Inside the numbers: Reading deadly accurate
Statistics don't lie. Well, depending on the statistics you choose you can fudge or varnish the truth. But one thing is for certain, Reading's brilliant performance was because it was the best team in the league when it came to marksmanship. They were rarely off target.
Soccerblog went inside the numbers. We compared the raw data of the big four, Man Utd, Arsenal, Chelsea, and Liverpool with that of Reading.
Man Utd was unsurprisingly the most prolific team averaging 17 goal attempts, 9 on target, per match for a total of 349 shots on goal (SOG) scoring 83 goals in 38 matches. Liverpool averaged 16 goal attempts, 8 on target, per match for a total of 299 SOG scoring 57 goals in 38 matches. Chelsea averaged 14 goal attempts, 7 on target, per match for a total of 278 SOG scoring 64 goals in 38 matches. Arsenal averaged 15 goal attempts, 8 on target, per match for a total of 291 SOG scoring 63 goals.
Reading's numbers: 9 goal attempts, 4 on target, per match for a total of 170 SOG scoring 52 goals. Compared to Man Utd, Liverpool, Chelsea, and Arsenal, the Royals made significantly less number of goal attempts (p<.05, p= 2.64138E-08, 2.2533E-07, 2.34211E-05, 1.06699E-05), shots on goal (p<.05, p=7.59196E-08, 7.3007E-06, 0.000160425, 5.09063E-05), and scored almost as many goals as Liverpool, Arsenal, and Chelsea (statistically insignificant differences). Only Man Utd's total was significantly different than that of Reading (and Liverpool's).
Or put it in a different way. Man Utd took a little over 4 shots on goal to score a goal, Chelsea and Arsenal averaged 4.5 SOG, Liverpool over 5 SOG , compared to Reading's mere 3 SOG to score a goal. Reading was by far, a more deadly team than Man Utd, when it had scoring opportunities with snipers like Kevin Doyle, Leroy Lita, and Steve Sidwell. This is a statistically proven fact.
Raw data from the Guardian's match reports. I used paired two tailed T-tests as a statistic, p <.05.