Imps v Plymouth: Dispelling the Myths

Credit Graham Burrell

Plymouth Were More of an Attacking Force

Even I’m pretty sure of this one, but let’s check shall we? I’m going with touches in the box, xG, shots (on and off-target) and a couple of other important attacking stats. By the way, the most obvious one is goals, and that was 2-2 for those who have forgotten.

Whilst Plymouth did have better stats in some key areas, it wasn’t as one-sided as you might think. The xG stats read 1.46 to us, 1.95 to them, which puts the game somewhere between a 1-1 draw and a 2-1 away win. They did have more shots than us, but only 13 compared to 10, and only four on target to our three. They were slightly more accurate, 30.77% to our 30%. It certainly wasn’t Rotherham one-sided though, where xG was 0.41 to us and 2.53 to them, with 12 fewer shots for us.

While the numbers suggest they were more of an attacking force, we’re not talking about sustained attacks. They countered us eight times during the game, with five of those attacks resulting in a shot. On the other hand, we only countered twice, with no shots. Basically, we were the possession team, and they hit us on the break. Yes, they were better at corners too, they had six, two with shots (one a goal), and we had four corners without an effort for our troubles.

Credit Graham Burrell

I was also asked to include touches in the box, and I have. We had 14, Plymouth had 13. Ted Bishop had the most of our touches in the box (4), with Dan N’Lundulu next (3) and then Scully and Sorensen on two each. I thought I’d throw crosses in here too; after all, a cross is an attacking action, isn’t it? Plymouth put just seven crosses into the box, landing two. Lincoln? We put 26 crosses in, hitting a player on eight occasions. We crossed more, and were more accurate. In total, we had 34 penalty area entries, compared to just 19 for the opposition. That includes crosses (17), runs into the area (two) and the rest passes into the area; do note, not all of these are successful actions.

Finally, we come to positional attacks; this is an attack from open play that is not a counterattack, so a steady build-up with the defenders in front of you. It’s the sort of attack you build from the back, slowly and progressively. Plymouth had 21, six of which resulted in a shot. We had 35, seven ending in shots. The problem here isn’t our attacking in the strictest sense, it is the final ball and I’m not sure whether that means they were better in attack or not.

Outcome: This is tough to call. Yes, Plymouth had slightly more shots and better xG, just, so it could be true. However, we had more touches in the box, and provided more crosses, so it certainly wasn’t all one-sided.

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