Thursday, June 1, 2023

Chelsea 3-2 Arsenal: By the numbers

Well that sucked.

A tale of two halves

16:21- Chelsea time in control of the ball in the first half

15:51- Arsenal time in control of the ball in the first half

0.79- Chelsea xG in the first half

1.97- Arsenal xG in the first half

43 – completed final third passes for Chelsea in the first half

43 – completed final third passes for Arsenal in the first half

6 – completed passes into the box for Chelsea in the first half

7 – completed passes into the box for Arsenal in the first half

1 – Big Chance for Chelsea in the first half

4 – Big Chances for Arsenal in the first half

24:20 – Chelsea time in control of the ball in the second half

12:04 – Arsenal time in control of the ball in the second half

1.23 – Chelsea xG in the second half

0.05 – Arsenal xG in the second half

109 – completed final third passes for Chelsea in the second half

32 – completed final third passes for Arsenal in the second half

10 – completed passes into the box for Chelsea in the second half

4 – completed passes into the box for Arsenal in the second half

1 – Big Chance for Chelsea in the second half

0- Big Chance for Arsenal in the second half

In the first half Arsenal had the better of the chances in an overall even match. They very easily could have gone into half time with a lead but had to settle for a draw. Coming out for the second half Arsenal changed tactics and looked to defend deeper, if the plan was to try to counter it didn’t work as Chelsea controlled the match and steadily upped the pressure until they got a breakthrough.


Matteo Guendouzi shows he belongs

93.9- Percent of the 49 passes that Guendouzi completed. His 46 completions were 2nd on Arsenal.

100- Defensive third passing percentage, last week against City he misplayed 4 passes in the defensive third. Today he cleaned that up and completed all 13 of his passes in this area.

1- Time lost possession, another major improvement from last week where he lost possession 6 times.

2- Dribbles (tied for most with Henrikh Mkhitaryan)

1- Through ball completed, Arsenal attempted two but only Guendouzi completed his.

51.9%- Percentage of the total xG that he was involved in the buildup to the shot (total xG value of possession chain he was involved in not including key pass or shot) His 1.05 mark was 2nd on Arsenal behind Granit Xhaka at 1.33.

I came away impressed with Guendouzi after the City match but thought that there were some issues that he needed to work on. This match was a big improvement of cutting out the biggest mistakes that he made.


Alex Iwobi Debuts

2- Goals

1- Goal

1- Big Chance

2- Key Passes

2- Big Chances Created

1- Dribble of 4 attempted

6- Times lost possession (4 bad touch, 2 dispossessed)

Iwobi got his first start of the season and to my eye was one of Arsenal’s best players. On a day where Arsenal needed to create offense Iwobi stepped up. The other positive is that over the summer he looks bulked up and used that extra muscle to keep possession several times when challenged.


Missed Chances

In the first half Arsenal cut Chelsea to pieces with cut back crosses towards the Penalty Spot. They had 5 great shots (4 Big Chances) and converted just 1. Here are the screenshots of the shots with the xG for each chance.

This shot had an xG of 0.4 and is a shot that you really expect Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to bury.

A shot from almost the exact same spot, this one has an even emptier net to aim at, 0.5 xG

Turning in this shot isn’t quite as easy as the other ones with a slightly tighter angle, 0.34 xG.

The hardest of the chances with a crowded box to have to navigate, 0.15 xG.

Missing these good of chances shouldn’t be a regular occurrence. It was encouraging to see Arsenal create offense after being nullified by City. Now to just continue it over a full match.

Sources: Opta, StatsZone App, xG from my own database


Related articles



newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Thanks Scott!


Good point on the two halves. After doing so well in the second half of the first half I’ve no idea why we decided to sit back and defend so much in the second half. Surely we learn what we are good at and keep doing it?


Good write up. Agree on Guendouzi, disagree on Iwobi.

I’d only add:

93 – minutes of the game McManaman and Hoddle spent swinging from Chelski’s nuts. (And from each other’s). Lice.


