Thought I would drop in a few pressure/possession tables for the most recent few games, which I have not covered on the blog at all during a period of absence.
First, the Five Stripes hosted Colorado, winning 1-0 on 1.9-0.8 of shot-based expected goals (ASA).
Next, the return leg in Columbus, a 2-0 victory compared to 1.2-1.3 xG (ASA).
And lastly, a weird one against a 10-man San Jose, in which Atlanta won 4-2 on 2.6-1.3 expected goals based on the quality and number of shots.
Overall these were some decently unique games in terms of pressure, tidiness, and chance quality. Colorado didn’t even attempt to press Atlanta, and it shows in the above average tidiness figures for the home side. Colorado couldn’t hold onto the ball in their own half, putting up an abysmal pass per giveaway number while generally limiting the damage from lost possessions in their own half. Against Columbus, Atlanta actually sat back slightly (partly cuz game state) and hit long over the top with some success. We’ll look back on this one as a very rare gem, I’d imagine, for a number of reasons even if they couldn’t limit the giveaways against a pressing Crew FC. And then against San Jose, the first half press numbers are interesting as San Jose gave as much as they got. But the second half went as one would expect with the Earthquakes down a man. Atlanta barely spent time in its own half, and simply did not turn the ball over back there. Atlanta’s pressure on San Jose in the second was impressive.
Atlanta’s averaging 7 own-half passes per giveaway compared to their opponents’ 4.3. That 4.3 number feels about right for a high pressing side. We’ll see if that 7 budges going forward.
Atlanta continue to “run hot” against the expected goals models. I put up a poll asking whether we thought Atlanta’s results would continue over the second half of the season at their current GD per game pace (+0.5) or decline somewhat towards their expected goal difference per game of (-0.3). It was unanimous for the former, which I found interesting. But everyone seems right at the moment…
There will likely be something from me on DirtySouthSoccer.com this week. Be on the lookout.