Friday, December 8, 2023

Them 2-2 Arsenal: Man Down Comeback By the Numbers

As we have talked about in the past, red cards radically alter the stats in games. The team with the red card usually defends more, passes a lot less, and turns into a tackling, clearing, saving, intercepting team. While the team without the red card basically dominates all the positive stats. That happened today, but only in one category: Tottenham took 26 shots to Arsenal’s 10.

Despite the disparity in shooting stats both teams shared possession of the football in almost every phase of play:


And just to show how unusual that box score is, here is an almost identical match between two top four teams, one team gets a stupid red card, and the team with the man advantage is chasing the game. Yes I’m talking about Arsenal v. Leicester:

That’s a much more typical box score when a team gets a man advantage and they are chasing a game.

In case you’re not getting what I’m saying here you could look at this two ways: Tottenham had a huge advantage (an added expected 0.60 goals on average) and let it slip or Arsenal were just so great that they stopped Spurs from exploiting their advantage, forcing them to shoot from distance where they were less likely to score. Though Harry Kane did score an absolute gem from outside the box at a ridiculous angle.

By the way, I had to ask Opta’s Arsenal stats guy @Orbinho for the last time that Arsenal took points from a man down position in a Premier League match because I couldn’t find it. You have to go all the way back to Bolton away in March of 2008.  Arsenal won that game 3-2.

Whip and Elneny

71 – Percent of their passes that Arsenal completed
75 – Percent of their passes that Tottenham completed
97 – Percent of his 37 passes that Moussa Dembele completed (led all players)
81 – Percent of his 41 passes that Elneny completed (2nd best at Arsenal)
82 – Percent of his 50 passes that Özil completed (led Arsenal)
60 – Percent of his 58 passes that Ramsey completed (worst on Arsenal)
60 – Percent of their combined 71 passes that the Tottenham fullbacks, Danny Rose and Kyle Walker Texas Ranger,, completed (worst on Tottenham)
78 – Percent of his 41 passes that Ramsey’s right-side partner and Arsenal fullback, Bellerin, completed
64 – Percent of his 45 passes that Kieran Gibbs completed
7 – Passes in the final third by Bellerin (of 9 attempted)
3 – Key passes by Bellerin (led Arsenal)
2 – Assists by Bellerin (led all players)
4 – Successful dribbles by Bellerin (of 6)
0 – Successful dribbles by Ramsey (of 4)
0 – Successful dribbles by Sanchez (of 5)
0 – Successful dribbles by Alley, Lame, Kane, and Eriksen combined (of 10)
14 – Ball recoveries by Ramsey (led all players)
10 – Ball recoveries by Elneny
7 – Tackles by Dembele (of 7, led all players)
5 – Tackles by Bellerin (of 7,  led Arsenal)
4 – Tackles each by Ramsey and Welbeck
0 – Tackles by Elneny (of 1)
8 – Matches Ramsey had started since his last goal
7 – Matches Sanchez had played since his last goal
1 – Pretty special back heel goal by Ramsey
1 – Well taken shot from the right side by Alexis
2 – Superb assists by Bellerin, did I mention that already, that he got both assists? He did you know. Man of the match that kid.


All stats via Opta or my database

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La Défense

Could’ve been worse


They seemed like a team who knew they had to step up to do a collective job without the comforting presence of Cech. The GK situation might just be the shake up they need.


The shake up they need? To do what? Not finish outside the top 4? Win the title next year? Come on.


So we have a playmaker in our RB position? 🙂


I’m glad “the premier league’s hardest working team” got shown up not being able to beat 10 man arsenal for over a third of the match


Oh well,with the gap now extended to 8 points,Wenger can now concentrate on the job he knows how to do best and that’s securing the champions league place and finishing above sp*rs.Can’t understand how these motivates him more than going for the Epl title.

Arsene's zip

I am so fucking bored of this type of bollocks.


