Leicester 3-0 Arsenal: By the numbers

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With a third loss in a row for Arsenal, things are really falling apart rather quickly. Arsenal have fallen from a realistic chance at finishing third and controlling their own destiny in the top four race to outsiders in 5th place 2 points back with two matches to play.

It is only by the flaws and floundering of the teams around them that they are still within touching distance of 4th place and a Champions League spot.

Even with the team mathematically not eliminated through League qualification, this run of matches culminating in an embarrassing result at Leicester, has brightly illustrated that Arsenal do not have the team depth to compete in two high stakes matches a week at this point in the season.

The run of matches against Crystal Palace, Wolves and Leicester is tough, all three are good teams but that is not a run of matches that should end in an aggregate scoreline of 9 to 3.

Hopefully the Europa League brings out a better performance.

Leicester 3-0 Arsenal: By the graphs

Running xG

xG Shot Map

Shot Placement xG Map

Simulated Match Result

Leicester 3-0 Arsenal: By the numbers

1 – The number of Arsenal players to have a pass completion percentage greater than 90% (min 10 pass attempts). That player was Matteo Guendouzi with 11 of 12 passes completed. Alexandre Lacazette gets close with an 89% on 16 of 18 passing.

64% – Arsenal’s pass completion as a team. The lowlights include Bernd Leno 39%, Shkodran Mustafi 48%, Sokratis 54% and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang 58%

27 – Final third passes completed by James Maddison, leading all players. Granit Xhaka completed the most passes total for Arsenal and 27 total.

7 – Big Chances conceded by Arsenal, the most they have given up in a single match this season.

7 – Shots for Jamie Vardy, equaling Arsenal as a team.

4 – Big Chances for Vardy.

2.44 – Expect Goals for Vardy on those 7 shots

9 – Saves from Bernd Leno

1.7 – Expected Goals value of the shots Leno saved. A return to form after a stinker against Wolves. If somehow Chelsea screw up their last two matches giving Arsenal a chance to sneak into the top 4, goal difference could well be the deciding factor.

Arsenal set up to counter attack, it doesn’t really work

4 – Shots for Arsenal before the Red Card

9 – Shots for Leicester before the Red Card

0.61 – xG for Arsenal before the Red Card

1.6 – xG for Leicester before the Red Card

26% – Possession for Arsenal before the Red Card

33 – Touches in the final third for Arsenal before the Red Card including 8 touches in the box

67 – Touches in the final third for Leicester before the Red Card including 14 touches in the box

The Red Card certainly changed the game but even before going down to 10 men Arsenal were by no means controlling the match. Unai Emery looked to sit deep and play on the counter attack in this match from the start. That in itself is a fine tactic and has seen Arsenal use it well this season at times.

The biggest deviation from this match and others where it has worked well is that here Arsenal seemed entirely too passive. There was no high press to speak of, with little to no pressure in the middle third of the field to back that up. Their 3 man midfield always seemed to be able to find openings against Arsenal’s double pivot and unsurprisingly were able to open up the Arsenal back line.

Arsenal had moments where they were able to counter attack effectively but the trade off of inviting Leicester to attack the back four over and over without pressure seemed like a doomed strategy.

Arsenal’s lack of defensive improvement

416 – Non penalty shots allowed by Arsenal in 2017/18

469 – Non penalty shots allowed by Arsenal in 2018/19

146 – Shots on Target allowed by Arsenal in 2017/18

174 – Shots on Target allowed by Arsenal in 2018/19

46 – Non-penalty Goals allowed by Arsenal in 2017/18

43 – Non-penalty Goals allowed by Arsenal in 2018/19

44.7 – Non-penalty expected goals conceded by Arsenal in 2017/18

50.7 – Non-penalty expected goals conceded by Arsenal in 2018/19

12 – The number of times this season Arsenal have conceded less than 1 xG in a match. Last season Arsenal did it 17 times.

3 – The number of times Arsenal have conceded more than 3 xG in a match this season. Last season Arsenal did it just 2 times.

9 – The number of times Arsenal have conceded more than 2 xG in a match this season. Last season Arsenal also did it 9 times.

9.8 – Open play shots allowed per match for Arsenal this season. Last season Arsenal allowed 7.9, an increase of nearly two extra shots per match from open play.

1.1 – xG allowed from open play per match this season. Last year Arsenal allowed 0.97 per match.

3.2 – Shots from set plays allowed per match for Arsenal this season. Last season Arsenal allowed 3.0 per match.

0.3 – xG allowed per match from set plays this season. Last year Arsenal allowed 0.2 per match.

7.6 – Shots in the penalty area allowed this season by Arsenal. Last year Arsenal allowed 7.2 per match.

For all of the focus on Arsenal’s defensive failings last year and the narrative that just about any manager would do a better job than Arsene Wenger, the numbers do not back that argument.

By every measure but goals allowed (thank you Bernd Leno) Arsenal have gotten worse this season. They are giving up more shots. They are giving up more shots in better areas. They are giving up higher quality chances. They are having fewer matches were they have held their opponents to under 1 expected goal and have maintained the same number of disaster performances.

Fixing the underlying issues with the Arsenal defense was never going to be an easy task, especially with the injuries that Arsenal suffered. Arsenal brought in a starting center back and a true defensive midfielder in the summer and that was not a miraculous fix, like the rest of the squad it looks like it will be a multi year process to rebuild to an acceptable level.

