Newcastle racked up an xG of 4.30 in their 2-2 draw against Spurs.
That number, coupled with the late nature of Newcastle’s equaliser to deny Spurs an absurdly undeserved victory, ensured nobody was really happy after the Misery Derby.
But which other performances have produced eye-wateringly high xG numbers? Several other teams have managed to get an xG of over four in a game. Weirdest of all, Manchester City are not one of them…
4.12 – Arsenal at West Brom
Actual result: West Brom 0-4 Arsenal
The highest xG recorded by an away team in the Premier League this season and a key game in Arsenal’s league-high xCT (Expected Corners Turned) numbers.
4.13 – Tottenham v Fulham
Actual result: Tottenham 1-1 Fulham
One of the seemingly countless games this season where Spurs have been in full control and gone ahead in the first half, only to then sit back in the second and make a right bollocks of it in ways that are in no way at all the fault of the manager in any way shape or form. Tottenham’s second-highest home xG (3.64) also came in a 1-1 draw, against Newcastle. On a happier note, they had an xG of ‘only’ 3.75 when spanking Manchester United 6-1 at Old Trafford.
4.28 – Manchester United v Leeds
Actual result: Manchester United 6-2 Leeds
Scott McTominay scored twice in the first three minutes, and it got no less silly from there. “Leeds play the same way whether they’re 4-0 up, 4-0 down or at 0-0,” noted Ole Gunnar Solskjaer afterwards. This method also increases the chances of being 4-0 up or 4-0 down. Leeds’ xG at Old Trafford was actually 1.99 so the result was reasonably fair despite the apparent wild uncontrollable carnage. Our vague memory of the game – even the bonkers matches all seem to merge into one this season – was that there seemed to be chances approximately every 37 seconds and that United had about twice as many, so that tallies.
4.30 – Newcastle United v Tottenham
Actual result: Newcastle United 2-2 Tottenham
We actually do not understand anything anymore, other than Newcastle might need Callum Wilson back as Dwight Gayle might not quite be a Premier League striker.
4.56 – Leicester v Sheffield United
Actual result: Leicester 5-0 Sheffield United
Sheffield United’s first game of the scary post-Chris Wilder era was an absolute horror show. Until then the results had been horrendous when viewed collectively – come on, lads, that’s too many losses – but individually there wasn’t really a result that particularly stood out on its own as a proper shocker. This game put paid to that, with xG confirming the suspicion that 5-0 was not in any way a result that flattered Leicester or was harsh on the Blades on the day.
4.83 – Liverpool v Leicester
Actual result: Liverpool 3-0 Leicester
Remember when Liverpool swatted a very good Leicester side away like a mildly irritating fly and were clearly going to romp to another 15-point Premier League title win? Good times.
4.85 – Chelsea v Leeds
Actual result: Chelsea 3-1 Leeds
A game that feels like it’s from a whole different world. Frank Lampard was Chelsea manager as they went top of the league in front of 2000 fans at Stamford Bridge. It was actually only four months ago. Time is just one other thing that has lost all meaning and sense over the last year. Just to reattach everyone’s moorings to reality, the biggest contributor to the gap between Chelsea’s xG and Actual Goals was Timo Werner somehow contriving to miss from point-blank range.
4.85 – Manchester United v Southampton
Actual result: Manchester United 9-0 Southampton
For the record, Leicester’s xG when they beat Southampton 9-0 last season was 4.38. So this was actually worse, in that Southampton actually gave up more and better chances but better in that, well, it could have been even worse. Southampton’s next trick should be to lose a game 9-0 with an xGA in double figures. Next season, maybe. Don’t let us down, Ralph.
4.91 – Aston Villa v Crystal Palace
Actual result: Villa 3-0 Crystal Palace
A 3-0 win is a pretty good result really. It’s a rare game where you wouldn’t be happy with that outcome from a league game. But it’s a bit of a disappointingly humdrum actual result for the highest xG recorded by a team for the whole season. On the other hand, they did do half of it with only 10 men after Tyrone Mings got himself sent off late in the first half.