Manuel Pellegrini’s West Ham United went three Premier League matches unbeaten on Saturday afternoon with a 1-1 draw away at David Wagner’s Huddersfield Town at the John Smith’s Stadium. Today, we crunch all the statistics from the entertaining clash which saw the hosts take the lead through Alex Pritchard and Felipe Anderson equalise late on for the visitors, join us.
The first team stat we are going to be analysing, as is always the case in ‘Crunching The Stats’ is possession, the amount of the ball that each team sees throughout the game.
Much like they have done consistently against teams that are lower than themselves in the league this season, the Hammers dominated possession, with 56.1 per cent to the Terriers’ 43.9%. It will be frustrating for Pellegrini that his team weren’t able to turn this into a victory.
As we move onto the shots attempted stat, we find out that the hosts were more creative with their share of the ball and more of a threat throughout the match, offering a clue as to why it was drawn despite the possession figures.
Wagner’s men had three more than their East London opponents with an impressive total of 15, the away side only managing 12. One of the 15 attempts of the home side found the back of the net, Pritchard’s low drive from the edge of the area on six minutes.
Shots On Target
As will be revealed by our next stat, the number of those shots that were on target, quality in the final third wasn’t lacking at the John Smith’s, with both teams managing to register admirable shot accuracy.
The side that were more clinical with their shots on target were the Irons as they managed to score with one of their five, a stunning half-volley from Anderson on 72 minutes. Meanwhile, Huddersfield could only find the back of the net with one of their seven, as aforementioned.
Pass completion, the percentage of each team’s total passes that reached their intended recipients, offers us insight into what kind of game it was in West Yorkshire, scrappy or free-flowing.
The answer is the former with neither outfit managing to get anywhere near 80 per cent pass completion, the hosts with 72.6% and the visitors with 77%. While it was a battle of two tacticians who strive to play attractive football, it ended up being a lively and slightly dogged affair, ending in what was largely perceived as a fair result.
While there may not have been as many completed passes as the usual quota involved in Hammers matches this season, there would be no shortage of key passes at two days ago in what was an encounter not lacking in a fair deal of attacking play.
Given the fact that they’ve edged most of the stats in the final third so far, it’s no surprise to hear that the Terriers created the lion’s share of the 16 key passes on show as they caused the Hammers more problems than were expected. They enjoyed ten, while their opponents could only muster up a low six.
It was a different story when it came to number of corners won by each side in the even matchup, with role reversal afoot, meaning West Ham won more, six to Huddersfield’s five, to be more specific.
However, neither Wagner’s men nor Pellegrini’s could convert any of these, they did come close, examples being Steve Mounie’s early header that was heroically saved by Lukasz Fabianski and the late header that was cleared off the line by Aaron Mooy, from Issa Diop. But it was a case of close but no cigar from these set-pieces.
Our final two team stats focus solely on the defences and the two goalkeepers, starting with clearances made, a stat that judges both the workload enforced on a backline, both teams playing four at the back in this case, and how well they dealt with it.
In contrast to the slight trend of the home side having more creative joy in the final third, it was their defence that made more clearances with a total of 26, this was nearly matched by the Irons who have looked a much better defensive unit under Pellegrini as they recorded 22.
And last but not least, the focus of the final team stat we’ll be analysing is the two goalkeepers, Danish International Lossl in the home goal and Polish International Fabianski in the away goal.
The stat is saves made and while many of the other figures we’ve looked at have been close-knit, this one certainly isn’t, as home ‘keeper Lossl had a mere two saves to make. At the opposite end, Fabianski was forced into making a stop six times, the pick of them being to deny French forward Mounie twice in the first half.
So, now that all the stats from an afternoon of mixed feelings for Pellegrini’s West Ham have been well and truly crunched and analysed, will we have yet more encouraging stats to reflect on in two weeks’ time? Following the clash with fearsome Manchester City the other side of the International break? Join us once again, then, to find out.