Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Man City 3-1 Arsenal: By the numbers

Arsenal lost this match, before things started that was the most likely result. In the grand scheme of the season however, today’s loss wasn’t that big of a set back in the ultimate goal of making the top four.

So while Chelsea moved back in front of Arsenal they have a tough schedule still in front of them with trips to Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United while also hosting Sp*rs and Wolves. Plus they still have a League Cup final against Manchester City and the Europa League and the FA Cup to negotiate.

Manchester United don’t have quite as difficult a schedule but it is certainly not as easy as they have had at the start of the Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s reign. They will host Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea while coming to the Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal on the other hand face just two of the top six over their last 13 matches, with a trip to a possible neutral site to face Sp*rs while hosting United. While it wasn’t much fun crashing out of the FA Cup, it is a reprieve from some fixture congestion.

So the loss today sucks, and it certainly would have been better to see Arsenal put up a better fight in this match but this really wasn’t the match that would make or break Arsenal’s top four fight.

Man City 3-1 Arsenal: By the graphs

Running xG

xG Shot Map

Shot Placement xG Map

Simulated Match Result

Man City 3-1 Arsenal: By the numbers

0 – Shots on target for Arsenal in the second half, the seventh time this season that Arsenal have gone a full half without a shot on target.

0 – Shots total for Arsenal in the second half, the fewest shots in a half for Arsenal this season. The second lowest was the second half against Brighton in week 19.

4 – Total shots for the match for Arsenal, the fewest shots that Arsenal have had in a match this season. Before this match the previous low was 7 vs Crystal Palace and Brighton.

I am getting used to Unai Emery’s conservative approaches to matches. I don’t like it but it is something that I am starting to expect. This match took Emery’s conservatism, added Manchester City’s technical quality mixed with their desire to hold on to the ball and ended up with Arsenal looking completely toothless. I never imagined when the season started that in a match where both Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette started together and played 90 minutes that Arsenal would fail to create this few of shots.

Matteo Guendouzi is a bright spot in dismal day

53 – Passes completed by Guendouzi, led Arsenal and had the 6th most among all players.

91.4% – Guendouzi’s pass completion percentage, led Arsenal and 5th highest among all players.

5 – Final third entry passes completed, led Arsenal

10 – Final third passes completed, led Arsenal

3 – Defensive actions, 1 each of tackles, interception and clearance

9 – Ball Recoveries, led Arsenal

2 – Successful dribbles, led Arsenal

1 – Shot on target, tied for the lead on Arsenal

On a day where Arsenal didn’t play well, it was nice to see that there was at least one bright spot to be able to point out. Guendouzi was Arsenal’s main midfielder for trying to advance the ball, and was also all over the field harassing the Manchester City midfield.

Denis Suárez debuts

0 – Shots

0 – Key passes

1 – Successful dribble

2 – Turnovers (1 time dispossessed, 1 bad touch and 0 off sides)

10 – Passes completed of 11 attempted

0 – Defensive Actions

This won’t be a debut that goes down as one of the greatest in Arsenal’s history. It was a tough match up and Arsenal were down by two goals. When he and Aaron Ramsey came on Arsenal had more of the ball than Manchester City but were unable to do anything with it to hurt City. I sure hope that Emery is able to use Suárez more going forward to be able change games and create offense.

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Stick to numbers, Scott. Reading the opening few paragraphs of this article was more painful than hearing you try to pronounce Lichtsteiner.


rude little toad you are


That’s a very lame thing to say to someone working his ass off to give you free content. Besides, completely untrue ! The opening paragraphs put my spleen into context and really chilled me out so thanks for that Scott ! Trolls will troll


There is nothing wrong in what Scott wrote. I quite like hearing how view point as well. Also, fixtures remaining are part of the numbers, so your point is moot!


Somebody’s parents did a poor job of teaching respect.


By all means critique the content of any article we publish on this site, that’s perfectly ok, but personal attacks on the authors – or other commentators – are not acceptable.

Please read our comment policy:


Red Card mate.


Apparently silent Stan’s team lost the Superbowl ?


At least they put up a good defensive display and we’re in it until the end period

Old Bloke.

Apparently it was the lowest scoring Superbowl since the seventies with the Patriots victory credited to their exellent defense. Something to be learned there Stan,you won’t win anything without a decent defense!!




He’ll rock up to the next board meeting and say “We need a better defence, here’s my invoice” and we’ll pay him 3 million


Stan’s team might have lost the Superbowl, but Stan actually won because he knows you now know he owns a team which played in the Superbowl. That’s Stan’s business model.


