FAWSL Round-Up: Match Day 1

Brighton, Birmingham and Stand Out Players

The three games I’ve talked about are the three that I watched and I didn’t get around to watching the others on FA Player, although I did watch bits of the Bristol City vs Brighton and Birmingham vs Everton games.

With this in mind, I’ll just give a quick rundown of anything that stood out in the numbers from these games. However, I haven’t really got anything to mention from Liverpool vs Reading, nothing jumped out in the data and I didn’t watch it, so I’ve left that out.

Ellie Brazil Impresses As Brighton Are Unlucky Not To Win

Looking at the numbers, Brighton seemed to do everything right against Bristol City except for score. They created the 3rd highest xG this weekend, not including the saved penalty, behind just Arsenal and Chelsea, while also conceding the 2nd lowest. Not only this, they also allowed the least progression with the worst completion rate on progressive passes for each third of the pitch.

Looking at individuals, the stand out player seemed to be Ellie Brazil – which, on a selfish note, was annoying because I was going to include her in the players to watch piece but took her out.

Brazil had the 9th highest progression via passes (highest for wingers and forwards), 6th highest progression via carries, 12th highest progression received and joint 3rd most pressures.

Birmingham Struggle To Turn Progression Into Chances

Birmingham seemed to have the same game as Manchester City at the weekend, except they didn’t get the result they wanted.

The West Midlands side completed the 3rd most progression in the league and had 17 shots, but only Manchester City had a lower xG per shot. This doesn’t really seem surprising when seeing just how far back some of their shots came from though.

You could chalk it up to Birmingham having a lot of change in the summer and it’ll take a while for the attackers to develop an understanding, but they had similar issues last season.

Looking at the xG per 1 unit of progression (again I hate when the units get to feeling vague like this) they had the 4th worst numbers in the division, suggesting they progress the ball pretty well, but struggle turning that progression into good quality chances on a regular basis.

One bright spark for Birmingham was 22-year-old Sarah Mayling. Last season she appeared at right-back and in midfield, but playing left-back against Everton she had the 3rd highest progression via passes in the league. New signing Brianna Visalli also had the 3rd highest progression via carries for central midfielders.

Stand Out Players

To finish off, I thought I’d just throw up the top ten for each of progression via passes, progression via carries and progression received from the weekend.

Progression via Passes

Steph HoughtonMan City
Ji So-YunChelsea
Sarah MaylingBirmingham City
Kim LittleArsenal
Jennifer BeattieArsenal
Léa Le GarrecBrighton & Hove Albion
Leah WilliamsonArsenal
Kerys HarropBirmingham City
Ellie BrazilBrighton & Hove Albion
Keira WalshMan City

Progression via Carries

Janine BeckieMan City
Ji So-YunChelsea
Natasha HardingReading
Gemma DavisonTottenham
Niamh CharlesLiverpool
Ellie BrazilBrighton & Hove Albion
Maren MjeldeChelsea
Kim LittleArsenal
Hannah CainEverton
Brianna VisalliBirmingham City

Progression Received

Beth MeadArsenal
Abbi GrantBirmingham City
Lisa EvansArsenal
Georgia StanwayManchester City
Adelina EngmanChelsea
Natasha HardingReading
Martha ThomasWest Ham United
Kayleigh GreenBrighton & Hove Albion
Hannah CainEverton
Janine BeckieManchester City

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