Also great to hear Lee Dixon and even Graeme Le Saux as they are both very honest in regards to their former teams. Fun to see the before match highlights of them taking each other out during their playing days. We are really fortunate to have Lee Dixon on the U.S. broadcasts.

Yankee Gooner

You should lock down @IwobisFinalBalls as your twitter handle before someone else gets it


Some of the big name guys need to be dropped.Another perennial issue is the defence.Until the defenders can get their act together,it will be quite a while for the gunners to challenge for4th.
Blame the US owner and the fm for this state of affairs.


i think part of the reason the team hasnt up and running is because emery not making too many changes from the lineup from last year even of it means pleasing a few first teamers and team not playing up to full potential. yesterday was an eye opener with regards to xhaka. we knew it was coming , everyone was running rounds around xhaka. he couldnt get anything. the only thing he could get was pedros leg when he hacked him down out of frustration. and ozil as well was supposed to be marking jorghinho or atleast put some pressure… Read more »


Xhaka is a deep laying playmaker, not a DM. But the stats and his rating puts him in the same range as Torreira, exept in the xG chain where Xhaka lead the Arsenal.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

I think the biggest problem is that Arsenal spent all their money early in the summer going for “steady” defenders who would help solidify our defence with their experience rather than youthful vigour, and then they hired a manager who says we must play a high line, press hard from the back, and do everything quickly. Our summer spending seemed very positive if a bit safe. No it is clear we bought the wrong players for the tactics we are going to use. We did this to ourselves. The manager doesn’t have the right tools to play the way he… Read more »

Whocter Do

Are you saying Emery “didn’t really want” any of this summer’s signings? I don’t think that happens (or hasn’t happened so far) in “this” London club…


6 – points we are behind after 2 games
6- points I expected us to be behind after the opening 2 games after the fixture list was released.


Yeah I hoped for better but didn’t expect more really. However, we could’ve snatched either 1 or even 3 points today. We had the chances.

Scott Willis

My projection model had Arsenal at 2 points for these matche. I would have been happy with one

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

Tell you projection model to get his act together, quit admiring himself in the mirror, and stop being so unreasonably optimistic. We have the wrong defenders for the tactics we are going to be using. Our defence should never ever be defending on the halfway line. Fourty yard sprints back to our penalty area every five minutes are far to much for old people to handle.


I think this one says it all.

1 – Big chances by Chelsea in the first half
4 – Big chances by Arsenal in the first half

It would be nice to have a By the numbers article for how many times in the past have we fucked up against the big teams because we just don’t take our chances and they do?

Ex-Priest Tobin

Ozil is the most overrated and overpaid footballer I’ve ever seen at the club. Giving him his fat contract will be remembered as one of the biggest mistakes Wenger ever made – we probably can’t even get him off the books now.


Sell to China in January and reinvest the transfer proceeds wisely?


Best thing to do.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

He’s been working hard these last two games. It’snot him who has a problem.

Scott, please get some figures on Ozil’s work rate to squelch these Ozil-haters silly complaints.


What makes you think Gazidis let Wenger make that decision knowing Wenger was gone soon. Doubt he would allow a soon to be axed manager make such a vital decision. Im sure he decided if he wanted to convince the best managers and players to come to Arsenal after Wenger, he needed to show we weren’t afraid to spend to keep top level talent. Also, Ozil is widely considered by the best players and managers to be one of, if not the, best number 10s in today’s game. The problem is that Arsenals tactics, and those of many other teams… Read more »


Chelsea scored when Lacazette mispassed the ball. Until this kind of mistakes are ironed out,it will come back to haunt the gunners. I say stop the no of passes. Chelsea scored the 2nd goal with three to 5 passes. The gunners build up is too slow and by then the Blues will come back in nos to choke the supply or goal route.This is a legacy of the fm’s patient ,pass galore game and that’s why the gunners have drifted from the elite London club to also ran. Btw,some of the top earners are not earning their keep. Sell them.… Read more »


We don’t have the defenders who can play the ball out of deep defensive positions and our full backs and DMs are too far forward to form the triangles required.

It took Pep about 2 years and £1bn to sort it out at Citeh – we can’t afford either.