Sp*rs will cumble, I have no doubt about that. The problem this year is Leicester. They remind me of Chelsea last year. Not many injuries so they can play with their optimal team for most of the season. How does Kante pull a hamstring and runs like nothing happened a week later? I hope Southampton, Everton, West Ham, United, and heck even Chelsea will get a result against them.


If Man City win their game in hand they are 1 point above us, I would worry about them as well. If they go on a run they can move quickly up the table, if United also go on a run we could see ourselves drop out of the top 4. I’m worried, Arsenal have been poor for 2 months now.


Ramsey’s goal did put a smile on my face about Arsenal for the first time since Welbeck’s winner against Leicester. Absolutely brilliant. Imagine if Messi had done that.


Actually, so did Campbell’s against Swansea, to be fair. That was also a fantastic goal, but buried under the weight of our subsequent collapse.


Fucking Leicester are doping. Kante pulled his hamstring and came back in a week.
Mahrez Un-pulled\ ran off his hamstring. How is that even possible?

Phil C

Drugs. They will get found out!


Probably everyone is doping. I’m only basing that on the amount of money at stake and that I think it’s more Han hard to maintain some of those physiques when you run the equivalent of a marathon every week. Does Paula Radcliffe have a body like Kompany or Ronaldo? No because if you run a lot you get a different body shale




Not to say I believe they are doping, but I think there is doping in football and I hope one day the truth will come out.


Aha! I half jokingly commented this a month or so ago and got major down votes for it!

they’ve also had far fewer matches to play.


It’s called different grading of hamstring strains. Theirs was probably a grade 1, which takes about a week to recover. No doping can cure a grade-3 type hamstring strain in a week. Doping or not, just because arsenal’s injury management is poor doesn’t mean anyone that has a better injury record are “doping”. People need to be careful of just accusing clubs. I’m sure there is doping in football (as someone who worked in football as a sports scientist, I don’t believe there is a doping culture in England football. Abroad like Italy? Maybe), but people need to be aware… Read more »


Good figures and result considering.
Stung into action after the crowd reaction midweek id say. Thank god we didnt lose to those cunts.


For the first 30 minutes, it felt like our creative fulcrum of Alexis, Ozil and Ramsey had decided that our recent dip in performances could only be solved by abusing the backheel pass (any stats on how many unsuccessful attempts we made in that first half?).

Just as the frustration of watching us give the ball away so cheaply was starting to get to me and I was all set to yell “ENOUGH WITH THE BACKHEELS, FFS!”, Ramsey nailed one past Lloris. Therefore, I must conclude that the backheel shot>>>>>the backheel pass.


We kept passing it behind our forward running players who on many occasions tried to rescue it by sticking their leg out backwards.
It’s our passing that has cost us over the past few games….imo.


It felt bizarre how many backheels were attempted in our own half in such a high pressure game! I like Ramsey and he scored a great goal but I feel like he needs to be sat down and given a talking to sometimes to just keep it f’ing simple! He slips into these periods where it’s all fancy play and trying to do too much. Hope he comes good again a la 2013/4 where he scored all those goals and was truly world-class

Vladimir Petrovic.

I hate having to scroll through loads of Avon ads to comment.


Clear your cookies if not your complexion! 🙂


It’s going to happen again Spuds!


Could we please now spank Hull….thank you.


We need to post everywhere on the internet “how to beat Leicester” because it seems like we’re the only ones who know how to do it. Maybe send some ninjas to the other clubs and whisper in their managers’ ear in their sleep.

Man Manny

6 – The number of games I expect Leceister to drop points: Soton, Sund, West Ham, Everton, Man United and Chelsea.
The downside is: will we capitalize? 8 points is a sizeable gap but City did it 4 seasons ago, albeit with a very good team.
We also have difficult games with Everton, West Ham and City.
I will remain hopeful until it is mathematically impossible.


