Arsenal 3-0 Chelsea: By the Numbers


Big games rarely produce memorable statistical performances by Arsenal but on the eve of Arsene Wenger’s 20th anniversary Arsenal uncorked a perfect Alsace Grands Cru from the dusty cellar and gave us all a taste of Wenger’s timeless style.

Possession was locked at 50-50 with Chelsea completing just 5 more passes than Arsenal across the entire pitch. But that stat is misleading as Arsenal were the more forward of the two teams with Wenger’s boys dominating the opposition final third 157 to 139. Arsenal also made more passes in the Chelsea 18 yard box with 17 completed to 9. And another stat that indicates Arsenal’s dominance in the Chelsea half is that the Gunners took 9 corners while Chelsea only 1.

More evidence of Wenger’s men generating the better of the chances is found in the shots ratio which Arsenal owned 14 to 9 and the shots on target which went 5-2. Arsenal also owned the advantage in Big Chances (one-v-ones and chances which the attacker should score) 2 to 1 with the Gunners scoring both of their chances (Alexis chip and Walcott’s finish) and Chelsea blocked by their former number 1 when he smothered Batshuayi’s only real chance in the match. Arsenal were the side which generated the best chances earliest as well with Chelsea failing to test Cech until the 81st minute – and that was a tame effort from 30 yards which Cech collected easily.

Arsenal’s oft maligned Mesut Özil, who was once accused of nicking a living by a man whose job is to write about sports in one sentence blurbs, was Arsenal’s most important attacking player. He led all players in final third passes with 34 (of 39), he created 3 chances for his teammates (also leading all players), he led all players with 3/3 dribbles (including one which killed Caesar), and he was part of a two-man fast break which finished the match when he turned Kante inside out like an old pair of underwear (pants for the Brits), played Alexis in, and scored his second goal of the season.

Just as a point of comparison, Chelsea’s leading pass maker in the Arsenal final third was their giant lump of a man, Nemanja Matic.

Alexis Sanchez may not be everyone’s cup of tea at center forward (tea doesn’t come from Chile) but he was near perfect in this match. He didn’t win a single header, and why would he, but he led all players with 4 shots. He scored just once off those shots, but it was a sublime Vela to get Arsenal started. That goal was generated entirely by Sanchez and a great example of how stats don’t tell the whole story (YES I FUCKING JUST WENT THERE). Sanchez won just 1 of 2 tackles but it was a tackle on Gary Cahill; that tackle set him free for a one-v-one (big chance) with Courtoise which he scored and left Cahill leaping over Courtoise while simultaneously holding his face in shame. He didn’t create in bulk with just two key passes but his return pass to Özil put the match to bed. He also led Arsenal with 2 through balls, neither of which found their man but both of which gave their defenders fits.

And apart from Arsenal’s attack the clean sheet is a huge credit to Arsenal’s defense. Tackles are often the measure of a defense but Arsene Wenger’s defenses are set up to intercept the ball before the need to tackle: Arsenal typically lead the League in interceptions despite dominating possession. Arsenal are currently second in the League in interceptions per game with 19.2 per game. This match didn’t disappoint in that regard and Arsenal won 24 interceptions to Chelsea’s 12. It shouldn’t surprise you, either, that Arsenal’s two center backs led Arsenal in interceptions, gathering the ball 10 times between them with Mustafi leading all players with 6.

Arsenal didn’t give up on tackles, however, and Mustafi, Xhaka, Koscielny, and Walcott all won the ball 3 times each. Özil and Bellerin both had 2, and even Sanchez got in a tackle. You may remember it, it was on Cahill, and he scored a goal.

You’ve already seen Koscielny’s name mentioned twice and he had a whale of a game. He led Arsenal with 2 blocks, 6/7 clearances, 4/5 headed clearances, and won all 4 of his defensive aerial duels. Chelsea’s game plan was to use Costa’s size and aggression against Arsenal’s back line but cross after cross came in and Koscielny simply won them all. Just an impressive match all around.

Diego Costa drew four fouls.

Cesc Fabregas was just 33/40 passing, 9/13 in the final third, and created zero chances for his teammates. But at least he also stepped on Coquelin with one of his customary snide tackles.


All stats from Opta via the 442 app and


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Alex Iwobi the ninja version of Ozil. Nobody even realises he’s on the pitch, but he quietly kills teams with his movement and close control and eye for the quick pass. This kid could be an Arsenal legend.

