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CIES

Manchester United & Barcelona top Europe's shooting list

Diogo Dalot (Manchester United) y Leo Messi (Barcelona).

According to the statistical analysis by the International Football Observatory (CIES), the two giants have the best figures of the big five leagues.

The International Football Observatory (CIES), has prepared a report on the percentage of success facing the goal of the football teams of the five major European leagues. In the study they compared the total number of shots taken by teams with the number that were on target. They also included the average distance from goal of those efforts.

United and Barça on target from distance

Manchester United have proven to be the most accurate when shooting at the opposition goal. Almost half of their shots (48.6%) have ended up on target. The team now led by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer - previously by José Mourinho - has totalled 383 shots, of which 186 found a place between the posts and under the bar. Interstestingly, the average distance of their efforts has been 17.8 metres, over a metre outside the 16.5m penalty area.

Second on the list is LaLiga champions Barcelona. Ernesto Valverde's side have tried their luck a total of 393 times this season and seen 190 of them reaching their target, a rate of 48.3%. They too match the 17.8 metres average shooting distance of The Red Devils.

Among the other Spanish teams in the top 20, Girona came in fourth position with 45.8% of their efforts on target and Huesca in 17th with 42.3%. Notable by their absence are Atlético and Real Madrid.

The 20 clubs based on 'shots on target' (big five European leagues)

Place Team Country Shots* On target Percentage Av. distance (m)
1 Manchester United England 383 186 48.6 17.80
2 Barcelona Spain 393 190 48.3 17.80
3 Borussia Dortmund Germany 307 142 46.3 16.80
4 Girona Spain 240 110 45.8 18.50
5 Liverpool England 406 185 45.6 16.60
6 Hertha Berlín Germany 257 116 45.1 16.60
7 PSG France 411 185 45.0 16.50
8 Bayer Leverkusen Germany 341 149 43.7 17.80
9 Eintracht Frankfurt Germany 268 117 43.7 16.50
10 Bayern Munich Germany 395 170 43.0 15.80
11 Tottenham England 369 158 42.8 17.40
12 Manchester City England 483 206 42.7 16.60
13 RB Leipzig Germany 329 140 42.6 16.50
14 Sampdoria Italy 292 124 42.5 18.60
15 B. Mönchengladbach Germany 297 126 42.4 18.00
16 Wolfsburgo Germany 281 119 42.3 17.20
17 Huesca Spain 291 123 42.3 18.80
18 Hoffenheim Germany 386 163 42.2 17.30
19 Fortuna Düsseldorf Germany 280 118 42.1 18.40
20 Arsenal England 347 146 42.1 16.90

*Data collated 1 July 2018 to 6 March 2019

Ajax likely to hit a barn door with a banjo

Outside of the five major leagues, it is Los Blancos' recent conquerors Ajax who have the highest percentage of hitting the target. More than half of their efforts in the Eredivisie (50.4%) need an intervention to prevent a goal.

Of course, hitting the target is one thing, scoring goals is another. A quick comparison of United's Premier League total against that of their neighbours Man City shows a deficit of 21 goals (58 vs 79).