Philippe Coutinho is best finisher in Week 1; Arsenal with three in Top 5

Finishing a game was again a pain point for the Arsenal, as highlighted here as the bad for the Gunners. However, individual Arsenal players were effective at finishing the opportunities they created in their first match of the 2016-17 season. Three players, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott (yes, that Theo Walcott) and Calum Chambers, all made the top five. No other team had more than one player in the top 10; Hull City had two in the top 15 (6 and 14). Top finishers were determined by ranking players by the difference between their goals and expected goal value.

Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho was by far the best with a 1.49 G-xG. The 24-year-old Brazilian international impressed with a brace in Liverpool’s season opening 3-4 win at Arsenal. Two goals from three shots totaling 0.51 xG made Coutinho, by far, the best finisher in Week 1. His direct free kick goal in first half stoppage time leveled the score for The Reds, then his 56’ goal gave Liverpool a 1-3 lead. Additionally, Coutinho made two key passes, though neither resulted in an assist.


His Sportify Player Rating was an 85, with a breakdown of 100/60/29 for offense/possession/defense. He was second to new arrival Sadio Mané, who played the full 90 and had a goal of his own. Mané was rated 89 with a breakdown of 100/68/51.

This is the second consecutive season in which Coutinho scored in the seasoner opener for Liverpool. In the 2015-16 inaugural match against Stoke City, Coutinho scored the winner in the final moments of the game. He was rated a 68 (56/72/78) for that performance.

Eden Hazard represented Chelsea as the fourth best finisher with a 0.91 G-xG.

2016-17 EPL: Top Finishers, Week 1