Arsenal have now won ten straight matches. That is impressive. The eight wins before the Fulham match and now this one against Leicester City were not always pretty but the team got the results that they needed. Now Arsenal have put together two impressive performances in a row and have re-entered the top four of the table.
Arsenal 3-1 Leicester City: By the graphs
xG Shot Map
Shot Placement xG Map (this is a new model and more information can be found here)
Simulated Match Result from shots
Arsenal 3-1 Leicester City: By the numbers
Mesut Özil, Man of the Match
93% – Percentage of passes completed (62/67)
86% – Percentage of passes completed (31/36)
100% – Passes completed inside/or into the box (5/5)
3 – Killer Passes (A stat I created that has a value added greater than 0.05. For example THAT pass to Hector Bellerin, that bypassed 4 defenders and was a delight to watch was rated a 0.1 all by itself. For context that pass was as valuable as a typical shot from the center of the box in most occasions.)
4 – Chances created, 3 from open play, 2 Big Chances, 1 Assist
1.3 – xA created
1 – Shot, 1 on target, 1 goal scored
2 – Dribbles completed, of 2 attempted and suffered 2 fouls
This was the kind of performance that shows just how good Mesut Özil can be, and just how special a player he is. I just gave you a ton of the stats for what he did in the match and they are impressive, but if you watched that match and came away thinking anything but that he was incredible… well I don’t think that there is anything that can be done to convince you otherwise.
I hope that this is the start of Özil finding his role in the Emery system and that he can start reaching this level more regularly for Arsenal. When he plays like this Arsenal are joy to watch and can match any team in the league.
Alex Iwobi Blossoms under Emery
80% – Percentage of passes completed (40/50)
68% – Percentage of passes completed (15/22)
1 – Shot, on target, 0.07 xG
2 – Chances created, 0.3 xA
3 – Dribbles completed, of 5 attempted (7 times that he lost possession however and that could be cleaned up)
4 – Tackles of 7 total duels (led Arsenal)
Alex Iwobi didn’t fill up the stat sheet quite like Özil did but he has really impressed me so far this season and today was a continuation of that trend. In a squad that doesn’t have star wide players who have established themselves in the wide areas, Iwobi has done everything to make the position his own.
Also this happened:
— Billy (@TheWeiglRole) October 22, 2018
Defenders need to keep their legs closed near Iwobi.
Arsenal’s second halves
Arsenal have been a slow starting team this season, playing poorly from the opening whistle. They then usually come out from half time and show a marked improvement in how they perform. The only real exception to this was the match away to Chelsea; but that still saw Arsenal fall behind quickly in the opening 20 minutes before they turned around the performance.
Below is a chart of the shots, goals and xG split out between the first and second halves this season.
|Arsenal||xG||Shot Placement xG (Shots on Target)
|Opponent||xG||Shot Placement xG (Shots on Target)
The match against Leicester played out the same way as so many of Arsenal’s other matches. The first half was very even stats wise, on shots (10 to 9), touches in the box (9 to 13), goals (1 to 1) and xG (0.8 to 0.6) both teams did about the same. Overall watching it looked like Leicester were the better team for about 30 minutes and then Arsenal woke up and started playing.
In the second half that flipped, especially until the last few minutes when the game was no longer in doubt.
|Touches in the box||23||9|
|Final 3rd Touches||133||44|
|Passes into the box completed
I don’t know if there is some sort of plan to keep things tight for the first 45 minutes before unleashing the attack in the second half or that Arsenal are betting on their improved fitness to see them past a tired opponent but in this match and in general that has been Arsenal’s calling card.
Sources: Opta via Statszone and Whoscored, my own database