If you are regular reader of this website firstly thanks and secondly you may well be aware that my quest for working out shot efficiency has taken me across the five major leagues in Europe. They of course being the Premier League, La Liga, Ligue 1, Serie A and the Bundesliga. But now I’ve decided to look at the cream of the crop and expand the reach ever so slightly as I now look at the best teams in Europe by analysing the Champions League.

Exactly the same process as before but now we shall look to see who is the most efficient of the 32 clubs currently in the continent’s top club competition.

The layout of this will differ slightly because there are no league tables as such as and the separate groups of four teams each will not really tell us a story, so I will simply rank the 32 teams in order of efficiency in front of goal.

Once again thanks to whoscored.com for all the necessary data.

Here is the Champions League shot efficiency rankings after Matchday 4

Team Goals Total Shots Shot Efficency
Paris Saint Germain 17 63 3.7
Besiktas 8 37 4.7
Tottenham 10 50 5.0
Manchester City 12 61 5.1
FC Basel 1893 8 47 5.9
Chelsea 11 65 5.9
Manchester United 10 60 6.0
Spartak Moscow 8 48 6.0
FC Porto 9 58 6.4
Shakhtar Donetsk 7 45 6.5
Sporting CP 5 34 6.8
Napoli 7 48 6.9
Liverpool 13 89 6.9
Roma 8 55 6.9
Sevilla 8 60 7.5
Celtic 4 36 9.0
Barcelona 7 63 9.0
Bayern Munich 8 79 9.9
Olympiacos 3 31 10.4
CSKA Moscow 5 52 10.4
Real Madrid 8 84 10.5
RasenBallsport Leipzig 5 59 11.8
Feyenoord 3 37 12.4
Juventus 5 69 13.8
Monaco 3 44 14.7
Qarabag FK 2 31 15.6
APOEL Nicosia 2 31 15.6
Borussia Dortmund 4 71 17.8
Atletico Madrid 2 78 39.0
Maribor 1 45 45.2
Benfica 1 53 53.2
Anderlecht 0 #N/A #N/A

So here are the 32 teams ranked from top to bottom – what I will do now is split these into two graphs of 16 teams each as a full graph would be a little cumbersome to digest.

Champions League Top 16


It probably comes as no surprise that PSG top the charts as they have been steamrollering everything that has gone before them in the Champions League this season. They require just 3.7 shots on goal before breaching the opposition’s net.

The fact that they are clearly the top scorers in the competition after Matchday 4 will go a long way to creating their current efficiency ranking. What is more startling is the fact that they are nowhere near the top creators in terms of chances this season.

That honour is bestowed to Liverpool who have created 89 chances in the Champions League this season but in comparison have only registered a shot efficiency ranking of 6.9 shots per goal. That said when you look at the top 16 the fact that all teams need 9 shots or less is quite a revealing outcome.

Is this because we are seeing the best teams in action or is it more down to the fact that less games have been played, to be honest it is something that probably points to the former but it is certainly something to look out for over the next two matchdays.

Besiktas are the surprise outfit in Europe as they are the second most efficient team in the Champions League this season the Turkish outfit need 4.7 chances before scoring they may have only scored 8 goals but at the same time have only needed 37 shots in which to do so.

While Tottenham sit third in this particular table, with qualification for the Round of 16 already secured they require just 5.0 shots per goal. Their 50 efforts from their first four matches has yielded 10 goals, they are averaging 12.5 shots per game and scoring 2.5.

Manchester City may well be rolling over all and sundry in the Premier League but they are not quite having it all their own way in Europe as Pep Guardiola’s men sit fourth on 5.1 while their Manchester neighbours United require exactly six shots before scoring in Europe this season.

And for posterity here are the teams ranked from 17 to 32


Spare a thought for Anderlecht who sit bottom of the charts by virtue of the fact that they are still yet to score in the competition they therefore have a ranking of N/A. This is the first time this has come around in any of my articles but I guess it is understandable after just four games played.

Benfica do not fare much better though as they have created an eye watering 53 shots in return for just one goal, for comaprison that is around the same measure as Cristiano Ronaldo this season who has had 49 La Liga efforts with just a solitary strike to his name.

And Real Madrid find themselves in the bottom 16 along with the likes of Barcelona, Bayern Munich and cross town rivals Atletico. Barca are perhaps unfortunate to be on the list as they are level with Celtic and in fairness they should probably be the other way around.

While Bayern Munich and Real Madrid require in and around 10 shots per goal, double that of Tottenham. Even 10 shots per goal is nothing to be too concerned about it’s just that the barrier of entry seems to be high to get in the top half of the table.

As there is no league variance graphs to report on what I will do for Matchday 5 is show how the teams have moved up and down the rankings after this coming week’s fixtures that way we will be able to see how those results have had an effect on the shot efficiency.

Atletico Madrid have had a tournament to forget so far and it shows by the fact that they have a shot efficiency ranking of 39.0, that is more than 10 times higher than PSG. Diego Simeone’s teams are usually built on a bedrock of defence but their attack is definitely letting them down in the Champions League.

There is limited scope with the Champions League due to the nature of the competition, we could filter down to teams that qualify for the Round of 16 and so on, but then we will be working with a smaller sample each time. I’ll weight that up when we reach that stage next year.


I hope this was of interest to you and if you have any football data work available then please contact me at realfootballmanwordpress@gmail.com as I am always looking to undertake additional projects to the ones I already have. Thanks, Dan.