Arsenal played pretty well in this match. They created enough that they should have scored more than 1 goal, even without good finishing they were denied a clear penalty that could have bailed them out, even worse Arsenal basically kicked the ball into their own net while keeping Burnley’s attack well away from their goal.
The result put the already remote chances of Arsenal getting into the top 4 even further away and makes finishing in the top 6 a very tough task, with FiveThirtyEight giving Arsenal just a 14% chance before Sunday’s fixtures. The two points lost here will make the following 11 days very important for Arsenal’s season, with the round of 16 Europa Leauge matches sandwiching the North London Derby.
Burnley 1-1 Arsenal: By the graphs
Burnley 1-1 Arsenal: By the numbers
16 – Shots from Arsenal in this match
4 – Shots for both Bukayo Saka and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, leading all players
3 – Shots on target for Arsenal
2.2 – Expected goals
0.8 – Post Shot expected goals for the shots Arsenal put on target
Arsenal probably did enough to create 2 or 3 goals, running a simulation of Arsenal’s shots it was more likely that given the probabilities of each shot turning into a goal it was more likely that Arsenal would score 3 (23%) goals than the 1 (22%) goal they did score. Arsenal was screwed by the handball decision but not converting the chances that they created was the bigger issue.
Burnley bring the pressure
116 – Pressure that Burnley average per match in the Premier Leauge (2nd fewest)
204 – Pressure that Burnley had against Arsenal in this match
30 – Attacking third pressures that Burnley average per match in the Premier League (10th)
81 – Pressure that Burnley had in the attacking third against Arsenal in this match
1 – Goal created from putting Arsenal under pressure
37 – Progressive passes allowed on average by Burnley in the Premier League (6th most)
34 – Progressive passes completed by Arsenal in this match.
7 – Progressive passes completed by Arsenal from the start of the second half until the 80th minute
6 – Final third entry passes completed by Arsenal from the start of the second half until the 80th minute
3 – Final third entry passes completed by Thomas Partey (3 progressive passes as well)
One of the things that I did not expect before this match was that Burnley was going to engage Arsenal high up the pitch. Burnley have had a fair amount of high-pressure events this season, but this match was by far the most they had done (the previous high was 63, which they exceeded by nearly 30% in this match).
This is something that Arsenal really seemed to struggle with, it led to the goal but it more concerningly to me was something that Arsenal really had trouble trying to breakthrough in the second half. This is something that I really had hoped Thomas Partey would help with more, but Granit Xhaka was the player that seemed more often like the player making himself available.
Arsenal came out well in this match but then from the 30th to 80th minutes could not do much against Burnley.
Alexandre Lacazette Struggles
0 – Shots against Burnley
0 – Key Passes (1 shot-creating action for a pre-shot assist)
64% – Pass completion percentage
1 – Pass completed in the box
71% – Pass reception percentage
271 – Minutes played (including the Europa League) since Lacazette’s last non-penalty shot. His last shot came in the 65th minute against Manchester United on January 30th.
I was nervous when I saw that Alexandre Lacazette was getting ready to come on during this game. It was clear that Arsenal needed to do something but I was not sure that the Arsenal striker was going to be the right choice. Before the change, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was doing really well as the main striker, with Martin Odegaard doing well as the central attacking midfielder.
Lacazette has also been in pretty bad form. He has gone over a month without getting a non-penalty shot and I think a lot of the other things that people point to with him are overrated. He is mostly average or better as a striker doing attacking midfielder type things but when he is compared to actual attacking midfielders he looks less good. With Lacazette playing as a number 10, Arsenal has generally looked very dysfunctional in attack and in this match, the switch to him playing that role seemed to kill any attacking momentum that Arsenal had, until Burnley dropped into 11 men in the box mode for the last 10 minutes.