Monday, May 20, 2024

Arsenal 2-2 Sp*rs: By the numbers

In the North London Derby Arsenal were the dominate team for the vast majority of the match. If it weren’t for two drastic mistakes, Arsenal likely would have walked away with all three points. Even with the two mistakes, Arsenal did enough that they created more and if had come out winners it would have been deserved.

In the end, it was a draw earned from coming back from a two goal hole. It doesn’t feel as good as a win but the alternative of throwing away a two goal lead feels way worse so I am glad that Arsenal have that as we head into the international break.

Arsenal 2-2 Sp*rs: By the graphs

Running xG

Running Non-Shot xG

This is a new one, this looks at ball the ball advancement for each possession and looks how far the ball was advanced. The distance to goal is what determines the non-shot expected value with getting closer corresponding to higher values.

xG shot Map

Shot Placement xG Map

Simulated Match Results

Arsenal 2-2 Sp*rs: By the numbers

26 – Shots for Arsenal, the most they have had in a match this season

13 – Shots for the North London Diving Club, the first time that Arsenal have out shot an opponent this season.

8 – Shots in prime (13 meters or less) for Arsenal

2 – Shots in prime for Sp*rs (both goals)

12 – Very Deep Completions for Arsenal (pass completions within 15 meters of goal)

2 – Very Deep Completions for Sp*rs

34 – Touches in the box for Arsenal

21 – Touches in the box for Sp*rs

271 – Final third touches for Arsenal

104 – Final third touches for Sp*rs

Most of the stats in this match really show that Arsenal were the dominate team on the day. Some of this could be down to score effects, (which basically boils down to because Sp*rs were leading they didn’t attack as much as they would with the match were tied or they were behind) but even before Sp*rs scored their goals, Arsenal were the team that looked more threatening. Gifting an opposing team 2 goals is not great but it was very encouraging how well Arsenal were able to progress the ball deep into the attacking third and the box.

Matteo Guendouzi shines

10 – Final third entry passes completed (2nd on Arsenal)

4 – Progressive passes completed (passes that advance a possession sequence 30%+ closer to goal) tied for most on Arsenal

82.8 – Pass completion percentage on 58 pass attempts and 77.7% expected passing.

62 – Percentage of his passes going forward (2nd on Arsenal)

7 – Ball recoveries (tied for most on Arsenal)

3 – Tackles (tied for most on Arsenal) of 7 attempted

2 – Interceptions (2nd on Arsenal)

1 – Blocked pass

1 – Dribble

0 – Dispossessed

1 – Key pass (assist for Aubameyang’s goal) worth 0.53 xG assisted

2 – Shots, 0.2 xG

1 – France National Team Call ups

On a day that one his main partners in midfield (no need to name names here) made a huge obvious mistake, Guendouzi made a strong case for supplanting him as the primary distributor and the first name on the team sheet for an Arsenal midfield. I think that this was a great performance for a midfielder full stop, no need to add age qualifiers. His call up to make his full France debut is well earned.

Arsenal’s front three looks dangerous

17 – Shots for Arsenal’s front 3. Led by Nicolas Pepe with 7 shots.

2.1 – xG for those shots by Arsenal’s front 3. Led by Aubameyang with 0.9 xG

18 – Touches in the box, all three players had 6 touches in the box.

4 – Key Passes. Led by Pepe with 2 shot assists.

0.9 – xG assisted. Led by Pepe with 0.5 xG assisted.

8 – Dribbles completed. Led by Pepe with 4.

11 – Deep and Very deep completions (Passes within 25 meters of goal). Led by Aubameyang with 6.

Unai Emery rolled with Arsenal’s new front three for the first time and it didn’t disappoint in creating dangerous attacking numbers. The three of them accounted for 65% of Arsenal’s shots, 81% of Arsenal’s xG and 44% of Arsenal’s deep completions. Both of Arsenal’s main strikers scored goals that highlighted their unique talents and Pepe added needed dribbling threat and creativity to go along with the most shots on the day.

It isn’t ideal to put one of Arsenal’s two strikers out wide left but if the trade off is a performance like we saw in the Derby I think that is something that most people will gladly do.


Sources: Opta via Whoscored, StatsZone and my own database

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“It isn’t ideal to put one of Arsenal’s two strikers out wide left” I have absolutely no problem with it, though i think all three are flexible enough that they can interchange on offense and then the two who happen to be widest when possession ends can defend the wide areas. I am still upset that Emery subbed off Laca. He had just busted a gut running back to defend a spuds counter and then he gets taken off. Ugh. For me Xhaka and Mkhitaryan should play cup games going forward, and as our first 11 we start our 3… Read more »


Laca litteraly asked for the change, he was slightly injured / out of breath


Laca asked to be subbed. It was so obvious he was gesturing to the bench to be taken off.

Maybe Emery should have ignored him and kept him on the pitch??


Laca requested a sub. Also indicated his hamstring area. Expect to see an injury report come out for him.



Did you literally just turn the game on right before he was subbed off? Lol

I think even the commentators who were actually watching the game mentioned that same thing why they were taking Laca off? Or might have misheard them


Your comment is spot on apart from the thing about Laca’s substitution, as he asked for it.
But I also agree that I got no problem with Auba and Pepe on the wings and Laca in the centre as his hold up play is second to none regardless his relatively small size and he often comes deep to get more balls in midfield and then Laca and Pepe can run into these spaces.
Think Auba will score at least 20 again this season, probably even more than the 22 last season even if he’ll only get played on the wings.