Remi vivas

I realise he’s on the pitch


They drink mate in Chile, about as compulsively as we Brits drink tea. I’m not quite sure what you’d call the equivalent of a cup of tea as it’s drunk from a sort of bowl with a metal straw rather than a cup. “Not everyone’s sort of bowl thing with a metal straw” doesn’t exactly trip off the tongue (especially when you’ve just burned your tongue on the aforementioned metal straw).

Sam I Am

Chimarrão in S. Brazil. Probably chamarron in Spanish. The ‘cup’ is a gourd or ‘cuia’. S. Brazil has a ver high rate of throat cancer due probably to the temperatura of the chimarrão.

Random Pun

Not really, you’re thinking of Argentina and Uruguay.
Chile consume a lot of tea (22 in tea consumption per capita).

Rasta Gunner

Coca Tea!!!


I’ve been sipping on that grand cru all day, and Jesus Christ does it taste good… On top of that I still have motd highlights still to watch, at the end of the day arsene can frustrate, confuse and even anger is sometimes, but one thing none of us can deny is that when it works we are absolutely spoiled… Let’s hope this is not a false dawn, but for some reason I think the squad is deep enough and mature enough to cope with the expectation now, prove me right boys. COYG


Koscielny… That is all


Still buzzing off this result. Can’t wait for the next game and I’m sure the players can’t either!!


11 – men on our team.


Diego Costa is a CUNT.

Campbell's forehead

Loving the fact that Walcott is in form, just hope he continues this for the rest of the season!

I do think now he knows his best position is on the right of the attack is some part of this. He can still drift into that centre forward role and the fact Alexis drops deep will allow him to do this. An example of this is his goal against Chelsea.

Hereford gooner

Every time theo finds form you just know that a six – twelve month lay-off is in the waiting

Little Mozart

I rather enjoyed that.


1- Arsene Wenger

Fat Tony

Just shoot Granit, just shoot… on the halfway line? Who gives a fuck? Just shoot.

Third Plebeian

Eats, shoots & leaves.

Just shoot Granit.

Just shoot, Granit.


Just wanna say I really love the “By the numbers”-series. Always aching to see them up the day after a match, keep it up!

Thierry Walcott

I saw you also mentioned Walcott having 3 successful tackles, holy shit! #COYG


It really was a complete performance by the boys and so satisfying. I would have taken a smash and grab one nil 93rd minute scrappy own goal victory too mind you, but this was just better. Love it when we play and win like this.


Loved the way Ozil ran the show – his alter ego won an Emmy as Mr Robot, he should get an award for this too.

Hopefully Iwobi can learn from Theo’s newfound defensive qualities to give Nacho a bit more cover, Will.Ian was getting too much space in the first quarter.

Have you got the numbers on Hector’s speed to make that tackle?


Mustafi in the squad,what a warrior!
And tbh I think he has spurred Ozil on having a fellow German there,the ear pinch was quite funny.

Stewart Robson's therapist

If this experiment with Alexis up front is working, and it seems to be, have we then somehow managed to put together the strongest team in the league? I’ve been comparing our boys to Manchester City’s and I can’t see any position on the field where we don’t either match or surpass them. I certainly think that our goalkeeper and defenders are stronger than theirs. In midfield, I think that Xhaka, Cazorla and Ozil at the very least matches Fernandinho, David Silva and Kevin de Bruyne. Walcott in his current form can match Nolito, while Iwobi is at least a… Read more »

Clock End Mike

Remember that Citeh were 5 points ahead of Arsenal at the same stage last season, too; they finished 5 points behind the Gunners, in 4th place. Plus ca change…


We can talk to alexis’ 100th too, what a match for alexis and wenger birthdays !


Any stats on Sanchez dribbling?

And I’m not a native english speaker, does it mean Costa had been fouled 4 times by Arsenal? Or the other way around?



Costa fouled by Arsenal


Costa was fouled 4 times by Arsenal, yes


Even I enjoy stats like this.:D

Good to see Ozil highlighted He had a MASSIVE game.

Media can wake up and pay attention.


How come no one ever mention Iwobi? His blitz turn to front was epic and that defence splitting assist to Walcott could only made by genius. Man.


Whops not exactly direct assist is what I meant. So Iwobi gives it to Bellerin and leads to Walcott’s goal.


that pre-assist was sublime

Max TIlley

Who is this Walcott chap? When did we sign him and where did he come from?


Who is the team at the top of the league on interceptions?

Cornelius P. Snuffington III

West Ham, of all teams. And it’s not even close – 25 per game for West Ham, 19.2 for Arsenal.