I just think aubamayeng would consider the fact that he should step up.. like I dont know.. our defence was being teared up so easily.. we lack some organization keeping the higher line was so hard.. mustafi is not a defender.. how did morata manage to rough him up just like that.. i loved our offense but we are not believing in ourselves .. again laca should start with auba.. He can stretch himself out we all saw that..


What annoys me no end with Mustafi is that he shows all this aggression and bristle after we concede, yet during play he’s quite, well, weak.

I’m in real danger of despising him tbh.

Will Bobson

Totally agree. How many times in the last 10years did AW say “mental strength” in interviews. He knew that the team are mentally weak, players he bought, btw. Js. The ones that aren’t leave because they fed up carrying those who just want to collect their salary. #noballs

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

You try overtaking a bloke half your age over 40 yards and then make the perfect tackle to take the ball off of him. It’s not that easy for old people.

Clive St Helmet

Couple of typos but interesting reading.

We look good going forward.
Aubameyang will not miss those chances every week.
Guendouzi could be a future star, already looks like he justifies his starting place
Iwobi looking like the type of player we thought we had

The defence – is this just the system bedding in or are this group of players actually good enough?
Where was Ozil?
Cech beaten far too easily for the second goal
Iwobi looking like the type of player that cannot last 90 minutes


Some of the senior players need to look at 19 year old Guendouzi’s attitude when they lose the ball.

Still no closer to guessing Emery’s best team, however, I do know that’ll feature Mattéo.


Great review, Scott. Thanks. I thought Iwobi played well yesterday and took his goal beautifully. I’d like to see him work harder on his defending though. He rarely tries to tackle. When opponents have the ball he does close dow, but his body shape then invites the player with the ball to run past him, which they do at will.


To me, the Aubameyang miss just before the 2-0 goal should have a higher xG rating than Mkhitaryan’s miss. The ball was on the ground when he hit it and he was expecting the pass. Mkhit’s finish looked much harder.


We have seen 0 minutes of Xhaka playing with Torreira. Am I the only one who wants to see it happen? Xhaka clearly plays a big role in the team’s build-up play, and haven’t the fans been hyping Torreira as Xhaka’s shield before discovering Guendouzi? I say try it out against West Ham. I know it means dropping others but i think Mkhitaryan or Guendouzi could use a rest. Maybe get them on if they are actually missed?


Players learning new things and players making mistakes in doing so. Completely fine with it. But there should be a more collective effort. Understanding each other, covering one another and I believe as they play more those will improve.

A Different George

Last week, despite his energy, I thought Guendouzi proved a serious defensive liability–but it was worth playing him for his future growth. Much improved yesterday, which I think is only partly because City was so much better than Chelsea. Let me repeat what I’ve said before: let’s keep this in perspective–he’s a young player who will inevitably have a bad game or a plateau period; I remember the exaggerated build-up, and then the excessive tear-down, in recent seasons of Bellerin, Mustafi, Xhaka, and Kolasinac among others.

Dave Peterson

thanks – not sure i understand the xG – how could those sitters be 0.4-0.5 xG? Surely 90% of the time people would put them away?

Whocter Do

Just can’t wrap my head around the fact that 19 year Guendouzi started both games and the highly rated and a bit more experienced Torreira being kept on the bench. I think Emery even said Torreira was ready to start v Chelski, but that obviously didn’t happen. A specific question to those who were #WengerOut and the “staying away from the stadium” campaigns – what’s your threshold with Emery?? The objective of this season was top 4 (at the very least), unless we lift the Europa. Sure the next few matches aren’t as tough, but except the manager, there doesn’t… Read more »


Wenger had years of sub-par performances so the new boss will be afforded time to shape the team and have them playing the way he sees fit. I don’t think anyone (with half a brain) would think Emery is going to turn things around in 8 weeks and get a result against Man City or Chelsea. How long is a piece of string?


Having a leaky defence is one thing, but skying it over the bar from 8 yards several times in a game against a team like Chelsea is something else.

Share article

Featured on NewsNow

Support Arseblog

Latest posts

Latest Arsecast

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x