rd)
Possession conceded (%): 59.9
Possession conceded (mins): 1564

14. Stoke – 0.203
Fouls conceded (rank in PL): 308 (10th)
Possession conceded (%): 58
Possession conceded (mins):1513

15. Swansea – 0.2016
Fouls conceded (rank in PL): 290 (13th)
Possession conceded (%): 55.1
Possession conceded (mins): 1438

16. Newcastle – 0.2015
Fouls conceded (rank in PL): 316 (8th)
Possession conceded (%): 60.1
Possession conceded (mins): 1568

17. Leicester – 0.198
Fouls conceded (rank in PL): 280 (16th)
Possession conceded (%): 54
Possession conceded (mins): 1409

18. West Ham – 0.195
Fouls conceded (rank in PL): 286 (14th)
Possession conceded (%): 55.9
Possession conceded (mins): 1460

19. Bournemouth – 0.19
Fouls conceded (rank in PL): 261 (19th)
Possession conceded (%): 52.5
Possession conceded (mins): 1370

20. Burnley – 0.18
Fouls conceded (rank in PL): 273 (18th)
Possession conceded (%): 57.7
Possession conceded (mins): 1506

*all teams have played 29 games except Manchester United and Crystal Palace, who have played 28.

 

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