Before the match there was sentiment among some (most?) that they would be willing to see Arsenal lose if it meant Unai Emery would no longer be the head coach of Arsenal (I was not among them, I want #EmeryOut but I can’t root for my team to lose). The first part happened, but it looks like the second will not follow immediately behind.
As things stand, it is an ugly scene at Arsenal and the goal of making the top 4 is slipping away and it is only November. It is understandable to not want to make a knee jerk decision but what is happening doesn’t look like a temporary blip of form or bad luck on results from good performances.
Leicester City 2-0 Arsenal: By the graphs
Leicester City 2-0 Arsenal: By the numbers
In the first 67 minutes before the goal:
Shots: 12 – 8
xG: 1.04 – 1.18
Big Chances: 0 – 1
Passes into the penalty area: 12 – 8
For the first two thirds of the match, it was a relatively close and even match. Leicester had a few more shots but Arsenal had had the better chance (Lacazette’s 14th minute shot). After the goal (well really after about 53 minutes when Arsenal had their last shot) the match was all Leicester.
In the final 22 minutes:
Shots: 7 – 0
xG: 0.71 – 0
Big Chances – 2 – 0
Passes into the penalty area: 8 – 3
For a team that was supposedly trying to chase the game and salvage something there wasn’t much to show for it. Emery made some attacking subs but it looked like once the goal went in all hope from the Arsenal players was lost.
Arsenal’s Top 4 odds after this result
My Projection model now gives Arsenal a 17% chance to finish in the top 4. FiveThirtyEight gives Arsenal a 13% chance and according to the betting markets it is between 16% and 20%.
Finishing in the Top 4 isn’t gone, but with each passing result things are looking more and more unlikely.
Arsenal’s declining dominance
Tim (aka 7amkickoff) on twitter pointed out another damning stat about Arsenal, looking at the number of matches that Arsenal had the better xG in their League matches going back to 2014/15:
Unai Emery has talked about making Arsenal more competitive but I don’t think that what he wanted was to be more competitive when we face teams with inferior talent and below us in the Premier League pecking order. Yet that is exactly what has happened.
Looking at both the Premier League and the Europa League Arsenal have been out shot by their opponents in 10 of 16 matches this season.
The writing is on the wall for Arsenal and with the way that Arsenal are performing it is really hard to see the massive improvement in performances needed to get back into the top 4 race coming under this manager.
Sources: Opta via Whoscored, StatsZone, 7amkickoff and my own database