This was a painfully mixed season for Dortmund and the top-line stats underline its wildly uneven nature.
Some displays were extraordinarily good. No Bundesliga striker during the entire campaign was given better service than Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the home thrashing of Gladbach. BVB produced the second-best domestic attacking performance by a German team all season that day.
No Bundesliga player provided his team-mates with better chances than Mo Dahoud did in Leipzig. And Dortmund’s 0-3 victory in Hamburg was the most convincing away win of the campaign.
But BVB were also responsible for the most wasteful performances in the German top flight – both home and away – as well the worst miss and the most unlikely goal conceded.
Easiest Finishes, Best Goals, Worst Misses
As most of you will be aware, expected goals (xG) is a metric that compares an attempt on goal to a large number of similar past attempts in order to gauge how likely it was to result in a goal. A high xG value means that a goal was very probable, whereas a low xG value indicates that the attempt was almost certain to be unsuccessful.
By this measure, Julian Weigl’s exquisite first Bundesliga goal, scored against Gladbach back in September, was also Dortmund finest in the league this season
The easiest finish of the campaign, meanwhile, was Aubameyang’s tap-in during the away win over Hamburg.
Next comes the first of Dortmund’s many unwanted statistical accolades, which belongs to Michy Batshuayi. His extraordinary fresh-air shot in Leipzig wasn’t just the worst miss by a BVB player – it was also the worst in the entire Bundesliga this season.
Some comfort can at least be taken from the fact that Dortmund’s opponents weren’t always clinical in front of goal, either. Leverkusen’s Charles Aránguiz led the way in that regard.
Finally, the goal with the lowest xG value of the entire Bundesliga season – in other words, the toughest goal to score by a player in the German top flight – was Nils Petersen’s long-range lob for Freiburg at Signal Iduna Park.
No individual player for any team in a 2017-18 Bundesliga match was given better service than Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang against Gladbach in September. His hat-trick that day came from a league-high 3.93xG of opportunities, which can be seen here:
Similarly, no player supplied his team-mates with better goal-scoring opportunities than Mo Dahoud in BVB’s away match against Leipzig. Expected assists (xA) allows us to gauge the quality of the chances that a player creates.
Dahoud’s 1.52xA that day – which can be seen below – wasn’t bettered by any Bundesliga player during the whole season, although Leverkusen’s Karim Bellarabi did manage to equal it against Frankfurt.
BVB players have now produced season-high single-game xA numbers in each of the past three seasons, with Dahoud following in the footsteps of Marco Reus and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
On a team level, there was no better away display than the one that Dortmund produced in Hamburg. It gave BVB an incredible, league-high 98% likelihood of victory.
And League Lows
We’ll now return to those unwanted statistical accolades. The highest number of off-target shots in any Bundesliga match occurred during the Mainz v BVB game in December. An eye-watering 20 attempts on goal failed to find the target that night. They can be enjoyed/endured here:
Gauging wastefulness in terms of unconverted xG isn’t any kinder to Dortmund. No home team achieved a higher xG without scoring – 2.56 – than BVB in their 0-0 draw with Wolfsburg in January. That match saw the highest combined xG (3.26) of any two teams in a goal-less Bundesliga game as well.
Dortmund also produced the highest away-team xG without scoring, during the 0-0 draw in Freiburg:
That Freiburg game saw BVB …
…of any Bundesliga team all season, but still fail to win.
Finally, while the match in Freiburg featured five statistical landmarks for the season, the 6-1 home win over Gladbach produced an extraordinary 16:
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