There will be hundreds of reviews of the Manchester United v Newcastle game discussing formations and showing how exciting the game. I would like, then, to show the raw data, mapping the game, to show that it is possible to predict the expectation of goals during a game by looking at shots as time decays.
There is no expectation that Newcastle would score the early goal, but once they did it mapped out expectation of further goals. Manchester United started slowly and Newcastle dominated early exchanges. Evans’ equaliser to make it 1-1, then, was against the run of play. It was no surprise that Manchester United conceded again so soon after the initial “fight back”.
The second Newcastle goal, which was given as a Evans own goal, was controversial and, although Newcastle were still the better side and deserved to be in front, it shows the need for technology in football as the linesman flagged for offside and the referee Mike Dean decided to take control and award a goal.
As the raw data shows, Manchester United once again started the second half slowly. Yet, against the run of play, they benefitted from an unlikely source of goals in the shape of Evra.
Again it came as little surprise when Cisse scored the third, but you could have scripted the fact that Newcastle would not be able to hold their lead with an immediate response.
At 3-3 Newcastle seemed to have little belief they could win retreating into survival mode. Manchester United had near misses on 74′ 79′ and 80′., though Newcastle had one near miss on 85′.
As a result of mapping the deliveries and the strength of the shot, we get an excellent feel for the tempo of the game and how the game developed.
My first taste of football in a stadium was Gillingham V Aston Villa 1971 and I still have the programme which cost 5p. I have been lucky to have seen a number of Cup Finals but missed the Sunderland goal in 1973 as I was in the toliet. I have recently been watching Margate and also watch around 50 other matches a month on my computer .
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