That was a big old exclamation mark on the disappointing end to the Arsenal season. The run to the end of the season was bad and was made worse when things turned against the team they were unable to turn things around. Bad results, led to overreactions and panic and even worse results.
The Europa League Final was a lot of that but in a single match. The first half wasn’t bad, it was very even for both teams but as soon as Arsenal conceded a goal, they looked like they panicked and conceding more was inevitability. In the end it was a total collapse that mirrored the end of Arsenal’s Premier League season.
Chelsea 4-1 Arsenal: By the graphs
Chelsea 4-1 Arsenal: By the numbers
63 – Passes completed by Granit Xhaka, leading all players. He also completed his passes at a 92.7% rate including 12 of 14 long passes. Xhaka did well passing on the day, especially on the long switches that took advantage of Chelsea’s narrow shape.
3 – Defensive actions by Granit Xhaka (2 tackles, 1 interception, 0 fouls, 0 clearances and 0 blocked passes). His partner Lucas Torreira had 8 total (2 tackles, 2 interceptions, 1 foul, 1 clearance and 2 blocked passes). With Chelsea going with a midfield 3 the ask of Arsenal’s double pivot was huge and it really felt that Xhaka was unable to provide enough to cover in the major chunks of areas he was asked to help cover.
4 – Shots by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (tied for most), 0 on target.
3 – Shots by Alexandre Lacazette, 1 on target.
4 – Shots by Joe Willock (tied for most), 0 on target. He did this in just over 15 minutes, and yes the game was all but lost at that point but it was a certain improvement over what Arsenal had done beforehand.
0 – Shots by Mesut Özil
1 – Chance created by Mesut Özil.
26 – Passes completed by Mesut Özil, 89.7% completion rate.
13 – Final third passes completed by Mesut Özil (2nd on Arsenal by Xhaka).
2 – Successful passes into the box by Mesut Özil.
6 – Ball recoveries by Mesut Özil
3 – Defensive actions by Mesut Özil.
7 – Times lost possession by Mesut Özil (led all players). On a day when there is a lot on the line, it is the big players that you look to provide the moment of magic or do something special. This is especially true at Arsenal where the squad is imbalanced with the big money invested into the 3 big attacking players on the pitch. For the most part they all disappointing and I think that Özil might have been the most disappointing. Chelsea did a very good job of cutting out the space that he likes to operate in and Özil was unable to break free or even use his gravity of attention to create openings for other players.
72.1% – Pass completion rate by Sead Kolasinac, worst among all players.
0 – Crosses completed by Sead Kolasinac. He had one attempt that was coded that way by Opta and 2 that looked like they were attempted cutbacks that were blocked.
2 – Key passes by Sead Kolasinac.
1 – Defensive action by Sead Kolasinac (0 tackles, 0 interception, 0 fouls, 0 clearances and 1 blocked passes).
8 – Shots on target faced by Petr Cech, saving 4 of them.
3.1 – The shot placement xG rating of those shots faced. The goals had ratings of 0.4 for Olivier Giroud’s first, 0.6 for Pedro’s second, 0.3 for the penalty (which we all knew was basically 100% going to be a goal as soon as the referee pointed to the spot. This also under counts the xG of the shot because of the way Hazard takes his penalty.), and 0.9 for the final Hazard one.
5 – Dribbles completed by Eden Hazard (led all players), of 10 attempted.
3 – Fouls suffered by Eden Hazard (tied for most).
7 – Passes completed into the box by Eden Hazard (led all players), at a 100% completion rate.
22 – Passes in the final third completed by Eden Hazard (led all players).
3 – Shots by Eden Hazard, all 3 on target and 2 goals.
5 – Chances created by Eden Hazard (led all players). If Özil was a disappointment in a big match, Hazard was the opposite and was the key to most of what Chelsea did. He was especially key in the second half where he got the better of Ainsley Maitland-Niles in one on one situations.
72 – Days until the start of the Premier League season
70 – Days until the close of the Premier League transfer window. It is going to be a very compressed summer for Arsenal. There is a lot to get done and there is just 10 weeks to do it.
Sources: Opta via Whoscored, StatsZone and my own database.
It was a fun first season doing the by the numbers here. I will do more posts over the summer as Arsenal sign players (hopefully good ones).
Thanks for the numbers this season, always interesting.
The XGs one sums up the match well, decent first half then horrible second half.
Still trying to forget though.
I was never one for the intangibles. Always thought you just needed 11 proud competitors. But now I think I was wrong. The Arse needs leadership from top to bottom. Whether it’s the wiggy billionaire extra from the Beastie Boys Sabotage video or a new centre half.
We didn’t have 11 proud competitors, that’s the thing. You may not be wrong about that.
The team played in foreign soil, so I guess away game mentality kicked-in and we ended up being smack down just like any other away games, irrespective of the opponent. Sad….
Thanx Scott, I am sorry your last By the Numbers had to be on a sour end to the season. Looking forward to your future articles.
