Arsenal bounced back from the crushing defeat on Thursday with a well-controlled win over League One side Portsmouth.
Portsmouth 0-2 Arsenal: By the graphs
Portsmouth 0-2 Arsenal: By the numbers
4 – Fouls committed by Portsmouth in the opening 22 minutes, that doesn’t include the near ankle breaker on Lucas Torreira that forced him to be stretchered off. They would commit 4 more for the rest of the match.
3 – Shots for Portsmouth in the opening 22 minutes to Arsenal’s 1. The extra physical (with some help from Mike Dean allowing it) nearly paid off as Portsmouth had the better of the attacking opportunities. They would take 8 more for the rest of the match.
40% – Possession for Portsmouth in the opening 20 minutes, this was the highest for any 20 minute spell of the match, for 20-40 minutes it was 33%, for 40-60 it was 29%, for 60-80 it was 31% and for 80 to the end it was 37%.
3 – Shots for Portsmouth after Arsenal scored their first goal.
4 – Touches in the box for Portsmouth after Arsenal scored their first goal.
Portsmouth were up for this match early but after a strong opening, 20 or so minutes Arsenal were able to take control and see out a fairly comfortable win, especially after scoring a goal on either side of the half time whistle.
Reiss Nelson, Man of the match
76% – Pass completion percentage, 93% excluding crosses (I am not sure why Whoscored excludes crosses when they show passing rates). My expected passing model had him at 65% for the passes he attempted, so he was well above expected.
5 – Crosses completed, led all players
11 – Progressive passes (passes that move the team at least 20% closer to goal), led all players
7 – Completed passes into the box, led all players
6 – Very deep completions (passes completed within 15 meters of goal), led all players
4 – Key passes, led all players
0.32 – Expected goals assisted on those 4 key passes
3 – Touches in the box, tied for 6th most
2 – Carries into the box, tied for 2nd most
2 – Times lost possession
Nelson has seen his chances in the first team limited over the last few weeks but in this match, he made the most of the opportunity to make his case for future inclusion. Among the Arsenal front line, he was the creative hub, leading the team in chance creation and deep ball progression. It was even more impressive considering that he essentially had to run the right side of the attack all by himself with Sokratis playing out of position as the right back in this match. This performance might not get him an automatic start next match but it might get him moved up the pecking order as an option for an attacking substitute.
The Joe Willock Enigma
21 – Total turnovers (misplayed passes + times lost possession), led all players
29.6% – The percentage of his total touches that ended up with him giving the ball away.
67.4% – Pass completion percentage, my expected passing model would expect an average player to have completed around 84% given the passes he tried.
1 – Shot, with an xG value of 7%
1 – Key pass, with an xG value of 15%
9 – Progressive carries (moving with the ball at a players feet that advances the ball 15% closer to goal)
4 – Successful dribbles, led Arsenal
2 – Tackles
4 – Blocked passes, led all players
3 – Clearances
8 – Ball recoveries, 2nd on Arsenal
I am a little confused about why Joe Willock has gotten so much playing time with Arsenal this season. It has happened under two consecutive managers, so I don’t think that is that he is a personal favorite or anything. I watch him play, and what I see is that you have a great athlete, who tries really hard but looks to be lacking in the technical quality to be played in the position that he is being asked to play in. I don’t want to write him off, or to denigrate him but too often for me, he either fails to make much of an influence on a match through minimal involvement or like in this match, when the ball reaches him too often it is turned over to the other team.
1 – A request, to fill out a survey on how you feel about the current state of Arsenal. I have done this every couple of weeks and post the results on the Arsenal Vision website.
Sources: Opta via whoscored and my own database