With the start of the new league season only a few weeks away, SportsMatrix had one final look back at last season to examine the goal threat posed by teams in the top five leagues in Europe. We wanted to see which teams had most attempts on goal per game and which were most shot shy. Perhaps of greater interest was to discover which teams had the highest percentage of threatening goal attempts. Finally which teams posed the greatest threat when shooting from outside the penalty area and which if any posed little or no threat when shooting from outside the penalty box?
With 110 league goals scored in 38 games it’s no surprise that the team averaging most shots on goal per game last season were Real Madrid (19.1); followed closely by Serie A runners-up Napoli (18.2) with striker Gonzalo Higuain breaking a 66 year Serie A record with 36 goals. In third place were Tottenham Hotspur averaging 17.4 shots per game, narrowly edging out Bayern Munich (17.3) and Liverpool (17.0).
Bastia ended the season comfortably in mid-table in Ligue 1, but were the most shot-shy team in Europe’s top five leagues, averaging just under nine shots a game. More surprising Villarreal who finished in a Champions League qualifying position, but only averaged 9.3 shots per game during the season, whilst Bundesliga teams Darmstadt 98 (9.5) and Hertha Berlin (9.8) were only fractionally less shot-shy.
Unsurprisingly the teams posing the greatest threat from their shots on goal were Barcelona (41%), Paris Saint Germain (41%) and Borussia Dortmund (37%), with all three teams scoring the highest percentage of goals from their shots in Europe’s top five leagues. Bayern Munich (35%), Borussia Monchengladbach (35%) and Real Madrid (34%) were only slightly less threatening. The Premier League teams with the highest percentage of threatening shots were Everton (31%) and Arsenal (31%); whilst AS Roma and Napoli (29%) had the highest percentage of threatening shots in Serie A.
The Premier League and Serie A were represented by teams with the lowest percentage of threatening shots in Aston Villa and Frosinone, both of whom were relegated, with only 18% of attempts on goal rated as being threatening; whilst also from Serie A Atalanta, Empoli and Bologna, posed only marginally more threat (21%) in front of goal. The teams converting the lowest percentage of goals attempts into goals were Troyes (6%) from Ligue 1 and Aston Villa (7%), with both teams finishing with fewest points in Europe’s top five leagues.
Two teams 1 in Europe’s top five leagues failed to score a goal from outside the penalty area, these were Montpellier from Ligue and Darmstadt 98 from the Bundesliga, whilst Hoffenheim and Udinese both scored a single goal from outside the box. At the other end of the table the team with the highest percentage of goals scored from outside the penalty area was Chievo Verona from Serie A with their 10 goals representing 24% of all goals scored. Relegated Aston Villa (23%) and Troyes (22%), both scored six times from outside the box, with these high percentages perhaps revealing their difficulty in reaching good goal scoring opportunities inside the penalty area.
AS Roma (16) scored the highest number of goals from outside the penalty area, narrowly ahead of Napoli (15), whilst other European heavyweights such as Real Madrid (13), Paris Saint Germain (12), Manchester City (12), Liverpool (12) and Juventus (12) all posed a goal threat when shooting from distance.