Birmingham City visited the Oakwell Stadium to take on Barnsley on matchday 5 of the 21-22 EFL Championship season. This was Birmingham’s 3rd away game of the season, and they were able to keep their unbeaten away record alive. The Blues had a great game and must be wondering how they were unable to go into the international break with a victory.
The game ended in 1-1 draw, as Lukas Jutkiewics equalized on 33 minutes after Callum Styles had given the Tykes just 5 minutes into the game. The Blues had a fantastic game and should be disappointed that they were unable to get the three points against a very poor Barnsley side.
The expected goals column of the stats table simply says it all, with Barnsley having an xG of 0.24 and Birmingham with that of 2.17.
The shot map of Birmingham City shows that they took almost all of their shots from inside the penalty area, which helps in accumulating a high xG. With such a high xG, almost double the shots, and high possession, it is fair to say that Birmingham City should have come home with the three points.
But, as they were not clinical in front of goal, they were only able to score 1 goal, thereby, underachieving their xG. Barnsley did have some short spells where they played good football, especially in the beginning of the second half, but couldn’t get another goal.
Barnsley should be the happier team after the draw, as deep down they would know that Birmingham were the much better team on the day.
The xT(expected threat) timeline in the above visual clearly depicts that the home side were unable to pose any serious threat on the opposition goal through their passing or shooting.
Birmingham clearly dominated the xT stat all over the 90 minutes. The Blues were in shock after conceding the early goal, and took 15-20 minutes to settle down. The xG timeline also very clearly shows that once they settled down, there was a very high level of domination by Birmingham. It would be fair to say that Birmingham City cannot be happy with this result, as their performance was much better than their opponents, but they were only able to get the equalizer.
The overall accumulated xG of Birmingham City is 7.69, which is the 5th highest in the league, despite them being 8th in the league table.
Birmingham City have played 3 games away from home so far, winning and keeping clean sheets in the first two, and getting a point in the third. Their away form has been much better than the home form, as they have lost one and drew the other game at home and are yet to score at home in the Championship this season.
The Blues have shown that when they are away from home, they are more fearless as no one is expecting them to win. While at home, when everyone expects them to win, they have choked.
This shows that Birmingham City need to play more fearlessly if they want to achieve the ambition to at least qualify for the promotion play-offs for the Premier League at the end of the season.
If they keep up their amazing away run and also improve on their home form, they can be a serious challenger for one of the top 6 spots.