Arsenal lost a third consecutive league game against Aston Villa as Mikel Arteta’s side succumbed to a 1-0 defeat at Villa Park after an early Ollie Watkins goal. It was a worrying display for Mikel Arteta’s side as Arsenal failed to create any great chances as Aston Villa sat into a deep defensive shape and allowed Arsenal the majority of the ball. Arsenal’s positive late December / January momentum seems to have halted and work will be needed to arrest this decline if Arsenal are to salvage anything from this league campaign.
Let’s delve into the data to see if we can gain any more insight.
Above is the Cumulative PVA (Possession Value Added) for the two teams. Possession Value Added or PVA measures the increase or decrease in the likelihood of a possession ending in a goal based on the successful passes a team makes. Essentially it shows how threatening you are when you have the ball and whether or not your passing is effective in increasing your chances of scoring.
Arsenal dominated the game and managed to get the ball into threatening areas, but with an Expected Goals (xG) of less than 1, it shows that Arsenal are not converting these ‘opportunities’ into good scoring chances.
Above shows the pass maps for each of the Starting XI. Granit Xhaka was the metronome for the side and dominated the ball as Arsenal’s midfield and wingers had a large share of possession. Worryingly Alex Lacazette failed to register a single touch in the box or shot during the game showing Arsenal’s problems in creating any chances of note.
Above shows the passes into the penalty area from both sides. Arsenal’s left-hand side proved the most successful route into the Villa box, but again to have 19 passes into the opposition box and yet create very few clear cut chances is worrying.
Above shows the average touch positions for the Arsenal players up until the first substitution. Emile Smith Rowe and Alexandre Lacazette were forced to drop deep to get any touches as Villa looked to crowd central areas to deny Arsenal any creative opportunites.
That’s all for today, and also will be my last ‘By The Visuals’ piece as I have accepted an analysis role at a professional club for the upcoming season. The great Jon Ollington will be taking over the BTV column from the next game and I am 100% sure he will improve the quality of it.
Thanks to everyone who has interacted with these and for the support for my work, unfortunately I couldn’t finish with a more positive game to analyse but that’s the life of an Arsenal fan I suppose!