Can you attack Etihad?


Due to one of the most defensive strategies in the recent history of real Madrid, Carlo Ancelotti responded: “This is the only way to get through the tie.” Three shots on goal, a goal and hundreds of minutes left behind led to a painful passage of penalties that proved the Italian coach’s strategy against City of Manchester. Could Real Madrid have done differently this Wednesday? Statistics say no.

The white team generated 1.43xG, that is, expected goals, the statistic that determines how likely, from 0 to 1, that a shot on goal will end in a goal. Adding all the shots on goal in the match, the statistics show that Real Madrid should have scored one goal and 43% of the other. For its part, the City generated 2.59, which was higher, although the ‘Sky Blues’ They finished 34 times, eleven of them on goal.

If we refer to the 41 games in all competitions that City have accumulated without losing at their stadium, it can be seen that Pep Guardiola’s team only had a higher xG on five occasions. They are Chelsea (2.49), in a 1-1 draw in March, the Fulham (1.8), in a 5-1 win in September 2023, the Crystal palace (1.52), in a 2-2 tie in December 2023, the City of Leicester (1.7), in a 3-1 victory in April 2023, and Tottenham Hotspur (1.68), in a 4-1 victory in January 2023. That means five teams have produced more against City and only two in it was them who got the draw from the Etihad Stadium.

In the Champions League, where City have not lost at home since September 2018, in the group stage against Olympique Lyonnais Ferland Mendy, the fence gets tighter. Only three teams have managed to surpass Real Madrid’s 1.43xG, one of them being the white team itself, on two occasions, two seasons ago, when they went 4-3 and generated 1.83xG, and it’s been four years since ago, in the fight. of the pandemic, when they did 1.6xG.

The other two are Atalanta (1.7xG), in a 5-1 defeat in October 2022, and Tottenham Hotspur (1.67xG), in a 4-3 defeat in 2019 which, however, earned them a place in the semi-finals of the Champions League.

What the xG statistics at the Etihad show is that very few teams are capable of producing much for City and only four, from a sample of past matches, 41 in all competitions and 30 in the Champions League, have achieved a positive result of Manchester.

He Atlético de Madrid, who visited the Etihad in April 2022, left without taking a single shot on goal and with 0.0xG. Only Olympiacos, Young Boys and Copenhagen have shown a poor record at the Etihad in the ‘Champions’ (since 2018), while in the Premier, FA Cup and League Cup, no team, in the last 41 matches, xG has been left in 0.

Source: La Verdad


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