United's 4-4 draw with Everton was a roller coaster ride for both halves of Manchester and contrasted with the most recent 4-4 EPL game where Arsenal took a casual ski lift ride to the top of the mountain in the first half and Newcastle then hurtled downhill to a near impossible victory in the second.I've included both games in graphical form below.
Both games also neatly demonstrate the flaws and the strength of a weighted goals approach to goal scoring.Barton and Best in the Newcastle game and Fellaini and to a degree Jelavic all scored goals that barely raised their respective team's Expected points off the floor,but without their goals their team mates wouldn't have been able to score their more highly valued later goals.
Weighted EP shows who was lucky enough to get the vital goal and dismisses those who scored when trailing by 2 or more because,unlike Sunday trailing teams are much more likely to go onto lose.It's magnificent as a descriptive statistic,but it suffers from tracking short term goal scoring luck over a single season.Players don't alternate their scoring between high and low leverage situations,they are likely to get runs of high or low "value" goals and players should probably be judged more on scoring ability alone than on an ability to score "clutch" goals that may be just a random,short term pattern.Which is why I suggested we develop a context neutral goal scoring stat to sit alongside it's "clutch" counterpart here.
Manchester United 4 Everton 4.
Newcastle 4 Arsenal 4.
A team of Man United's quality would have had to entertain a team of Everton's quality an average of 3,000 times before you would expect them to score exactly four goals and not take all three points and as 4-4's go,the Arsenal/Newcastle one was about 3 times as likely to have occurred as was the ManU/Everton one.
Everything is now set up for next Monday,especially as the mid season scoring lull appears to have been replaced by the customary late season scoring glut with City scoring 12 in their last three and United 10 in their last four.