2012-13 Premier League’s best and worst finishers

A goalscoring striker is every team’s dream. And whilst your team’s striker may be banging in double figures a season, you know how frustrating it can be if he’s wasting chance after chance. Arsenal fans have felt that way at times this season with Olivier Giroud and Tottenham for several seasons with Jermain Defoe.

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Here’s a list of the Premier League’s top scorers, most clinical finishers and those who failed to score in front of goal during the 2012-13 season.

Top Scorers

The following chart shows the top 10 Premier League goals, as well as other important statistics such as the number of shots taken and shooting accuracy:

Premier League 2012-13 top scorers

3 of Robin van Persie’s 26 goals came from the penalty spot, whilst Luis Suárez didn’t score a single spot kick all season. The Dutch striker was the only Manchester United player to feature in all 38 Premier League games this season, starting 35 of those.

Luis Suárez missed 5 games through suspension but the Uruguayan still managed to lead the league in attempts on goal. His 187 shots on goal were 22 more than Gareth Bale who was next on the chart. This resulted in Suárez having the lowest shots to goals conversion rate in the top 10.

Frank Lampard was lethal in front of goal once more this season, scoring with 15 of his 31 shots on target and had the highest conversion rate of those in the top 10.

Clinical Finishers

Here is the top 10 players with the highest conversion rate (shots to goals) amongst players who scored at least 10 goals:

10. Juan Mata (Chelsea) – 17% Conversion Rate (12 goals from 70 shots)
The Chelsea playmaker ended up as the club’s second top goalscorer in the 2012-13 Premier League from midfield, behind Frank Lampard. The Spaniard scored 4 of these from outside the penalty area and wasn’t afraid to have a shot from long range. Juan Mata scored winning goals at Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham in the Premier League this season and also scored in the 2-1 home victory versus Arsenal. He Mata also led the Premier League with 12 assists and was one of six nominees for PFA Player of the Season.

9. Romelu Lukaku (West Bromwich Albion) – 17% Conversion Rate (17 goals from 99 shots)
Technically a second Chelsea player in the list, Romelu Lukaku impressed during his season-long loan at West Bromwich Albion scoring 17 goals which included becoming only the third player to score a Premier League hat-trick versus Manchester United and only the fifth in the history of the league to score three goals as a substitute. The Belgian was a bit of an all-rounder, scoring a few goals with each his left foot, right foot and head.

8. Christian Benteke (Aston Villa) – 18% Conversion Rate (19 goals from 104 shots)
A contender for signing of the season from Paul Lambert as Aston Villa took Christian Benteke in a £7 million deal from Racing Club Genk on transfer deadline day. The Belgian striker preceded to score 19 of his side’s 47 goals (40% – the highest percentage by any one player for a single club) and was quite literally the difference between the Villans staying up and going down.

7. Robin van Persie (Manchester United) – 18% Conversion Rate (26 goals from 141 shots)
Manchester United’s most expensive summer signing proved to be a big helping hand in Sir Alex Ferguson leading the Red Devils to their 20th English top flight title before announcing his retirement at the end of the season. In particular, van Persie scored a number of important goals at the beginning of the season; including winners at Southampton (3-2), Liverpool (2-1) and Manchester City (3-2) all before Christmas. Finished as the league’s top scorer with 26 goals.

6. Dimitar Berbatov (Fulham) – 19% Conversion Rate (15 goals from 81 shots)
Fulham’s deadline day signing of Dimitar Berbatov from Manchester United proved important to Martin Jol’s side. The Bulgarian scored 30% of the Cottagers’ Premier League goals and 45% of Fulham’s goals between New Year’s Day and the end of the season. Bryan Ruiz and Mladen Petrić were next on the charts with 15 goals and Petrić scored his last in mid-December.

5. Frank Lampard (Chelsea) – 19% Conversion Rate (15 goals from 80 shots)
The joint-top English goalscorer in the 21st season of the Premier League, Frank Lampard went into the Chelsea’s history books as their all-time top scorer in all competitions this season in which he led the club in Premier League goals despite only starting 21 games. 9 of these goals came in 2013 as he earned himself the trust of Rafa Benítez and a one-year contract extension at the end of it. Which is more than the manager got.

4. Steven Fletcher (Sunderland) – 20% Conversion Rate (11 goals from 55 shots)
Despite missing the final few games of the season through injury, Steven Fletcher still scored important goals through the 2012-13 campaign hat helped Sunderland narrowly avoid relegation. He scored in each of his first four appearances for the Black Cats, whom lost only one game in which their top goalscorer scored.

3. Lukas Podolski (Arsenal) – 20% Conversion Rate (11 goals from 54 shots)
Lukas Podolski’s lethal left foot scored 9 Premier League goals in his debut season after joining from a 1. FC Köln side who had been relegated from the German Bundesliga. 2 more headed goals took the German to 11 for the season. Bizarrely only finished 2 of the 25 Premier League games he started this season, compared to 3 out of 6 in the Champions League. Podolski put in a good performance during 2012-13 which included 9 assists.

2. Adam Le Fondre (Reading) – 22% Conversion Rate (12 goals from 55 shots)
The Premier League’s most dangerous substitute during the past season as Adam Le Fondre scored a record 8 goals from the bench in a relegation effort from Reading. The Royals striker also became the first player to claim a Premier League Player of the Month award without starting a single game as he scored all 5 of his goals in January from the bench, which included picking up 7 points from 3 games for Reading.

1. Javier Hernández (Manchester United) – 23% Conversion Rate (10 goals from 44 shots)
Javier Hernández made more appearances as a substitute (13) than he did as a starter (9) last season, but the Manchester United striker proved to be the most deadly in front of goals with a league high 23% of his shots finding the back of the net (amongst strikers with at least 10 goals). His most significant were perhaps the winner at 10-man Chelsea. the late winner at Aston Villa back in November (after scoring from the first in a 3-2 win from 0-2), and a 90th minute winner on Boxing Day versus Newcastle.

Failures in front of goal

1. Jobi McAnuff (Reading) – 43 shots, 0 goals
2. Ki Sung-Yueng (Swansea City) – 38 shots, 0 goals
3. Stéphane Mbia (Queens Park Rangers) – 34 shots, 0 goals
4. Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur) – 31 shots, 0 goals
5. John Arne Riise (Fulham) – 29 shots, 0 goals

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