But Tim said Arsenal typically lead the league in interceptions, that’s not really true. Here’s their final standing for interceptions per game from the past six seasons:

2015-16: 2nd
2014-15: 1st
2013-14: 8th
2012-13: 8th
2011-12: 11th
2010-11: 3rd


Hmm. Let’s start looking, not with the six year reference point you propose but with the year our Coq thrust his way into the lineup. His rise changed our style of play, I think. So that would be this year, 2015-16, and 2014-15. Have I got that right? If so, we are talking 1st, 2nd, 2nd. Based on that sample, rather than the larger one you chose “leading the league” is only a mild piece of hyperbole. What does this tell us about having an energetic, skilled and forceful Coq?


This game proved that – Sanchez is a great centre forward, Walcott is really good at football … and I know nothing.


According to Redknapp,Arsenal have finally found the cd pairing they have been looking for years.
The question is why has Wenger taken such along.long time. Had they had one say 8 years earlier,they could have won the epl in 2008 and later.
Any while its still good news,tougher tests await. I am reasonably confident Arsenal could finally
fight until May .


Money helps


William gallas for Ashley Cole was a good move I thought. Campbell was getting old. Gallas want to claim the cb position and prove Chelsea wrong. In the end, he only managed to prove arsenal wrong.


Who gives a fly fuck what anyone from the Redknapp family thinks?




Louise Rednapp?

Gutbukket Deffrolla

She’s probably the only one of them that talks any sense.


Any sentence which starts with “According to Redknapp” is an automatic down vote.

Lay of his back

Men lie women lie
A full fit Theo Walcott’s numbers don’t.
3 goals 2 assist from 6 games already.


I did make a snide comment about Walcott on one of my posts earlier in the season. But in all the others I have been predicting (optimistically) 26 goals and numerous assists. Lets hope I am right.
I base my assumptions on the season where he showed the Sp*rs fans the two fingers at the Emirates.
I hope we get to see some of Theo’s floated crosses this season for those assists

The Mert

How many passes in the buildup to the Walcott goal??


12 I believe. Starting from Mustafi. Could be wrong.

Cornelius P. Snuffington III

10. It went: Coquelin-Cazorla-Mustafi-Walcott-Cazorla-Ozil-Iwobi-Ozil-Iwobi-Bellerin-Walcott.


Chelskis cunted like dogs: 11 + subs and Conte. Terry weeping at home cunt bonus rating 10.
Bring on Basel Fawlties. 5-0 Perez 2, Giroud 2, Xhaka 1.75 for 30m rocket.


DeBruyne’s injury is big news. I just don’t see how Pepe replaces him. Sterling? Don’t make me laugh. Whereas, if Arsenal has an injury to a playmaker, it has three or four replacements. That may be a huge factor as the season wears on.


Silva is still there. One of the more likable man shitty player.


City are going to have that fear factor though, that has probably applied variously to Mourinho and Ferguson (and probably us 12 years ago) teams over the years. Opposition teams will shit themselves in the face of a team managed by someone whose reputation precedes them and who is off to a flyer (notice that this factor was entirely absent last year). I’m not sure one De Bruyne injury is going to stop that (Pep is also really good). On the plus side, with our squad as robust as it’s been in a while (minus maybe one ‘marquee’ ‘striker’ and… Read more »


out of all the teams we have to face, I am fearing Manchester United the most. They are very beatable, but Mourinho just seems to have placed a curse on us when we face his teams. Those 2 games will be crucial. City are worrying, but I think if we stick to the gameplan we used last season, we can beat them.


Since he left for Barcelona I’ve thought of Fabregas as a real cunt just like Nasri and RVP. No wonder he injured Coq. Glad Wenger ignored him while living in Barsa s bench…


I hope Bellerin sees what barca dna can do to one’s career if taken too seriously. Cesc looks like a broken man. It hurts to am extent but hey, he believed the hype.


I can’t go along with this

Granit(e) hard!

I for one have forgiven Cesc, even though I was as bitter as everyone else when he left. I actually feel sorry for him now, because he is like a lost soul, playing for a club, i suspect, he really detests deep inside.Its easy to forget the surrounding circumstances…..he was then very young and naive, so easily impressionable, plus, he grew up playing within the barca youth system, so, a club he loves, and as much as i hate the word, he does have the barca ‘DNA’ in him somewhere, albeit then, still latent. So when they come calling, using… Read more »


maybe he should go join real madrid or espanyol for free next time and see if his barca mates, fans will respond the same.

the hell with him man.

he should go play with robin with some obscure turkish team


That just brought a tear to my eye.

