Pinch me… I must be dreaming.
14 – You won’t be surprised to learn that Wayne Rooney has scored 14 goals against Arsenal in 31 appearances in all competitions. We are his favorite team to score against, tied with Aston Villa
1 – In the Premier League, Manchester United have only had one card for diving, they were rightly shown two today
4 – di Maria has been sent off 4 times in his career, this is the first time he has been sent off playing for Man U
1 – Since Arsenal’s blow-out-pre-trolley-dash loss to Man U at Old Trafford, the matches between Arsenal and United have all been decided by a goal or less. There have been three 2-1 Arsenal losses, a 1-0 loss, a 1-1 draw, a 0-0 draw, and this TWO FUCKING ONE WIN!
8 – Welbeck now has 8 goals for Arsenal this season, Falcao has 4 for Man U
1 – Danny Welbeck also has 1 goal celebration in front of Man U fans, ending this ridiculous “no-celebration” guff.
64,000 – Number of United fans who booed Welbeck off the pitch
10,000 – Number of Arsenal fans who were applauded by Welbeck after the match
10,000 – Number of Arsenal fans the world heard on television singing for 90 minutes
1 – Number of crickets you could have heard singing in the United end
Stats from this match
22 – Number of fouls Man U committed
8 – Number of fouls Fellaini committed (well, number he was called for)
7 – Number of fouls Fellaini committed before he was yellow carded
1 – Number of reasons I call him “Foullani” — which admittedly isn’t clever or funny
476 – United dominated the passing in this match, 476-353 — that’s 123 more passes — but they only attempted 12 more passes in the Arsenal final third than Arsenal did in theirs 159-147
33 – Put another way, Man U attempted 33% of their passing volume in the Arsenal final third, but Arsenal attempted 42% of their passes in the United third. With Özil, Cazorla, Ox and Sanchez hitting quick transitions, Arsenal bypassed the midfield and allowed United to make 107 more passes than them in that zone.
Another way I could show you that Arsenal were on the front foot more than United is that Arsenal’s top three players in terms of touches were Ozil, Cazorla, and Alexis. Their top three were Valencia, Blind, and Fellaini.
33 – Arsenal attempted 33 dribbles and won an amazing 22 of them
11 – United attempted 27 dribbles but only won 11
12 – Young, di Maria, and Januzaj each had 4 failed dribbles (leading their team) for 12 total failed takeons and were only successful 4 times combined
5 – Ox alone had 5 (was 5/6) successful dribbles for Arsenal, Oziil was 3/6, Cazorla was 3/5, and Sanchez was 3/4
51 – All these Arsenal dribbles meant that United actually attempted 51 tackles in the game and Arsenal attempted just 41
30 – But Arsenal won 30 tackles to United’s 28!
13 – Valencia attempted 13 tackles (he won 8) – Arsenal targeted that side of the pitch
9 – Blind attempted 9 tackles (he won 3)
7 – Cazorla… I looked at Cazorla’s heat map and noticed that he played quite deep in this match. Then I wondered how may tackles he made… he was 6/7. More on Cazorla in a minute
21 – Arsenal won 21/36 aerial duels
7 – Koscielny won 7
5 – Fellaini won 5
33 – Koscielny won 33% of Arsenal’s aerial duels
This is the theme here. As a team, Arsenal won the majority of the individual duels. I know that sounds contradictory (as a team/individual) but that’s how Arsenal played. They were compact in their shape and pressed as a team. But when they were in 1v1 situations they won the challenges. Like Welbeck’s goal: Arsenal pressed as a team and forced the poor pass, but Welbeck still needed to beat de Gea with a dribble to score the winner. Team shape and discipline with huge individual effort won the day.
And not only that, but they stood up to United when they started to flex their muscles.
Coquelin was immense. He stood up to Fellaini time and again and got stuck in to win the ball back when his teammates turned it over. He ended up drawing 6 fouls from Fellaini. He also made 4 tackles.
Coquelin’s midfield partner was also immense, despite getting a haircut that reduced him back down to 5’2″. Cazorla led both teams with 6 tackles, was second in dribbles (3), shots (3), passes (40), created a shot for a teammate, and probably should have scored if not for the hot hands of de Gea.
I was sad that Ox went out, he was Arsenal’s biggest threat down the wings. Hopefully, we figure out what went wrong with him just like we did with Ramsey and he gets back soon. But how about Wenger leaving Walcott on the bench? That sent chills down the spine.
I’m rambling now… I need to go have a drink to calm my nerves.
Up the Arse!