Arsenal 1-1 Liverpool: By the numbers

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I have been a bit down on Arsenal’s performances this season, especially when it came to Arsenal getting wins in the matches where they didn’t play well.It was really good to get those points, but it was not a positive sign that this pace of collecting points was sustainable.

Before this match I was very worried that Liverpool could really outclass Arsenal (I might have a few tweets to go back and delete). I worried that this match had the potential to be an ugly encounter like so many big games against Arsenal’s top of the table rivals from seasons past.

At the end of the match (and with a few days reflection) I was very happy with the way that Arsenal played and I ultimately feel like a draw was a fair result to both teams. I think that Arsenal certainly played well enough that if they had won it would have been deserved.

Arsenal 1-1 Liverpool: By the graphs

Running xG

xG Shot Map

Shot Placement xG Map

Simulated Match Result from shots created

Arsenal 1-1 Liverpool: By the numbers

501 to 276 – Passes completed overall by Arsenal and Liverpool

159 to 93 – Passes completed in the final third by Arsenal and Liverpool

27 to 26 – Touches in the box by Arsenal and Liverpool

12 to 13 – Shots by Arsenal and Liverpool

4 to 4 – Shots on target by Arsenal and Liverpool

2 to 2 – Big Chances by Arsenal and Liverpool

1.49 to 2.03 – Expected Goals by Arsenal and Liverpool

2.9 to 0.9 – Offensive Value Added by Arsenal and Liverpool

Overall this was a very even match. Liverpool created slightly more dangerous shots but Arsenal had more dangerous possession and created some good opportunities that didn’t materialize into shots.

Arsenal dominate midfield

I know the below isn’t a “number” but I think that it really illustrates how much work Granit Xhaka and Lucas Torreira put in as a double pivot against the midfield 3 of James Milner, Georginio Wijnaldum and Fabinho. Below is the heat map for the touches for each of the main midfielders for both teams, with Arsenal on the left and Liverpool on the right.

The following stats compare the 2 Arsenal midfielders vs the 3 Liverpool midfielders:

144 vs 76 – Passes completed for Arsenal midfielders compared to Liverpool midfielders

11 vs 3 – Long Passes completed for Arsenal midfielders compared to Liverpool midfielders

13 vs 5 – Final 3rd entry passes completed for Arsenal midfielders compared to Liverpool midfielders

0.42 vs 0.25 – Passing Value Added for Arsenal midfielders compared to Liverpool midfielders

0.13 vs -0.25 – Ball Progression Value Added for Arsenal midfielders compared to Liverpool midfielders

7 vs 6 – Tackles for Arsenal midfielders compared to Liverpool midfielders

2 vs 2 – Interceptions for Arsenal midfielders compared to Liverpool midfielders

25 vs 9 – Ball recoveries for Arsenal midfielders compared to Liverpool midfielders

Going into the match, the midfield match up was something that I really worried about. It turns out that, that worry was unwarranted. Even with being out numbered 3 to 2, Xhaka and Torreira more than held their own in this match.

Getting this partnership back after Xhaka was temporarily shifted out to left back was huge for Arsenal to be able to build attacks, while also providing great balance in skill sets between the two players. As the season goes on, the transfer of Torreira looks more and more like a very good and important signing for Arsenal.

@oh_that_crab

Sources: Opta via Whoscored, statszone and my own database

Stats Glossary

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Laca-Sead
Laca-Sead

Love that team! love the spirit ! COYG for another charge 10 other wins in a row!!!

C.B.
C.B.

Even match, like the effort we put in.

Devlin
Devlin

Looks like we will alter our approach and plan for the opposition when we play against sides that deserve respect, but against the lesser lights, we will work as hard as them and let the talent in our side make the difference. The defence still needs some work though, can’t keep getting away with the chances we give to the opposition.

asda
asda

Hey Scott, good work, but I suggest you add another layer by looking also on individual stats for a player or an interesting area of the pitch. In this match there are plenty of good candidates like Ozil, Mkhitaryan, Aubameyang, Kola vs Hector (or vs. their fullbacks), or Laca vs. their CBs.

Devlin
Devlin

I would like to see Ozil’s numbers. He was prominent in the game but just seeing him seems to not be enough. He puts up stats without looking like he has done much. I would like to know how his individual performance reflects according to stats because I enjoyed watching him play against Liverpool.

Teryima Adi
Teryima Adi

Wow. Xhaka and Torreira are awesome. Long may the partnership continue.

clins
clins

xhaka torreira bellerin and lacazette and maybe ozil have become indispensible for arsenal. they are starting every premier league match abd being rested for others. i dont think there are any other player that bring exactly what these players offer in our squad. credit to emery to make players that were much maligned under wenger to make them so indispensible for arsenal.

Someone
Someone

Hi Scott,

I don’t think that the xG calculations show a correct reflection of the shots. It doesn’t take into account the positioning of the goalkeeper or the defenders in front (I know this is not a correct metric, but often times, this is the difference). Look at the value of xG for Liverpool’s goal. It’s just around 0.2, but with virtually an empty net from the edge of the box, Milner is expected to score.

A similar thing can be said about the first chance that Laca had. The ball was so close to Alison that the shot, even though it was from a prime area, wouldn’t necessarily result in a goal.

The chance where you’ve given almost 0.8 to Liverpool is the (non) offside goal, I presume? Should that even be counted as a shot?

It seems that over a period of time, the xG metric is good for looking at the chances created, but it isn’t very useful for one game.

Yes, Arsenal bossed the midfield and it was a great performance from both Xhaka and Torreira. With a little more defensive discipline, we’ll be there, close to the top.

Onwards and upwards.

Jean Ralphio
Jean Ralphio

I wonder how it would have played out with a midfield three of Xhaka, Torreira and Ramsey/Matteo.

What a 2nd Half from Arsenal
What a 2nd Half from Arsenal

Ramsey will desert them, dilly dally, then fall over leading to a counter. But we have Torreira to consume the counter like the pitbull he is.

Devlin
Devlin

Ramsey would have been lost and getting in the way of either Laca or congesting space for our wide players. It might have worked if he played on the left and pushed Aubameyang further upfront, but that would have meant leaving out Ozil. Which is not something smart to do when you have players like Laca and Aubameyang, you should always find a place for the player who will load the bullets for our sharpshooters, not the one competing with them for goals.

Mpls
Mpls

Remember the days of the Wilshere / Ramsey pivot?

*shivers*

Love ’em both, but that was not their best use!

Mpls
Mpls

Let’s hear it – What were our Best/Favorite midfield Pivots?

From the 4-4-2 days, Vieira-Gilberto naturally.

Others??

catbiscuits
catbiscuits

What was the basis for the fear that we’d get “outclassed” by Liverpool *at home*?

All of the thrashings we’ve received from top 6 teams in recent years were during away matches.

Francesc
Francesc

Man should have at least drawn one game out of the first two. What a difference it would have made to the table. Especially had we drawn against City.