Ozil had a poor game but try watching it back and you will see he had clearly been instructed by our inept manager to man mark Jorginho. There was no space as kept tracking Jorginho when he went forward instead of staying and exploiting space left behind. Open your eyes and stop regurgitating shite would be my message to Scott and blogs. It’s embarrassing. I doubt hazard was told to man mark Xhaka
Sheesh, all I said was a thank you lol
I’m convinced that our PL form fell over a cliff and we lost the Europa final so shamefully, is because we lost Ramsey to injury. There.
?? it’s funny how since Ramsey’s injury and decision to leave for Juve, he is now considered our best player. Over more than a decade, he has put up hundreds of poor, sluggish performances. At one point, people were bemoaning Wenger’s insistence to play him in the no. 10 role instead of Ozil. Now that he’s leaving, he’s our lord and savior and everything would have been better with him in the team. Same kind of revisionism happened with Cazorla, Arteta, and The BFG. I personally would rather focus on the performance of the entire squad over the course of… Read more »
It’s because the general quality of the team deteriorated so much through shit transfers and poor/absent coaching that he now is the best we’ve got.
It’s because regardless of how well he is or isn’t playing, Ramsey is a player who you can always bank on to at the very fucking least try and make something happen. He’s never hidden behind easy passes, conservative runs or anything. He’s the kind of player that if the game isn’t coming to him, he goes looking for it. And look at his fucking numbers, a goal or assist every other game in 300 + appearances, that should give you some idea that, more often than not, his endeavors bare us fruit. When you’re watching a team as sterile… Read more »
@Ballz you’ve missed the point. Yes Ramsey may not actually be a world beater but he is by far the best we have in his position, and since his injury against Napoli our record has been appalling. 3 wins, 1 draw, 4 defeats including this cup final! We’ve become over-reliant on him. Also disagree that Kovacic and Kante were average, they ran riot in the second half.
Disagree about the Cazorla part, as well 🙁
Didn’t read all of it or all of the replies, but seems like this is an apt time to point out:
It’s a good job Ramsey won’t be on £400k per week at Arsenal. He would be roasted in these comments just about every week!
That is true, I think we would have qualified for the CL with a fit Ramsey, but that we were so dependent on one player speaks volumes about our squad.
Sill trying to absorb yesterday’s shock… I don’t know where to start and don’t want to post a long and “santoriesque” type of contribution, but ffs… I shut down the tv after the 2nd goal, as I was so p*ssed of… no foul on AMN in the middle of the park (thanks ref, great job), counter attack, goal… This action will summarize our season. Thanks Kroenke for 2018/2019, thanks for the great job on contract management over the past 18 months… I’m glad this season is over, i’m more than concerned by the height of the mountain we have to… Read more »
How do you wear tongs? I thought you were supposed to use them for your barbecue.
Thanks Scott. Always good to read and here are a few more stats.
1 …Owner who doesn’t give a toss.
8 billion….. his estimated wealth in dollars.
0….the amount of money he will invest in the club.
4,000,000…. what he’ll take out of the club and call it a consultancy fee or some such tripe.
1…. rubbish moustache owned by owner.
0 percent faith I have in anything changing for the better whilst this leech remains the owner.
Four down votes were done by:
-> Josh Kroenke
-> Whitney Ann Kroenke
-> Katie Kroenke
-> Brett Kroenke
Children don’t like their father to be abused regardless of how bad he could be.
Be fair – its a solid moustache.
Have to disagree Mick, it’s one of those sneaky moustaches. There’s something dubious about it. It’s not to be trusted ?
You forgot to include the number of Giroud’s tears of joy, and Torreira’s tears of sadness :'(
How the HELL does a fullback/wingback have 1 defensive action for the entire match???
This is Sead Kolasinac, not Andre Santos!!
At least Santos might’ve taken a wild shot from 35 yards
And yet this is someone who started very brightly when he joined. The rate at which he has deteriorated is quite alarming
I’m waiting for how long it takes for fans to turn on Torreira. I don’t think he’s as bad as santori makes out, but I wonder whether his good period earlier in the season was just a purple patch and his real level is the way he played the rest of the season (i.e. not very well).
Thanks for the articles Scott. The xG suggest the game was closer than it appeared, and just turned on efficient finishing (I know, “just”, right?) In essence, we should never have let ourselves get into the position where our whole season and immediate future rested on one 90-minute game or, even more specifically, on our propensity to collapse in any given 20-minute spell if put under a bit of pressure.
Burn em all! Play all the kids next season. At least underperforming kids have a reason to under perform, have potential of improvement. Cheer them like they are our own kids and sell plateau ‘d merchants. I wanna see kids!
