WATCH: Lille forward misses open goal that Opta says should be scored 96% of the time
Lille forward Remy Cabella missed a remarkable open goal during his side's 1-0 loss to Reims in Ligue 1 on Saturday, which sports analytics company and statisticians Opta attributed an Expected Goals (xG) Value of 0.96 to.
Marshall Munetsi had put Reims 1-0 up in the first half of the game, but Lille had a great opportunity to equalise in the 59th minute when winger Edon Zhegrova squared the ball across the face of the goal to Cabella.
Just a couple of yards out and in the centre of the goal after sprinting in, Cabella missed the chance after only making contact with the ball with his heel. The goalkeeper, seemingly taken out of the game by Zhegrova's pass, managed to claw Cabella's shot away from the net and keep Reims' advantage.
The 33-year-old's miss is the highest xG value for a shot not ending in a goal this season in Ligue 1, and perhaps ever in the French top tier. However, Opta have made changes to their xG model, meaning it is inconclusive whether it is the worst recorded miss.
"Comparing the values to the nearest hundredth with previous shots is a bit limiting from a methodological point of view because they are not based on exactly the same parameters”, Opta stated.
For comparison, Dwight McNeil's first goal in Everton's 5-1 win away against Brighton on Monday had an xG of 0.99, meaning he is expected to score 99 times out of 100.
Expected Goals measures the quality of a chance by calculating the likelihood that it will be scored from a particular position on the pitch during a particular phase of play.
This value is based on several factors from before the shot was taken. xG is measured on a scale between zero and one, where zero represents a chance that is impossible to score and one represents a chance that a player would be expected to score every single time.
That miss means Lille are now five points behind Monaco in the hunt for the Europa League with just four games remaining in Ligue 1.