Great article, puts the game in context and takes the edge off an otherwise disappointing match. The lack of width really hurt us, especially in the second half. Didn’t have the energy to play on the counter, even with two fresh players in Ramsey and Suarez. Made me realize that Mkhitaryan actually plays this hybrid wing/AM role better than he gets credit for. The high-tempo first halves against quality opposition are great if we can get ahead, but seem like a gamble when there’s no plan B for getting back into the game after going down. Was disappointed with Torreira… Read more »

Forest gooner

I think we need to put the things in a proper context 1. We had 5 players who would have started the game unavailable (rob, papa, hector, miki, xhaka). That is half of the outfield team. 2. So that had others playing out of position. ..iwobi and sead. 3. When we had the balll- leno, defenders, or torriera and guendouzi, we couldn’t linknup well with the forwards.that is because we rely on passing from the back where we missed hector, holding and xhaka. 4.. City had everyone available bar mendy. And we must stop being Pundits..we all know it’s not… Read more »


If we had those 5 players as starters, who would you have dropped? Citeh might have had a full squad but still didn’t need Sane who would have crucified Lich. Manure didn’t need Rashford or Martial until late late on. I think too often on this site we’re bemoaning the missing players but all too often they don’t make the difference on their return. Look at the Newcastle back 5 versus Citeh and tell me which players would make our team better (clearly anyone at RB would, but elsewhere?). I totally agree that managing isn’t simple but everyone would have… Read more »


City played Sterling on the left flank, a curious change of sides, but it makes sense when you look who we had as a RB.
Simply Pep shifted his best winger (arguably) to play against the weak link in our squad. Sane wouldn’t have done any more damage than he did.

Forest gooner

Xhaka for sead, miki for iwobi Hector for Lich Holding for mustafi And for newcastle, they drilling the same defence week in week out, rafa is with club for some years and had plenty of PL experience. In my opinion, we have been really good in big games this seasons although results may not indicate that 1. Away to chelsea, we missed 4 easy chances in the first half 2. Trumped them at home 3. Beaten sur.s 4. Held united away where we could have won it had auba not missed 1on1 5. At home to Liverpool we matched them… Read more »


Drop Lichtsteiner for Bellerin, Mustafi for Sokratis, Koscielny for Holding, Iwobi for Miki and Xhaka for Monreal – moving Kola back to left back where he’s been great recently. Easy. Now the source of their three goals their left completely changes with new winger, right back and left sided centre back and a new left sided centre back who is not pulled out of position. Lichtsteiner and Mustafi are not Premier league quality so regardless of the rest of the defence having those two in the line up is a compromise that you cannot bridge. man City , liverpool, Huddersfield… Read more »

Fk This Season

This is why we lost, while Man city were training!!




I have no problem with Emery not playing Ozil, but when you dont deliver while keeping your best players on the bench then one is bound to question you and and your methods..
He really needs to find a system that incorporate his top available talents, it hard to imagine that the club can wait for two or three transfer windows till he gets the players he wants for his vision…football doesn’t wait..


i agree 100%…one thing i liked about mou was that he was able to make due n win games with what he had. this ozil thing with emery is quite stupid imo. a great coach should be able to fit his best AVAILABLE players in the team. unless we dont have a great coach then thats another debate. so far this playing out from the back thing has made us more conservative than what we are known for. i really dont know what emery is trying to achieve…i wish arsenal well and i hope he knows what he’s doing cuz… Read more »


*make do

Jack gunner

Sterling was allowed to cross without any gunner breathing down his neck.
Contrast Abu and Lacazetter.They were hounded and unable to be on a
one on one or isolated. That’s the difference.
Of course if Sterling were marked,MC plan B will kick in.
I always believe if you give anyone time and space,you will
Against MU if the gunners leave the barn door open,a sneak attack
will lead the gunners to 1/2 goals down.
Sounds familiar.I t had been happening since rfs days.


What’s the excuse for our lack of shots (not only in this match, but in the whole season)? “0 – Shots on target for Arsenal in the second half, the seventh time this season that Arsenal have gone a full half without a shot on target.” We have attacking players like Aubameyang, Lacazette, Ozil, Ramsey, Mkhitaryan, Kolasinac, even Xhaka and Iwobi who can create a chance, and now Suarez as well. There’s absolutely no excuse for such an abysmal stat. We were supposed to be an attacking team (again, not talking (only) about City’s match), and Emery was supposed to… Read more »


I’m not that concerned about the low shots – we have two central strikers who are extremely efficient and don’t engage in speculate shots.
We are scoring goals like a big side 51 to date.