Win,lose or draw Emery remains the wrong choice

Please can we just move on from this Tottenham game??… We have failed the real test…let’s move on to Watford the easier game where we won’t be tested of course… Happy days for Emery the coward


That is just a plain cunty statement mate.

Give it a rest, Ben arfa.

Patrik Ljungberg

You are lost in the woods. Hug a tree and pray someone will resque you before it is too late.

Of course mate, you lead the way.
No need to look back though…


lol. outstanding.

Win,lose or draw Emery remains the wrong choice

Emery remains an average fearful coach…love it or hate it.. Take it or leave it

Win,lose or draw Emery remains the wrong choice

I have spoken the truth and soon you guys will realize it.. Emery is an average coach that won’t take us anywhere….take it or leave it or hate it……. I won’t give support to mediocrity

A Different George



Nice one again. I think the two goals our strikers scored epitomizes their strength. Auba is less likely to score Laca’s goal and vice versa. Auba’s best position is obviously through the middle but the good news is that Laca has a way of drifting and allowing his bff to play through the middle as the game permits. And up and running Pepe will only make this easier.


Guendouzi’s stats are impressive.
I’d love to know who he tied for ball recovery, tackling and progressive passing.


Thanks Scott it really was an awesome performance by Gwen. To play devils advocate a bit , is it possible to post Xhakas numbers and Torrerias ? I suspect you already have them. I rewatched the game and thought that beyond the horrendous mistake Xhaka hd a good game. I mean the mistake cant be ignored but it would be good to see what he actually did well . We dominated them in midfield and final third and Xhaka was a part of that (sorry guys devils advocate remember) . I’d love to see that done to others (without the… Read more »


I second that motion.

I love Tomas Rosicky

Damn it i think i blew the chronological order.

I love Tomas Rosicky

I third that! (If that can be said)


Xhaka absolutely did not have a good game. He committed 7 fouls I believe!


He didn’t get red carded so the number of fouls doesn’t make it a bad performance, and the OP specifically said “other than his big mistake”. Some of those were smart fouls. Which can’t always be said about Xhaka.


Leno – Should’ve done better with that shot, but did will with others. AMN – Best game for a minute, no glaring mistakes and his usual composure and swagger on the ball. Kola – Great start, faded, but not as bad as most fans are making out. Luiz – Thought he mostly dealt with Kane brilliantly Sok – Thought he mostly looked on the brink of something rash, now I believe. Guendouzi – Brilliant. Toreirra – Effort amazing, execution not, I wanna see him in front of the defence. Xhaka – Apart from the foul he was actually not bad,… Read more »


Thanks for your individual analysis of each player. I was waiting for our other resident expert but this is good enough. I was hoping for something like this in a stats column. Good insights


Would be great if Leno had held the ball for the 1st goal, but more difficult than some are making out. Goal not his fault at all. Luiz and Sokratis both at fault for the 1st goal. AMN was slow to react to threats and generally had a fairly poor game. Kola looked decent, 1st game back, was not a def liability. Xhaka’s ridiculous decision-making has already been discussed. Torreira was a bit rust, but should consistently start with Guendouzi and maybe Ceballos. Front three were great. Laca was awesome before his goal, defending, linking well and helping us break… Read more »


Leno ‘Goal not his fault at all.’ Yes it was! Not only but also, his fault.

A Different George

Of course, it was Leno’s fault. Of course, there were other mistakes that led to the shot, but that’s irrelevant when the shot should have been stopped and cleared pretty easily. To say Leno had a good match apart from that (and one other, similar error that didn’t cost anything) is true. But it’s also true that Xhaka was quite good except for the one incredibly bad moment that gave them their other goal.


I suggest watching Adrian Clarkes breakdown, he agreed with me about laca in the first half, we often agree, I like Adrian.

Ordnance Dave

Emery has to settle on his double pivot in midfield for this team to really take off. Guendouzi was one of them, even before his derby performance. Then it’s a choice between Cabellos, Willock, Torreira and Xhaka. Granit, just no, he’s had his chances already and his lack of mobility is a serious weakness now. Torreira I would actually prefer in an attacking midfield role, especially against stronger teams where his tenacity can lead the press (like Ramsey last season). Willock is definitely ready to play and of course Cabellos can play deep or play an attacking midfield role, although… Read more »


Hey Scott

Above you mentioned how the stats it looked like we dominated the match but it could have been the spurs letting off since they were the ones up by 2. You mentioned before the spurs scored that it looked like we were still dominating? Was that statistically of just an observation?

Cliff Bastin

I wish I could do a very deep completion.


For now, let’s LAP it all up.

wright gangsta

Do you have Xhaka’s stats? Would be interesting to know especially for both halves separately because I felt his first half was absolutely abysmal, but I thought he managed to recover quite well in the second half.

Gunner fan

I don’t think anyone here doubt Xhaka’s talent, especially when it comes to picking out team mates with his long rage passes, but his mistakes are just too COSTLY and that is SO frustrating..


Only slightly off topic, but going into the international break, it should be said, France’s squad is sick! Can’t think of many other countries where Laca wouldn’t be a given starter. So glad he is ours!! COYG.

A Different George

I thought this looked a lot like the Man City-Spurs match. Okay, maybe we weren’t quite as dominant as Man City (who is?), but in both cases Spurs were clearly the inferior side, constantly in danger of being overwhelmed, dependent on Lloris, and were very lucky to get a draw. But luck evens out over 38 games. I think we are a better side right now, and better than Man United and Chelsea as well.

Ray Parlour's ice cream van

One other interesting stat – Mesut Ozil is our long serving player. Discuss….

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