Bayern Munich's 4-1 over RB Leipzig on Matchday 4 may look like it was a comfortable victory on paper but in reality, it was far from it - as a deeper dive into the Bundesliga Match Facts reveals.
Indeed, small details ended up making a big difference at the Red Bull Arena as Julian Nagelsmann's side laid down an early marker in the title race.
For example, Leipzig had more possession than their visitors (51 per cent), but Bayern ended up with considerably more efforts on goal (18 to 10).
Watch: Highlights of Bayern's win in Leipzig
"It was an open game and we deserved to win, but not necessarily by a 4-1 scoreline," said Nagelsmann of the win over his former side.
"Bayern have a lot of quality and they showed that," was the response of his counterpart Jesse Marsch. “We didn’t play badly and we played to our limit. With a bit more luck and composure in the final third the match could have turned out differently.”
Albeit not according to the xGoals metric - one of eight statistical areas now offered by the DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga and Amazon Web Services - alongside Speed Alert, Goal Probability, Most Pressed Player, Attacking Zones, Average Positions - Trends, Shot Efficiency and Passing Profile - the latter two being new arrivals in the 2021/22 campaign.
Watch: Bundesliga Match Facts: What is Shot Efficiency?
For instance, according to the statistics, the result was actually as it should have been. Bayern's xGoals number was 4.12 - meaning their overall shot efficiency was marginally lacking - while Leipzig's was 0.86, with Konrad Laimer's wondergoal from distance (which incidentally had a Goal Probability of just three per cent) seeing the hosts actually overachieve in the attacking department.
One of the difference makers for Bayern was without doubt Alphonso Davies, who had another impressive game on the left flank and set a new Bundesliga speed record this season after clocking 22.43 mph (36.1 kmh). It was the Canadian's cross into the middle that teed up Jamal Musiala to score Bayern’s crucial second goal, and he also had the best pass efficiency of any player on the pitch.
It will come as no surprise, then, that the majority of Bayern's attacks took place on his side of the field (39 per cent), with just 27 per cent going through the centre and 34 per cent via the right flank. By way of contrast, 42 per cent of Leipzig's forward forays were in central positions and invariably came unstuck in a crowded middle, with just 28 per cent of their attacks on the left and 30 per cent on the right.
Watch: Match Facts - Passing Profile
In addition to Davies and Musiala, who proved decisive with a goal and an assist, Leroy Sane also shone for Bayern. The Germany international was by far the Most Pressed Player in the game with 41 pressure situations, but he still managed to score one and prove a nuisance throughout.
The final score leaves Bayern with a league-high 13 Bundesliga goals already this season, exactly the same figure the xGoals metric calculates they should have. That efficiency was ultimately the difference between the teams; Leipzig#s haul of five goals so far is 2.4 fewer than they were expected to have scored.
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