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 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