Posted23 February 2021, 08:57
On Monday night, Crystal Palace, Roy Hodgson’s club, won 2-1 at Brighton. With some pretty incredible statistics …
Those who play the Football Manager series a bit too much will understand. Those who rail against the artificial intelligence of the FIFA series too. In a postponed match on Matchday 25 of the Premier League, the “Seagulls” of Brighton & Hove Albion lost a game they should never have lost. The teammates of Andi Zeqiri, who did not come into play, did everything to win. Finally, except filling the opposing net, which remains the basis of football …
The formation coached by Graham Potter was already, before the start of the match, the phalanx of the English championship the least realistic in front of goal. Where stats gave them 34 “expected goals” (a stat used to represent the probability of a scoring opportunity that can lead to a goal), they only put in 25. The same problems were seen with the London troop of the former coach of the Swiss team.
The numbers for Monday’s game are nothing short of mind-boggling. A real statistical aberration. Brighton has won all matches except the scoreboard at the final whistle, with 74% possession of the ball, 52 balls played in the opponent’s area against 2, 25 shots at 3, 5 on target at 2 and trifle from 13 corners to 0. The Falmer Stadium players created 3 big chances against no clear chance for the “Eagles”.
But they still lost 1-2!
The man who made the difference, Christian Benteke, sums up the meeting. The Belgian entered fifteen minutes from the end, missed almost everything except aerial duels and above all was placed very far from the opposing penalty area. He missed half of his passes and sent aside the only shot he had attempted in regulation time.
Then came that damn 95th minute.
The former Liverpool striker made an incredible move, on a too long cross from Andros Townsend. It ended up in the small opposite net.
Mass was said, the coach of the “Seagulls” said the “word in F” and the troops of Roy Hodgson equaled their best points in the Premier League after 25 games with 32 units. Some will speak of the glorious uncertainty of sport. But for Brighton, it’s starting to do a lot.