Manuel Pellegrini’s West Ham United were dealt a crippling blow in the form of a fourth successive Premier League defeat to start the season on Saturday afternoon, being bested by Nuno Espirito Santo’s Wolverhampton Wanderers thanks to a stoppage-time Adama Traore strike, today, we crunch all the statistics and figures from the entertaining clash.
Following on from Tuesday night’s Carabao Cup victory away at AFC Wimbledon, West Ham were expected to dominate the ball on home soil and Wolves were expected to sit off slightly and try to hit them on the break.
This turned out to be far from the case and the visitors to London Stadium dictated the play and enjoyed the lion’s share of possession, with 52.3 per cent to the Hammers’ 47.7, providing the foundations for their late but arguably deserved, win.
Another prevalent pre-match expectation but one that turned out to be the case in East London was that it was going to be a very attacking, open affair, a match more suited to the attackers than the defenders.
A combined total of 28 efforts says it all and unsurprisingly, the away side edged it in terms of total shots, registering 15, meaning that the hosts could only muster up 13, the fact that there was only a single goal serves testament to the two goalkeepers, who we will get on to later.
Shots On Target
As well as Lukasz Fabianski and Rui Patricio performed, another clue as to why there was only a single strike during the entire affair and fans had to wait all of 94 minutes for it, lies in the shots on target team statistic.
For the Irons, a mere three of their 13 attempts were aimed directly at goal, a resounding ten of them being off target, meanwhile, Wanderers could double that figure to produce six shots on target, which still isn’t amazing when you consider their 15 efforts.
Our next team statistic is pass completion, a percentage measure of just how accurate each team was with their passing in what was one of the more free-flowing matches we are likely to see at London Stadium this season.
The East Londoners haven’t really lacked in this area in 2018/2019 so far and they wouldn’t once again, comfortably keeping the figures above 80 per cent, however, their downfall was that they also allowed the opponents above 80, as they weighed in with 83.6% to Pellegrini’s men’s 80.2.
With chances at no premium at the former London 2012 Olympic Stadium, it is no surprise to see our highest number of key passes per match so far this season, a combined total of a staggering 21.
When we get down into the nitty-gritty of this stat, we see a familiar theme, Santo’s men edging it, not by much, but nonetheless still getting the better of the hosts, this time by a whole third with 12 key passes, the rock-bottom home side making nine.
When the two starting Xls were named in East London, it was clear to see that neither team possessed an obvious height advantage over the other in terms of personnel, thus, the wastage of corners, but just how many did each team have?
In fact, they both managed to win exactly the same number of corners, four, but were barely able to create anything with or from them and the same went for free-kicks, it was very much a game of open play and very few stoppages for corners and set-plays.
Our final two team stats gauge just how well the two outfits’ defences and goalkeeper performed, starting with the number of clearances made by an Xl over the course of the 90 minutes.
According to this figure, the Hammers and the Wanderers both forced each other’s defences into dealing with the same workload, 19 clearances apiece, this would just about match the overall theme of the match, chances and space in the final third for all, home or away.
As we mentioned earlier on in our analysis, both goalkeepers were contenders for Man of the Match after the blowing of the full-time whistle and that was because there were more than enough saves to make at London Stadium.
Fabianski in the home goal had the majority of the eight to deal with, including denying the likes of Ryan Bennett and Leo Bonatini impressively, whereas Patricio’s three saves were key, two at the very start and end of the afternoon respectively, to keep out Felipe Anderson and Marko Arnautovic, proving worth their weight in gold.
So, now that we have crunched and analysed all the team statistics, facts and figures from yet another home game where close to 60,000 members of the Claret & Blue Army went home unhappy, will there be some more positive stats to reflect on come Monday 17 September, in the wake of Pellegrini’s men’s league trip to Goodison Park? Join us once again, then, to find out.