Scatter graphics: Serie A, 2016/17
Now that all of the main European domestic seasons are at a close (barring a few play-offs), I thought I’d compile a full-season set of scatter graphics. Each of the three graphics is explained briefly below but there’s a longer explanation here.
First of all, here is how the number of shots taken by each club compares with those they face in return. The average number of shots taken per match is on the horizontal and the average number faced is on the vertical, so bottom right (take plenty, allow few in return) is good while top left (take few, allow plenty) is bad. The stripes are like contours: the greener the stripe, the better the performance (and vice versa for red).
There was no club significantly more dominant than the rest this season: Napoli edged it but Roma created more chances and champions Juventus allowed fewer.
Both Milan and Torino saw a respectable attacking output undermined by an open defence, while Genoa and Udinese were relatively quiet at both ends.
Now let’s look at attacking alone. The horizontal axis stays the same as in the graphic above, but now the vertical shows the average number of shots needed to score each league goal. Therefore bottom right is good (taking lots of shots and needing fewer efforts to convert) and top left is bad:
Roma and Napoli converted their glut of chances into goals at a similarly impressive rate, although interestingly both Cagliari and Sassuolo were also clinical despite creating far less.
Milan and Fiorentina took plenty of shots this season but were slightly wasteful, while Pescara and Genoa struggled far more desperately to convert their only slightly below-average output into goals.
Next let’s look at the defensive situation – basically take the above chart and replace the word “taken” for “faced” on both axes. Now top left is good – facing fewer shots and able to soak up more per goal conceded – and bottom right is bad:
It’s just as well that Cagliari are efficient finishers because their defence is in an awful state. Nobody allowed their opponents more shots this season and they weren’t great at keeping them out either.
While they allow far more shots than the likes of Juventus, both Milan and Roma have compensated somewhat by absorbing plenty of the attempts they face.