I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s actually against the bottom teams that they drop points. Indeed such teams will be defending like their lives were at stake… which is actually kind of the case. No one wants to miss out on the PL next year with all the TV money.


Dribbling.. One thing bellerin hasn’t done so much lately.. One thing bellerin should do more often! Plus some naughty assists.. Another player that can really make a difference on his day..


anyone more worried by man city

Seeing Sounds

If pool can spank 3-0 past them so can we! Pellegrini won what he could and on the day I think we will want the win more and wee will get it.


Why has it taken Wenger so long to realize that in Cazorla’s absence we need three men midfield? Why we alway concede in five minutes after red card? Why Arsenal as club doesn’t make some compilation of refs’ mistakes and come in public(although we’re guilty for not being first and I hate that kind of exuses I’m sick of refs destroying our chances-game vs spurs:Coq was fouled before first yellow card,clear second yellow for Dier,clear second yellow for Lamela(instead Alexis got one))…goal for Swansea after foul on Ozil,Drinkwater not getting red card,Vardy penalty,Costa’s simulation and red card for Per,Gabriel’s red… Read more »

Me So Hornsey

And Ramsey’s ‘winner’ at home to Liverpool.


To be honest, the refs are so shit that they make the same mistakes in every game, you’re just not watching close enough. The only team I’d say has been lucky with refs is probably Leicester.


The refs missed two hand balls at crucial times in Southampton game at Emirates and Man U game at Old Trafford.

Dick Swiveller

We’ve been saying it for years, and nobody listens, they just mutter something about not winning anything and how it’s all a distraction and it all evens out anyway.

I know that every club thinks that the referees are against them, it’s just a bugger to prove it when you’re actually right.


Hide him on the right! Let him help out on defense but not be responsible for it. He’s a special talent, but on this team, that’s where he plays — except when injuries, cards and suspensions require otherwise!


In addition to being a jack of all trades, or because of it, his minutes for our attacking players must be very high. He catches abuse, he should also catch a lot of slack.


Opta Stats for Gabriel Paulista in the game against Spurs, from WhoScored: 4 blocks of shots on goal — led all players of both teams 12 clearances — led all players of both teams Only 17 passes — the lowest of all players of both teams Only 1 long pass — joint lowest of all players of both teams Only 1 interception — compares with 7 intercepts by Merte and 6 by Coquelin Did no dribble attempts Never touched the ball with his feet in the opposition half of the field Was never dispossessed of the ball (was rarely in… Read more »

George Gunner

Ospina doesn’t inspire confidence. Granted he pushed away 2 Spurs shots but any Spur
lurking could have scored.


Alexis scoring right position, not an outside left…maybe we shud try playing him there more often

Gooners & Roses

I think i remember that Bolton game, Diaby got sent off in the 1st half.

But that season we have to comeback quite a few times, even on 11 players.

Diaby's Glasslegs

lama pushed Alexis before the eyes of the linesman. I guess the linesman dint see that. As for Leicester whatever pill i saw vardy take before the match we beat them makes me wonder if it was a swimmimg pill. That boy dives!! Our match yesterday left me bitter coz it showed just what we didn’t do in some past matches. Work for a result. Rambo almost nailed it at the death but still reminded us how poor we are at finishing. Thank God we’re skipping spuds after the next 2.


I still watch Bellerin and smile, knowing that we can bring up a player of such quality from the development. He does not have a UEFA youth league medal like Chelski’s young millionaires or even an FA youth cup medal like them. It shows how results do not matter at youth level, but the development of the individual’s strengths of each individual and the discipline we entrench in them. Look at Kyle Ebecillio and Ozyakup. I cant wait to see how Gedion (8 assists for Rangers this season), Maitland Niles, Toral, Hayden, Akpom and Wellington will do. Arsenal’s future looks… Read more »


‘Kyle walker texas ranger’. Fucking brilliant improvisation from blogs!


AFAIK couple years ago we won at Selhurst Park while Mikel was sent off…

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