It wasn’t great but it was a win in what should be the hardest match of the Europa League group stage.
It is growing uncomfortably familiar to say things like the above. Arsenal play pretty poorly, scrape a out a win that isn’t entirely deserved with just enough of an attack, and we all kind of try to forget about everything we just saw.
This was certainly a match that isn’t going to get a lot of rewatches but I think that there is a least one positive in that we got to see a good performance from Thomas Partey in his first start with Arsenal.
Rapid Vienna 1-2 Arsenal: By the graphs
xG Shot Map
Simulated Match Result
Rapid Vienna 1-2 Arsenal: By the numbers
15 – Minutes it took Arsenal to get their first shot in this match
36 – Minutes Arsenal went between their 4th shot (31st minute) and their 5th shot (65th minute)
11 – Shots for Arsenal in this match, with 6 from open play
4 – Shots when the match was 0-0, with an expected goals value of 0.2
67.3% – Possession for Arsenal
31 – Touches for Arsenal within 25 yards of the goal, 4% of Arsenal’s total touches
This match was another one where the attack left something to be desired. It has been almost a full season of Mikel Arteta and we keep having the same things pop up, not enough shots, not turning middle third possession into dangerous possession and so on.
In this match, to my eye the main issue really looked like one of the main issues was that Arteta chose to put a penatly box poacher on the left wing and that is where a lot of possession went to die. This problem is slightly different but it really ryhems with what we have seen in other matches where Arsenal’s best goal scorer too often finds himself by the corner flag trying to whip in crosses to an almost empty penalty box.
It feels like sometimes that Arteta is over thinking things with where he is playing Arsenal’s attackers, especially against teams that Arsenal should be heads and shoulders better then.
Thomas Partey Arsenal Debut
83 – Passes completed, 2nd on Arsenal
90.2% – Pass completion percentage, on 84.7% expected passing
13 – Final third entry passes completed, led Arsenal
11 – Progressive passes completed, led Arsenal
3 – Passes completed into the box, 2nd on Arsenal
4 – Long passes completed of 5 attempted
1 – Key pass
1 – Shot
1 – Dribble
0 – Turnovers
5 – Tackles, led Arsenal
1 – Interception
8 – Ball Recoveries, led Arsenal
It wasn’t the sternest of opponents but in this match, Thomas Partey excelled making his full Arsenal Debut. He did a little bit of everything in this match and looking very comfortable in the middle of this Arsenal team. What really stood out to me in this match was that he was almost always looking to play the ball forward when he got the chance.
I have already gone on about wanting to free up Arsenal’s ability to attack, and the addition of Thomas Parety is something that I hope will allow for more of that in the future as he becomes a more integral part of the Arsenal team.
Sources: Opta via WhoScored and my own database