How did the Bundesliga compare with Europe's other top 5 leagues in 2021/22?
The Bundesliga has long been the European league with the highest goals-per-game average, while it is also home to the reigning Best FIFA Men's Player in Robert Lewandowski of Bayern Munich. But how did Germany's top flight compare in 2021/22 with the other top five leagues in Europe based on UEFA coefficient (England's Premier League, Spain's La Liga, Italy's Serie A and France's Ligue 1)?
bundesliga.com reviews the numbers...
Most goals again
For the fourth time in the last five seasons, the Bundesliga saw the most goals per game across Europe's top divisions in 2021/22. Germany's 954 top-flight fixtures produced a total of 306 goals at a rate of 3.12 per match.
No other league broke the three-goal mark. Serie A ranked second (2.87) followed by the Premier League (2.82), Ligue 1 (2.81) and La Liga (2.50).
The Bundesliga's ratio is an increase on last term from 3.03, which was its lowest in four years and the only time since the start of 2017/18 that it wasn't Europe's most goal-filled league. Italy pipped Germany by a smidge (3.05).
Europe's most efficient team and goalscorer
Spearheaded by the great Lewandowski, Bayern were the most free-scoring team per 90 minutes across 2021/22.
The record champions scored 97 goals in their 34 matches, at an average of 2.85 goals per game. Manchester City hit two more, albeit in four more matches (2.61), while the 85-goal Borussia Dortmund ranked third (2.50 per game). Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain round out the top five on 2.47 (94 and 90 total goals respectively).
Lewandowski accounted for 35 of Bayern's total to claim his seventh top scorer's cannon. The rest of the top five - PSG's Kylian Mbappe (28 goals in 35 apps), Lazio's Ciro Immobile (27 goals in 31 apps), Real Madrid's Karim Benzema (27 goals in 32 apps) and Monaco's Wissam Ben Yedder (25 goals in 37 apps) - all failed to break the 30-goal barrier.
Unsurprisingly, Lewandowski was the most efficient striker in the business, averaging a goal every 84 minutes. Dortmund's Erling Haaland (22 goals in 24 apps) and Bayer Leverkusen's Patrik Schick (24 goals in 27 apps) were also good for a goal a touch under every game (87 minutes). Benzema and Immobile were over, at 96 and 101 minutes respectively.
Watch: Robert Lewandowski was the Bundesliga's 35-goal top scorer in 2021/22
Long reign the assist king
From the best goalscorer to best provider, Thomas Müller produced more assists than any player in Europe's top five leagues, with 18 across his 32 appearances. Mbappe's next on the list (17), followed by clubmate Lionel Messi and Barcelona's Ousmane Dembele (both 14). RB Leipzig's Christopher Nkunku - the Bundesliga's 2021/22 Player of the Season - tied Liverpool's Mohamed Salah on 13 provisions, but from one fewer game.
Referee, referee on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?
Germans do things by the book. And the same applies in Bundesliga football.
The Bundesliga witnessed an average of just 0.08 red cards per game in 2021/22, making it the fairest league among Europe’s top five. The Premier League saw 0.11 red cards per match; La Liga 0.23; Serie A 0.24; and Ligue 1 0.27.
There was also no Bundesliga team that had more than four players sent off all season (Mainz). Europe's worst offenders with nine dismissals each were Montpellier, Metz (both Ligue 1) and Venezia (Serie A).
In terms of cautions, the Bundesliga ranked a marginal second to the English Premier League (3.44 yellow cards per game, compared to 3.42). The two divisions were level for penalties awarded, with an average of 0.27 per game, followed by Ligue 1 (0.32), La Liga (0.35) and Serie A (0.37).
Napoli were awarded the most penalties (14), with Dortmund's 11 the highest count in the Bundesliga. Spezia Calcio and Cadiz topped the concession chart on 13, five more than the Bundesliga's league-leading culprits Bochum and Hertha Berlin (both eight).
Watch: Vote for your Fairplay moment of the season!
Keep the game moving…
Fed up with the ball being out of play and the game stopped? You need to watch the Bundesliga.
Seventy-two percent of all goals in Germany's top flight came from open play. In 2021/22, set-plays accounted for just 268 out of 954 goals. That's the lowest proportion across the top five leagues, meaning a Bundesliga game sees a greater number of goals scored from genuine play. Serie A was 71 percent; the English Premier League, Ligue 1 and La Liga all came in at 70 per cent.
…but also not afraid to cross
In the Bundesliga, crossing the ball into the box means doing so from open play. And a regular supply line spells danger. Germany's foremost division was tied with Spain for the greatest proportion of headed goals in 2021/21 (162 - or 17 percent), followed by Ligue 1 (16 percent), the English Premier League and Serie A (both 15 percent).
Only Ligue 1's Rennes (18) and Serie A runners-up Inter Milan (19) served up more goals from headers than Freiburg (16), while Cologne striker Anthony Modeste was the highest-scoring individual in that department with 10 - three more than any other player based in Europe's top five leagues.
League of the super subs
If the likes of Lewandowski and Modeste had an off-day, there was usually someone else who would come in and deliver. There was a substitute goal roughly every other game in the 2021/22 Bundesliga (or 0.48 per 90 minutes) - another bestmark. The English Premier League brings up the rear in that regard (0.27), behind Ligue 1 (0.37), Serie A (0.41) and La Liga (0.43).
Why the 100th Revierderby promises to be a thriller
Schalke are fighting relegation, Dortmund are bidding for top honours - both are in fine form...
Frankfurt vs. Bochum: team news
Can Randal Kolo Muani fire Frankfurt back to winning ways at home to Bochum?
Match Facts Analysis: Der Klassiker
Ahead of this weekend's not-to-be-missed fixture, we break down the stats to see who has an edge and where.