Corners Part II: Shots And PDO

Published On August 8, 2013 » By Ben Pugsley » Analytics, Boxes

In Corners Part 1 (link),I looked at the corner count of each team and the goals scored for and against. A quick re-cap: United were brilliant, Newcastle were s*%$.

This is the second and final part on the corners topic. Today I am going to look at each Premier League team and the volume of shots generated from their corners. Once we have shots from corners, we can then look at each team’s efficiency in getting shots away from their corners, and we can also look at scoring%, prevention% and corner PDO.

This will hopefully be a pretty comprehensive single-season look at corners and teams’ ability to generate offense from those corners. And we’ll all be happier when it is over!

 

Shots From Corners

 
For
Against
Man City6134
Liverpool5936
Everton5428
Man Utd5231
West Ham4837
West Brom4250
Newcastle4046
Wigan3934
Southampton3840
Aston Villa3748
QPR3750
Reading3752
Chelsea3628
Stoke3638
Norwich3435
Tottenham3430
Fulham3145
Arsenal3037
Sunderland3062
Swansea3046

This table shows the number of shots for and against for each team. It’s pretty clear that certain teams are able to generate a far bigger number of shots than others. Why is this? Again: delivery, attacking scheme and positions of attackers and maybe a little luck.

The fault of that table above is that it doesn’t factor in how many corners each team had taken or faced. If we simply divide the amount of shots for or against by the amount of corners for or against we arrive at percentage chance that a teams corner would result in a shot.

Percentage Chance Of A Corner Resulting In A Shot

 
Chance % For
Chance % Against
Man Utd23.8517.03
Man City22.5919.54
West Ham22.5417.05
Stoke22.0916.89
QPR21.7617.67
Everton21.0115.47
Aston Villa20.7919.12
West Brom20.7920.08
Liverpool20.721.95
Newcastle19.721.7
Norwich19.6514.83
Wigan19.617.35
Reading19.5820.47
Southampton18.1818.78
Fulham17.6119.57
Sunderland16.7624.41
Swansea15.4624.86
Chelsea1513.66
Tottenham13.0318.75
Arsenal11.5422.16

Once we have readjusted the numbers into a percentage chance of likelihood, we see some interesting things: United are the best team in the league at not only scoring goals from corners, but having each corner result in a shot. Every United corner had ~24% chance of creating a shot. The best goals team is also the best shots from corners team – schemes and delivery.

It gets interesting at the bottom of the chart. Tottenham and Arsenal are the two clubs who recorded the worst percentage chance of a corner creating a shot, Arsenal with just an 11.5% chance of a shot for resulting from a corner.

Chelsea are a curious team: they boast the best defensive number on that chart, but the third poorest number in creating shots for. How can a club, Chelsea in this case, be the third worst shots from corners team and the second best goals from corners team? Corner scoring%.

Corner PDO

 
Conversion%
Prevention%
Corner PDO
Chelsea30.5689.29119.84
Sunderland23.3391.94115.27
Man Utd28.8580.65109.49
Norwich17.6591.43109.08
Stoke22.2286.84109.06
Wigan25.6482.35107.99
West Brom19.0586105.05
Arsenal13.3389.19102.52
Aston Villa18.9283.33102.25
West Ham10.4289.1999.61
Reading13.5182.6996.21
Man City13.1182.3595.47
Swansea13.3380.4393.77
Liverpool10.1783.3393.5
Everton11.1182.1493.25
Southampton10.5382.593.03
Fulham12.98092.9
QPR10.818090.81
Newcastle2.584.7887.28
Tottenham8.8276.6785.49

The first column (scoring%) is how Chelsea managed to score 11 goals from corners last season. They registered just 36 shots from corners and scored 11 goals. That scoring% may not be sustainable.

It must also be said that Man United’s scoring% isn’t too far off Chelsea’s, but I would feel more comfortable about United’s scoring% due to their ability to generate shots from corners.

Looking at Save/Prevention% or whatever the hell it is that I called it, Chelsea, Sunderland, Norwich and Arsenal are really good. Tottenham, on the other hand are just terrible. Like, something was seriously wrong with their defensive setup when defending corners and it needs fixing.

Are we all familiar with PDO? Scoring% + Save%? Good. The third column on that chart deals with PDO from corners. Chelsea, with a strong Save/Prevention% and an other worldly scoring% boast 2012/13′s best PDO score. Sunderland are hot on the heels of Chelsea, and that corner PDO may have helped in some small way in preserving Sunderland’s Premier League status.

United rock up in 3rd place. Tottenham, who post a horrible PDO score, are bottom once again.

Conclusion

Corners aren’t the most important facet of a football game. Hell, only ~3% of corners result in a goal. Only ~19% of corners result in a shot. We are talking about small percentages here. And yet some teams excel at corners, it is understood that chances and goals can be created with the right blend of attacking setup, and Man United proved this in 2012/13.

United scored ~17% of their PL goals from corner kicks. United also registered ~20% of their prime location shots from corners alone (that figure rises to ~26% if we include all dead ball situations) and clearly that is a big contribution to United’s offensive output from just the humble corner.

Chelsea were another team who excelled at corners, but this time defending the opposition’s corners. They were able to restrict shots against whilst at the attacking end convert their shots from corners into goals at a frightening rate.

A quick word on Tottenham, who were dire at corners in 2012/13. A very basic expectancy has Tottenham at -5 goals from corners. If Tottenham had posted an average corner PDO, then you do wonder if those goals may have had an impact on their final league position?

Small margins. They all add up, and corners – however unfashionable they may be – are part of that teams performance equation.

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About The Author


Co-founder of StatsBomb. In exile. Living in Barcelona, missing the rain. I write for many a site, including StatsBomb, BitterandBlue.com and Benjaminpugsley.com. I have Vic Ferrari, Gabe Desjardins and the Edmonton Oilers to thank for my love of numbers.


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One Response to Corners Part II: Shots And PDO

  1. Toshack says:

    Thanks Ben,
    Spurs were dire, but as I said after part I, LIverpool need to think long and hard about every part of the game if they want to contend for top 4 – and corners is one part were they are lacking.
    //Peter

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