Cape Town Gooner

I really doubt Wenger was trying to “punish” him. I just think that he thought he could improve the team more by spending the 35 mil elsewhere.


I would almost agree, but the are two things: First, when he left for barca, the very least he should have done was to make sure the Arsenal get as much money for him as possible. He did the exact opposite. Second, if he’s playing for a team he hates, it’s entirely his fault. He could have gone anywhere, he could have stayed with barca one more year, he could have pushed the price down to get where he wanted (as he did with Arsenal). If he ended up with chelsea, it’s his own making and one doesn’t need to… Read more »


‘Mustafi, Xhaka, Koscielny, and Walcott’


Gutbukket Deffrolla

Take a trip back 6 months, a year, 5 years, and that sentence would have been universally derided as “pure fantasy”….

“Arsenal didn’t give up on tackles, however, and Mustafi, Xhaka, Koscielny, and Walcott all won the ball 3 times each.”

Nobody would have believed that before this game.


One of our best matches in recent memory, performance-wise. More, please!

Great tribute to Arsene, Alexis and Theo’s anniversaries. ✨


Bosscielny is the main man.


I for one believe Cesc when he declare his love for the Arsenal. And I disagree with Wenger that there wasn’t room for him in the squad when we had Özil. Cesc could easily fill the same role as Santi, a deep laying playmaker. But with that said one can’t argue with the silverware Cesc has collected during his Arsenal diaspora. So you shouldn’t assume that he regrets his decision too much in the end. Love hurts but it’s our loss.


This. Saying Cesc is finished is a bit of a stretch. The entire Chelsea team looks broken, and has been looking that way for almost 2 seasons. However the season before that they completely dominated the league and Fabregas won the Premier League in his first season. And was also one of the best players that year with, I believe, 15 assists. That team is full of some great and outstanding players that could easily walk into any side. They are just going through a rough patch and I’m glad Arsenal took advantage of that.


“The entire Chelsea team looks broken, and has been looking that way for almost 2 seasons… They are just going through a rough patch.”

Do you mind explaining?


1) They have a very flawed defence. It has been poor for a while. Ivanovic is finished and Gary Cahill seems to be prone to blunders recently. Also, David Luiz’s complete lack of discipline. And they miss Terry.

2) Since the internal issues early into last season with regards to Eva Carniero and Jose Mourinho along with him apparently losing the dressing room, a lot of players nosedived in form and also in ‘giving a shit’. Conte has a big job to do to get the team back on its feet.

Trixie Bird

Cesc is not our loss.


I agree with this to an extent. I feel he still loves Arsenal and I’ve personally forgiven him for leaving. And I completely agree that he would have fit in alongside Ozil. But I also think he probably regrets leaving too after what happened at Barca. And Chelsea fans haven’t taken to him that well considering what happened with Mourinho last year and the fact that he’s a former Arsenal captain. I reckon he’ll be off soon anyway, Conte doesn’t fancy him and if they ever go to his preferred 3 CBs formation Cesc will almost certainly be sacrificed.

Gutbukket Deffrolla

A year after he left for Barcelona he was still referring to Arsenal as “we” whenever he talked about them. That actually softened my feelings of hurt and anger a little. To be honest I’d have loved it if Fabregas had come to us and had the season that he had for Chelsea. They wouldn’t have won that PL without his first 4 months that season. I don’t imagine he’d have fallen away as badly as he did the following season(s) either. That was a squad thing and Arsenal may have been a bit soft, or fallen short a few… Read more »


3 successful tackles from Walcott – never thought I’d see the day. More of that please, excellent stuff.


Great analysis as always. I do wonder though if there are any notable statistical differences in the Mustafi-Koscielny pairing to the Mertesacker-Koscielny combination. At least from this game, the prior does seem to work very well.

Evang. Femi

Can’t forget that moment Boschieny showed cuntsta the reason he is called the BOSS


I don’t see anyone making any excuses for us when our defense was in shambles! Chelsea got served pure and simple!

Old Father Time

It’s the second day since WE THRASHED CHELSEA and it still feels very good…! I hope the players feel that too.

AS7 =alexis Sanchez

Mesut Ozil is pretty good at this footballing lark I must say?

Diaby's Glasslegs

Feel bad for Fab but couldnt want any bad influence on our younger players like Hector. Le Coq… What a player he’s grown into. Had a perfect few minutes before they decided to deal woth the ‘problem’ internally. Its good to have that depth that even if Xhoot is not in it we still have Elneny to do it. And for sure the Fear Factor is very there. COYG