In the grand scheme of things, how a team racks up results is a secondary concern, especially in a knockout tournament.
This match, with the roughly similar midweek match against Liverpool will make for easy comparisons but I think that these were very different performances. Liverpool felt like a classic smash and grab but this match against Manchester City felt that Arsenal executed their game plan and while I don’t think that they were the better team, the certainly were a team that held their own and came out deserved winners instead of fortunate winners.
Arsenal have a chance now to finish this very strange and very disappointing season on a high note.
Arsenal 2-0 Man City: By the graphs
xG Shot Map
xG Shot Table
Simulated Match Result
Arsenal 2-0 Man City: By the numbers
796 – Touches for Manchester City, 64% of the total for the match
314 – Touches for Manchester City in the final third, 84% of the total for the match
49 – Touches in the box for Manchester City, 82% of the total for the match
3 – Shots in prime for Manchester City
2 – Shots in prime for Arsenal
One of the major differences between this match and the Liverpool match for me is that Arsenal did an amazing job keeping Manchester City from taking shots in really dangerous positions. With the amazing talent that they have accumulated it is nearly impossible to keep them at bay for the whole match but Arsenal did an amazing job.
Here are the distances for the open play shots that Manchester City took in yards: 24, 14, 17, 5, 12, 15, 29, 23, 29.
To get these results often took some good last ditch defending but in this match (outside of one very nearly MUSTAFI moment) Arsenal were completely switched on and up to the task.
For Arsenal they were almost the exact opposite. The three shots that the took from open play the longest shot was Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s first shot with the distances of 19, 7 and 12 yards. Arsenal were very efficient in turning their possession into good shots.
Arsenal suffer together
90 – Total defensive actions by Arsenal (Manchester City had just 32 total)
45 – Clearances by Arsenal (led by David Luiz with 11)
13 – Interceptions by Arsenal (led by David Luiz with 4)
6 – Blocked Passes by Arsenal (led by Granit Xhaka with 2)
16 – Tackles by Arsenal (led by Dani Ceballos with 4)
5 – Blocks by Arsenal (5 players with 1 each)
This section really goes well with what was written above. Arsenal played tremendous defense to keep a very difficult Manchester City team at bay. The 1.6 xG for Manchester City is their 35th highest total this season of their 43 matches where I have the xG this season.
Bonus stat: 12.3% the probability of scoring 4 goals from the last 7 shots that Arsenal have taken against Manchester City and Liverpool.
Sources: Opta via Whoscored and my own database.