But we concede goals 36 at a rate comparable to west ham or brighton.

We need at least 4 new starters in our defence. that will provide the platform for an extremely competitive Midfield and Attack.



Right Back
Left back
2 centre backs aged 22-24 to fight for 2 spots with Soki and Holding

bossman bill

i don’t know why this is being downvoted, apart from bellerin on the bench (bellerin no. 1 on the team sheet for me)


I love hector… I just think that he’s never been a reliable defender.. great going forward.. maybe he has suffered from the weakness inside centre defence…but i’d like to see how he responds to a 30/40 million pound 22 year old challenger


The solution is not always buying new players; good defence is something that happens across the pitch and involves all 11 players. City don’t necessarily have great defenders, but they play a very balanced, organized form of team defence and they control/possess the ball so well, teams rarely get a sniff. Yes, Van Dijk and Allison have made an incredible turnaround for Liverpool and given them the best defence in the league — an investment of 135 million pounds for two players, something I highly doubt we’ll do — but Emery should be doing better, even with this bunch. Yes,… Read more »


If Emery wants to last more than the “let’s give him some time” period, he needs to get this team playing attacking, attractive football, as that puts bums in seats and pounds in the bank. He should be given an adjustment period, of course, but he needs to feel some pressure from the fans and the board to do a better job, and that includes getting the most from all the players at his disposal.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Can Pep get our current squad beat City’s current squad ?


Probably not, because our squad is not filled with 50-60 million pound players, but Emery could get the current squad to earn a draw against Pep’s well-oiled City side.


Really like Guendouzi… and thank you for scoring Kos ? nothing else to say….. apart from please play Ozil


£350k pw – why would he leave?


Being given a chance to earn that money would be nice, otherwise what was the point in keeping him????


Point? you are talking about the decision making of Ivan Gazidas here – this is the one thing he ever overruled wenger on without consulting Sven or Raul about…


So then he screwed us & Ozil big time then… especially seeing as he’s now in Italy saying he wouldn’t want Ozil at AC Milan as he’s not worth that kind of money!! Point?


Screwed us.. Ozil is the highest paid fortnite player in the world. He’s got all the top skins.

I would love him to play to his strengths but he’s somewhat busted as a flush – opponents target him and we have no plan b for when he gets negated… he is a luxury player that we can’t afford.
He needs to play in a side where he is not the best player – i know that sounds a bit counterintuitive but he excelled in real along side ronaldo benzema higuain bale etc


Screwed us by giving him that wage!! So now our wage bill is at it’s highest… there is no money for new players! FFP & all that! Every time we lose it’s Ozil’s fault (even when he hasn’t played, it’s still his fault!) Tbh I didn’t want to lose Sanchez & Ozil, so I’m glad he’s still with us (as I believe he’s one of our best players) i just don’t like how things have turned out between him & Emery… he MUST play…all you hear is that we have no money, yet that 350k is going down the pan… Read more »


You can’t pick players because of their pay cheque.

What happens when he plays? in pure stats he normally silences critics because he can point out ridiculous numbers on assists but no one is putting away his chances this year

I love him as a player but wenger and emery both struggled to build a team around him.

He did very well for a while but since sanchez has left he has not produced anywhere near enough – and while body language doesn’t mean everything its very disheartening to see him so frustrated on the pitch


Well surely if you were the highest paid player (of any team) you’d expect to play!!
Well whatever he produces is more than others (Iwobi for instance!)


If you’re going to make someone your highest paid player, then why wouldn’t you play them????


100 thumbs up for this post Sue, I agree wholeheartedly. UE has no clue, if your a top coach, you should be able to deploy your class players into a team formation that gets the most out of each of them, regardless of whether you like/dislike them. I’m sure their salaries do not control their feet, or UE’s tactics, which seems to get worse with each passing game!


? Monzo


The wage bill is so high because the £17 million to pay off Arsene was added to it, the wages for Mesut aren’t what tipped it over the edge. I’m surprised the club didn’t manage to write off the payoff somewhere else, but maybe there are some accountants out there who can enlighten me.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

But he is not even the best player at Arsenal. For me, Auba is. Some would prefer Laca.


He doesn’t have to be the best player. You realise we get 11 players on the pitch at a time right? And the two you mention (who I agree are probably our best players) can’t do shit if we can’t get them the ball in final third.

Ozil can do that better than anyone else in the squad. It’s negligent to not be using him fully. He is paid too much, but til the summer he is essentially already paid for. So let’s stop dicking about with whatever petty bullshit is gone on and use him.


