This probably will not be the deepest analysis of a match I have ever done.
Mostly because I just don’t think that there is really in this match to look at. Even before the red card, there wasn’t much in this for Arsenal, and then after the red card, there was even less. The absence of any fight, of any sign of wanting to challenge, is probably the biggest signal for me.
Often times it has felt that there was a gentleman’s agreement between Pep Guardiola and Mikel Arteta in these matches that Pep would kind of call things off and not embarrass his former assistant, it looked like Manchester City was trying to hold up their end of the bargain playing at half speed but Arsenal couldn’t even keep up with a training level pace.
Things are very negative right now, and it really feels like Arsenal has the next 8 matches to salvage their season. They will be the team with the higher probability of winning in 5 of those, with the other 3 close on the odds. It feels like while there is pressure on Arteta, he is still pretty secure in his position, this run of games really feels like it will be the measuring stick on which we will be able to judge him.
Manchester City 5-0 Arsenal: By the graphs
Manchester City 5-0 Arsenal: By the numbers
134 – Passes completed by Arsenal in this match. this is the fewest passes Arsenal have completed in a Premier League match since 2017-18 and likely much further back.
99 – Passes completed by Rodri in this match.
13 – Number of players on Manchester City that completed more passes than Arsenal’s leading passer Calum Chambers’ 19 passes. Raheem Sterling who played just 33 minutes completed 18 passes to just fall short of every player on Manchester City completing more passes than Arsenal.
6 – Touches in the Penalty Area by Arsenal
4 – Number of players on Manchester City that had 6 or touches in the Penalty Area, with Manchester City as a team having 52.
299 – Touches for Arsenal in this match
320 – Touches in the final third for Manchester City in this match
11 – Number of times that Arsenal entered the final third through a carry (2) or pass (9)
60 – Number of times that Manchester City entered the final third through a carry (18) or pass (42)
It is pretty obvious from just about every metric Arsenal was dominated in this match. What is shocking to me is just how one-sided it was. I don’t think that I had unrealistic expectations for Arsenal to be able to hang closer to this Manchester City team, I understand Arsenal are missing players and then went down a man, but this is still the team with somewhere around the 5th-6th highest wage bill in the Premier League and they played like they were more like a team from a division below going up against Manchester City in a cup competition.
In the 35 minutes before the red card, it was still not close. Passes completed were 195 to 71, final third touches 44 to 23, touches within 25 yards of the goal 14 to 6, shots 3 to 1.
One of the other things that really stands out for me in this match is that even with Manchester City having so much of the ball, Arsenal didn’t seem interested or could not take it off of them.
The other part of the narrative that stands out is the obvious comparison to the 8-2, 10 years ago against the other team from Manchester. That was an embarrassing loss but I think that you can make a very strong case that at least in that match Arsenal looked like they belonged playing on the same field as Manchester United. I went back and pulled the data from that match and I don’t think Arsenal deserved to get anything from the match, it did show a team that was at least much closer in actually being able to create a threat.
That match proceeded the infamous trolley dash to bring in much-needed reinforcements, it will be interesting to see if this match is the catalyst for another transfer deadline splurge, because this team might need it even more on the available evidence so far.
Sources: StatsBomb via FBRef, Opta via WhoScored