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).