Emery brought in two of my new favorite players in Torreira and Guendouzi.

I’m positive Suarez will come good.


Suarez wears number 22 and he reminds me of Sanogo! Too much hype!


After 20 mins when the team is 2-0 against a well drilled city team away and you have written this guy off!! Wow!! Just wow!!

Daniel Thompson

Unai Emery does not know the timing to effect substitutions. Who to substitute who is also his bane.


I disagree with this fundamentally considering the significant improvements his substitutions have made on our fortunes.
You could argue that he only knows how to cure problems rather than prevent them and with a limit of three substitutes and a starting defence of Lichsteiner Mustafi koscielney and Monreal up against the lightning quick and laser guided passing of sterling, aguero and de bruyne – 3 fixes isn’t enough….


I honestly…honestly cant believe that we have allowed unai emery to come in and change our opinion of one of our most creative players. absolute nonsense. i dont see neymar and the likes tracking back. even hazard. why is it that only our fans have been sold this nonsense and have bought it? our most efficient formation against big teams is the 4 4 2 diamond but i am starting to believe maybe iwobi has emery’s nudes or something. i cant believe emery keeps making room for iwobi in the 3 4 3 formation. denis has the same work ethic… Read more »


i guess part of the difference is that neymar and hazard deliver more frequently the ozil.


Lol. It’s a crime to even think of comparing Özil to Neymar or Hazard. A more fair comparison would be with Arnautovic (minus the wages)


i dont think its tracking back… i think its that he can’t track sideways or forward.
He’s too easy to isolate and neutralise.

Tony Adams Nose

You guys, we are miles behind Man City, get real! Pep has had a fews years to settle in and a freaking war chest to spend and he still lost the title to Leicester. How can you compare this Arsenal team with them, not even if all our players were fully fit let alone as someone said, five starters missing. They targeted our weak makeshift players and it worked. We couldn’t commit players to the attack for fear of a counter and that’s why there were no shots in the second half. Our goal flattered us and gave the team… Read more »

SLC Gooner

City and Liverpool are clearly streets above us, and I would have been thrilled with a tie. The injuries are certainly a good sized part of the problem. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t reasons for concern. As pointed out in the main post today, we cannot seem to get points away against better teams. I’d bet that there are teams in the bottom half of the PL that have a better record than the 7 of 63 mentioned. And the problem with shots on goal is equally bad. Yes, we won against Cardiff, but that was at home, against… Read more »


The worst thing is managements inability to react into what we see; when its obvious that we need to strenghten defense, how an earth we dont do that? This Lich thingie reminds me of playing Silvestre, Squillaci, fat bloke from brazil etc. I am telling you that there are far better cb’s, dwb’s and dmc’s in Championship than in our line up right now. Actuslly purchasing Holding with 2M£ makes more and more sense for me every day. In addition to this, we got our youths, but stubbornly these options are not used, instead there are players lacking toughness, ability… Read more »


What happened to the ‘5 Captains’ project, oh they are either not picked or leaving.


Thanks for the glass half full Scott. We need that. But you also pointed out your displeasure with Emery’s conservative approach which I don’t like either.


Good one Scott! Any idea how Iwobi fared on the right or is this not a game to look into that?

Matt P

Pool choking. Ha ha


Yup :). We only have to win all our games, which with the run in, is possible, the others crash n burn and who knows, it’s still mathematically possible to hit the top.

Back to my padded cell.


Heck! The things we sacrifice to make sure the spuds can’t win the league.


The most frustrating part of watching Arsenal over the past few years is the lack of fighting spirit and pride. I personally could live with the idea not breaking into the top four or winning anything but seeing a soulless performance and no team spirit is even more painful.

Chris Siple

That’s a bit harsh. The quality gulf was a bit painful to watch, especially their attack against our defenders, but there was plenty of fight in our guys. We just got beat, and it wasn’t because we didn’t play Ozil or Emery was too conservative or (only) because Lichtsteiner was really awful. City was a lot better on the day, individually and as a team. They match up well against us; they made us look bad in the first game too. I think it’s time to give Jenkinson a run at right back. How could he do worse than Lichtsteiner,… Read more »


nothing match .. lost it in midfield. Ganduzi was supposedly the best midfielder, and had just 50 passes, and just 10 in the final third. I get the fact that everyone wants to show him as a bright spot, but he is woefully mediocre, and is stat-padding simply because he is all alone linking midfield to attack. The midfield was non-existent. When Ramsey / Suarez came on, at least it looked like there was another team also playing for the ball.

Emery has succeeded in lowering expectations and mediocritising the club.

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