@oh_that_crab

Sources: Opta via WhoScored, StatsZone, Understat and my own database.

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Vonnie
Vonnie

Wow, that’s pretty damning.

bobbyp
bobbyp

Fuck! Things are worse than I thought. We need to get our act together pretty quick if we are to salvage our season.

GraeB
GraeB

Last time we conceded 3 goals, 3 games running was Sheff U, Leeds, Villa at the end of season in 1966 where the Summer result was Billy Wright was sacked (ok we ended up 14th). Those 3 teams all relegated and are now looking to return to top flight by coincidence.

70% possession versus Wolves and 600+ passes – 3 goals conceded. Leicester 33% possession and just 188 passes – 3 goals conceded. We can’t control a game and we can’t play on the break either

AMN is not a full back, nor is Kola – why go 4 at the back? Iwobi and Mikhy cannot make chances – what’s the point in 2 up front. .

Futsboller
Futsboller

Unbelievable.

Dave
Dave

We need a manager who has a system and a style and doesn’t just play a random one every week.

Devlin
Devlin

Like James said in the Arsecast, he has one. Problem is that it’s just a bad system.

The only system that can lose to opposite types of football in the space of two weeks. One with us having 30% possession and the other with us having 70%.

Dave
Dave

How can that possibly be the same system?

We change formation and personnel and tactics every game. And then usually again at half time when it doesn’t work first half. It’s a joke.

How many systems have Liverpool employed this season?

goonero
goonero

That’s not what James said, he said there isn’t a system that plans to accommodate players not being able to string more than 3 passes together in a row or lose almost every 50-50.

The players aren’t executing whatever the plan is. That doesn’t mean there’s nothing wrong with the plan, but you have to acknowledge the players role in this.

Dave
Dave

The players must take responsibility too, however we can’t just be rid of all of them.

The manager on the other hand…

Santori
Santori

Mistakes by Sokratis.

The glaring one how Koscielny and him let the second goal happen.

But shhh…not going to see any stats on that. Its called an agenda.

Leno me, I’ll be your friend
Leno me, I’ll be your friend

Says Agenda Brenda, the Shkodran ‘Grand Pretender’ Mustafi defender!

Devlin
Devlin

I had hoped that this season, Emery’s focus would be on making us defensively solid. By that I mean, giving us a structure, shape and coordinating a press, or at least finding a way to guide the opposition to non-threatening areas of the pitch. If we spent the season working on defence alone, I wouldn’t have minded. It would have been a way for us to target the long term by drilling a defensive system into the players, and then next season, looking to attack more, knowing that we are solid at the back.

Now it seems like next season, we will have to start from scratch on all facets of team play. If we do not win anything or qualify for the Champions League, this would be a wasted season if the team does not come out having improved at something. As much as the team itself isn’t of the highest quality defensively, we should be better than the mid to lower table sides in defence.

It’s one thing to lose, and I heard James making some remarks about Diego Semione and Atletico Madrid, but they started with low quality players. Their system allowed them to climb to where they are now, where they can now attract the top talents in the game. Their style of play has also been grossly exegerated as defensive all the way. They only play that way in the big games, against teams they consider to have a better possession system than them, but against any other side, they dominate the game and keep possession to reduce the physical strain of sitting off.

A system’s efficiency is dependent on the quality on hand, but the tactics have to be right in the first place, the coaching has to be right in the first place, the mindset has to be right in the first place and the players have to be suited to what you are trying to do.

The system debate has gone on all season, and now it’s importance has reared its ugly head in the worst of ways. I understand if most these players will not be here next season, or two seasons from now, but what can those who will remain come out of this season having learned?

Mr. Gene
Mr. Gene

The boys are drinking all night again, happens every year

Arsenala Vista Baby
Arsenala Vista Baby

We are the ArseNulled for now.

Jean Ralphio
Jean Ralphio

If we don’t make the champions League we will have under achieved. We had a worse squad last year.

Forest gooner
Forest gooner

trust emery for 2 years
Don’t be like dems wanting to impeach trump at every opportunity.

It is easy to find flaws but it is extremely challenging to manage a team. Ask neville-accomplished player, criticized every manager when he was a pundit but when he became coach of Valencia, was sacked in 3 months.

Laca-Sead
Laca-Sead

oK but Trump should be impeached for the sole reason he is an idiot.

Clockendrider
Clockendrider

Applying that across the board would be one way to solve world hunger….

Cheesus
Cheesus

Maybe it’s time to replace Steve Bould.

gee
gee

Mourhinio lite. Small team mentality. he is even a poor mans Rafa Benitez to be honest. I have not forgiven him for the way we setup for Crystal Palace at home. How are you going to play 2 defensive mids 5 defenders (8 defensive players with the keeper) and play on the counter at home to fooking Palace!! Cowardly tactics. Every new manager has to overcome skeptics to their style of football, philosophies, types of players brought in etc. Wenger had to prove himself and so does Emery and so far he is failing that for me. Can only judge at the end of the season to be fair but it does not look good.

Jacob
Jacob

Most worryingly, and surprisingly this isn’t being spoken that much. we are losing our best defender and our best midfielder this summer, and there’s no reason to think we will replace either of them adequately. There’s every chance we are going to start next season with a worse squad than the one that started this.

Skinnyarse
Skinnyarse

A new defensive coach would be a good call.