By Liverpool’s high standards they had an appalling season finishing eighth having lost 14 games. However, they allowed the opposition the fewest shots against them than any other opponent. Upon reflection, they lost 10 of those 14 by a one-goal margin and only the two Manchester sides conceded fewer goals than them this season.
Demba Ba was on fire for Newcastle in the first half of the season, scoring 15 goals in his first 19 appearances making him the hottest pick in fantasy football. However, since returning from the Africa Cup of Nations and the arrival of compatriot Papiss Cissé, he only managed one other strike this season. Ba failed to score in all 13 Premier League games he and Cissé started together but fortunately for the Toon, his Senegalese strike partner took up scoring responsibilities to help Newcastle secure a highly impressive fifth-place finish.
The quality and unpredictability of this season was epitomised by the happenings of the final day with the title, European and relegation battles all far from decided. This could have been as a result of the strength of away performances this season from the majority of the teams and some adventurous attacking play. In fact this season the proportion of Premier League games that ended as away wins (30.5 per cent) was higher than any other season.
Wolves were by far the poorest team this season and deserved to be relegated. A contributing factor to this was perhaps the fact they failed to score in the opening 15 minutes of any game this season except the final day against Wigan Athletic. In contrast, Arsenal had scored the most in the opening quarter hour with 12.
Swansea finished as the highest placed promoted side in 11th after a fantastic season that saw comparisons raised to Barcelona, and scalps that included Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool. They were praised for their ability to retain possession and it may come as no surprise that on average they made 17 more passes per shot attempted than any other side this season (62).
Wigan yet again managed to avoid the drop with an exceptional finish at the end of the season. Roberto Martínez’s side had only won four of their first 28 games earning 21 points and were ominously sitting in the bottom three. However in the last ten matches of the season they achieved a staggering 22 points with seven wins, one draw and just two defeats. This points total matched that of Manchester United and was just one less than that of champions Manchester City over the same period.
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