Your kids at home would also like to see you
Fully agree. I’m tired of these pre-match presses where our “accomplished” players come out and talk dross of how ‘it’s time’ and ‘now or never’. Sarri and his dog knew how to outplay us. We didn’t bury our chances when the Chavs were panicking, we decided to find momentum and then the half time whistle blew. Cutbacks is all we do, kola can’t aim for the life of him and plays only by instinct. Not a SINGLE player out there gave a flying fuck after the match other than I think Torreira when he was subbed. Cunts, the lot of… Read more »
I understand and unfortunately, we can’t just take out these last 5.
Xhaka is often criticised but he is one solid player the team should be built on. The tactics and set up was wrong, an extra man in midfield was needed if we played Mesut as he doesn’t weight on the game if we don’t get the ball( or even if we have it as he cannot pass his marker). Anyway time to announce a massive signings!
Xhaka is obsolete due to his lack of pace….at one point chelsea players just straight lined him it was embarrassing!
Perfect illustration of how stats jockeying can easily veer into smart-sounding bullshit.
You can have a high rate of completed passes but if the completed passes are not leading to shots on goal or goals, it simply doesn’t matter; in fact it could show a lack of on field courage, decisiveness, intelligence. Xhaka to me is just a somewhat better version of Elneny, and is not a very intelligent player. Slow and defensively inadequate as well. SELL HIM ASAP.
I felt that Chelsea sussed us out. They realised early on that if they crowded Lacazette, our entire attack would break down. Without him, no one could/would feed Aubameyang, forcing him out wide in search of the ball. They were happy to let Ozil and Xhaka have the ball because they knew the only thing they would do was switch it to our wing backs who can’t cross for toffee, especially Kolasinic. No one in our midfield wanted to break the lines on or off the ball, or feed our strikers directly as Ramsey regularly does. There was also the… Read more »
Was anyone surprised at Emery’s lineup and tactics?
I was a little actually. We beat them at the Emirates by playing a diamond and suffocating their midfield. Thought Emery just might go for that again, even though we were missing Ramsey. Instead, we ended up being the ones that were out numbered in midfield.
Great analysis. They know, better than many of our fans apparently, that Xhaka and Ozil are just not consistently good enough to fear.
Thanks Scott…kudos to you for your efforts this season.
Are we really as shit as we looked last night? I’m a little bit confused, I watched us play some good football earlier in the season when we won a few big games which was nice to see. But then we finish the season on our face with pants down looking like an absolute stinking dung slide of a team who can’t do anything right all over the pitch.
Big appreciation for the stats. It often shows us that what we see on screen is not always reflected by what the players actually do. Xhaka for example in this game, he copped some criticism but in reality he had a fairly solid game.
One of my biggest frustration with the team this season is the heavy reliance on cut-backs from our full-backs even when it clearly isn’t working. Emery wants our team to be some tactical chameleon but he can’t even get the team to attack in different ways. Sead looked like a total mug here and it definitely wasn’t the only time this season. 7amkickoff hit the nail on the head for me in his blog post: “Ozil has fallen off a cliff. At the start of the season all I wanted Emery to get from Ozil was for him to play… Read more »
While you have a point about our tactics, I think it’s also fair to point out that Ramsey has played at 10 in this same formation and done better than Ozil. The main reasons being his directness with the ball, his energy and willingness to get into the box himself. Willock also showed Ozil up in the same game for the same reasons, so it’s hard for me to accept that Ozil’s performances are all down to Emery’s instruction.
Ramsey and Willock are off the ball players, not playmakers. They do not perform in the same spaces as Ozil and their creativity is in their movement into dangerous areas rather than passing the ball into dangerous areas. That’s the difference between why they thrive and Ozil doesn’t. He isn’t a player that can run with the ball, he can’t make good runs into the box and he isn’t a low touch player. He will however never play a pass if it isn’t there, and that is why people think he doesn’t contribute, because he does play hopeless balls just… Read more »
This squad needs a dose of reality. Without a manager that is able to impose extreme measures to offload the players with a weak and unambitious mentality, Arsenal will continue down this track. Simple as that.
Thanks. Would have loved to see iwobi’s numbers though.
Nice to stress on Özil’s efforts to defend! Yeah, the “oh, we can spit on him as he earns the most money”, fabulous analysis.
Numbers: 3 – number of defenders Özil had on his back each time he touched the ball
7 – number of defending infield players
3 – number of attacking players, some asked to defend as well
4 – goals for Chelsea.
Where is the problem?
I don’t remember Ozil giving the ball away cheaply. I do remember him surrounded on the touchline and failing to keep the ball in play trying to get us out of our own half. Would be interested in seeing some analysis beyond “sez here he lost possession 7 times…”
Kante passed the ball into touch under no pressure twice, I think! Ozil was better than that.
When Emery took on the job he must have been told he had to operate within the business model ie self sufficiency and no big money available.Thats why no big name s applied for the job or if they did they were put off by the restriction. The Spanish league aint as competitive as the epl so Emery thought,imho,he could replicate his tactics.But every game is fiercely contested unlike the La Liga. We had seen Arsenal declining the last years. During this time,MC and Chelsea have each won the epl 4 times through buying top,top players. The US owner betterknow… Read more »