Here we take a look at the performances of the most outstanding players of the Bundesliga season in individual matches.
Perhaps inevitably, the highest xG total for a player in a single match belonged to Robert Lewandowski in Bayern Munich’s 4-3 win over Hertha Berlin in October. On his way to a record 41 league goals, Lewandowski had 13 shots that day.
A player scoring more goals than his total xG (or “xG over-achievement”) is usually a sign of brilliant efficiency in front of goal, while scoring less (or “xG under-achievement”) tends to be a sign of brilliant efficiency in front of goal. wastage and Erling indication. Haaland managed to get the higher totals in both measures.
Joel Pohjanpalo doesn’t play often, but he tends to make those minutes count. The hat-trick for Union Berlin was his second in just 1,152 minutes in the Bundesliga. His other Dreierpack returned in the 2016-17 season against Hamburg, having replaced Bayer Leverkusen in the 72nd minute. The Finland international had already proven himself in this field even before arriving in Germany, having already scored a 162-second treble for HJK in his native Finland.
Getting back to Haaland, we’ll start with their good day, which came against Hertha in November – the same team that had fallen victim to Lewandowski a month earlier. When in good shape, the Norwegian is a force of nature – but as we saw against Union in April, he’s still human.
Haaland’s woes that day started in earnest with a first-half penalty, although this particular incident ended long after the ball was finally put in the net by Marco Reus. Gio Reyna then put Haaland seven meters from goal, only for the Norwegian to hit Union goalkeeper Andreas Luthe directly. And things then took a turn for the worse for Haaland in the second half.
Shifting to creators rather than finishers, Expected Assists (xA) measures the likelihood that a player’s created odds translate into an assist, comparing those openings to a large number of similar previous opportunities.
These players therefore owed a debt of gratitude to their teammates.
… But these players owed a few apologies.
In terms of the volume of chances, Eintracht Frankfurt’s Filip Kostić led the way with ten against Stuttgart – not that his team used a lot.
If we instead look at which player created the highest quality of chances in a single game, then Thomas Müller – who was back at his best this season – comes out well ahead.
But in terms of appearing in the most shots – shots and chances created – teammate Robert Lewandowski is again first. And second. Müller himself wasn’t that far behind, however.
Finally, we will look at the performance of goalkeepers.
The best way to do this is via the expected objectives after firing (PSxG). While standard xG looks from where a shot was taken, PSxG focuses on where the ball landed on the goal frame. This means that shots closer to the posts or crossbar are given a higher value, as they are more difficult to register, while off-target attempts are reduced. So, by subtracting the PSxG from the actual number of goals conceded by a goalkeeper, we can assess how well they played.
Stefan Ortega from Bielefeld comes out on top, one of the many reasons he is on Jogi Loew’s reserve list for Euro 2020.