Saturday, June 22, 2024

Burnley 0-1 Arsenal: By the numbers

It wasn’t pretty but a win is a win. It’s a second clean sheet in a row and Arsenal moving up in the table (with the chance to be even with Sp*rs next week).

You can’t complain too much about beating Burnley, because man are they an unlikable team.

Burnley 0-1 Arsenal: By the numbers

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Burnley 0-1 Arsenal: By the numbers

40 – Cross attempts by Burnley (34 from open play), 9 of which were completed, with 6 assisting shots

18 – Defensive Aerial Duels won by Arsenal of 41 attempted

7 – Defensive Aerial Duels won by Arsenal in their own box of 13

5 – Defensive Aerial Duels won a piece by Ben White (9 total) and Gabriel (10 total), Takehiro Tomiyasu was 3 for 3.

21 – Headed Clearances by Arsenal, with 6 from White and 5 from Gabriel

After watching the Arsenal center-backs struggle with Ivan Toney and Romelu Lukaku, I was very worried about the threat that Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood would present. Overall I think White and Gabriel handled things really well in this match, with both Barnes (3/7) and Wood (5/11) winning less than 50% of their attacking aerial duels. Overall Burnley tried a lot of passes into the Arsenal box (51 and 42 chipped in) but Arsenal for the most part were not overly troubled with only 15 completed.

13 – Shots for Arsenal

7% – Arsenal’s average expected goal probability per shot in this match.

74 – Shots for Arsenal this season (4th most before the Sunday matches, were added in)

8% – Arsenal’s average expected goal probability per shot this season

8 – Shots for Arsenal with an expected goal value of 15% or more (2 in this match)

17 – Shots in “Prime” locations (prime locations is a half-circle 11 yards from the center of the goal), with 3 in this match.

There are areas for concern still for Arsenal. Arsenal has been mostly fine at getting shots (over 14 per match so far, even with just 1 against Manchester City) but the quality of the shots that they have taken have been very poor. Arsenal’s numbers for getting the ball into the penalty area has been good (51, 3rd most before the Sunday matches were added in) but their ability to get the ball into especially dangerous areas has really been lacking with just 25 passes completed within 15 yards of the center of the goal.

Some of this might be down to the speed at which Arsenal attacks, generally slower attacks mean a more set defense. There is a reason that teams drop back into banks of 4 defenders and that is because it is really hard to access dangerous spaces to create good chances. Arsenal has averaged 2.14 yards towards goal per minute of possession so far this season and managed 2.05 yards per second against Burnley. A lot of the possession that Arsenal did have was in areas of the pitch that were not very dangerous, with just 140 touches in the final third (Burnley had 203) and more touches in their own defensive third than anywhere else (298 touches). This seemed especially obvious in the second half where Burnley had much more possession in the final third (even if it ultimately lead to crosses that Arsenal handled).

67 – Defensive Pressures for Arsenal, the fewest that they have had in the Premier League since StatsBomb has collected this data (going back through he 2017-18 season).

24 – Pressures in the defensive third for Arsenal, the fewest since February 28, 2021 in a 3-1 win at Leicester. That match also featured significantly fewer final third touches for Leicester than Burnley managed against Arsenal (82 vs 140).

I am not 100% sure what to make of these stats, perhaps Burnley were looking to play so direct that Arsenal did not have a chance to pressure them, but also with Burnley having the ball so close to Arsenal’s goal it feels like it should be inevitable that Arsenal should have had ample opportunities to apply pressure.

The lack of defensive actions in the attacking third makes sense, Burnley plays direct and doesn’t give teams many opportunities. The lack of action in the middle and defensive thirds is a bit more of a concern and could be directly tied to the lineup choice where Martin Odegaard and Emile Smith Rowe played as nominal midfielders.

Overall, I am not too worried about this result, getting a win at Turf Moor is never easy. The results and the performances for the season however still leave a lot of questions to be answered for Arsenal.


sources: Opta, StatsZone, my own database, StatsBomb via FBRef

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Being even with Sp*rs after 6 games would be very funny. Though our wins have been against the bottom two in the league so not getting too carried away yet.

Thanks for the stats.

Johnny 4 Hats

We’re also level with Leicester and two behind West Ham. Given that we’ve played the two best teams, it’s not the end of the world. But Sp*rs look shite I personally think. They’ve done ok first half against Chelsea but then just capitulated with proper ‘history of the Tottenham’ predicability. But a shit Sp*rs almost worries me more than a good Sp*rs. Derby games always seem to go against form. I would fucking love it if we did them. I said before a ball was kicked this season that 10-12 points would be decent from the first six. So 9… Read more »

Parisian Weetabix

Trick in the NLD is to not score first.


” Derby games always seem to go against form.” Lol, going to be a great game with goals galore from both sides then. Hope we end up with a few more than them.


Burnley had impressive stats for expected twats in the stands.


Thanks for the analysis Scott! It’s great we beat Burnley – which is more than we managed last season. It’s concerning, however, that we weren’t able to generate more shots and combinations given the attacking personnel on the pitch for the first 60 mins. Though the effort was apparent, poor first-touches and over-hit passes were the norm in the attacking third, even though all these players have been playing together for at least 6 months. It looks to me this team is far more comfortable passing backwards and building up play from the CBs, rather than playing a defense-splitting through… Read more »


Brilliant decision by Arteta on Tomiyasu. Emerson Royal really looks an average player. Chelsea made him looked like a school boy. NLD will be a GREAT MATCH TO WATCH


Stats are concerning. We will be outplayed by any decent side if our attacking is this slow. I mean this is becoming a joke. With this material you should have fluid, determinated push for scoring like Chelsea today. Now Arsenal are passing at the back avoiding risks. It’s going to be a long season with this kind of displays.

Hank Scorpio

It felt to me that Arteta tried to take more risks via his formation. Against better teams we need a partner for Partey or I feel we’ll be horribly exposed. It’s being braver on the ball that will yield better outcomes, not formations. Hopefully the penny drops for Arteta in that regard


The game yesterday just highlight the need to play Partey and Sambi together. There was too much space far too often between ESR/Odegaard and Partey. He could easily be double pressed if that isn’t addressed against more tactically astute teams. 2nd half we completely controlled them after the change that brought on Sambi and took the sting out of the game. AMN contributed really well too. I think he might have a really important role suring up the middle late in matches if he can deliver like that. Defensively and positionally he’s really strong (and obviously fast to recover against… Read more »

A Different George

I think this is quite mistaken, in general. I’m not saying there won’t be exceptions, or that rotation will be necessary, but I think the starters yesterday were the way we will want to play going forward. I think it is entirely realistic to expect Snith Rowe (and Saka) to play better as they become accustomed to this system. Although I know this is not what you intend, you are in reality calling for a 4-2-3-1 with Xhaka back in the side.

Hank Scorpio

Agreed. I hope we don’t just fall back into Xhaka-Partey though. Xhaka plus Sambi or AMN gives us a good mix of passing, pace, ball carrying and a pairing able to cover more ground defensively. Leaving one of ESR / Saka / Pepe / Odegaard on the bench lets us mix up our attack and gives us a potent option off the bench. And a bit of competition there doesn’t go astray either knowing it’s 5 of them vying for 3 places.

Wrighty's hats

When I picture Xhaka in the midfield I just see him slowing every play down. He can’t seem to manage to play for us the way he plays for Switzerland with the quick passing and nice through balls. Partey is able to make him look a little less slow and vulnerable but I fear that your suggestion of Xhaka plus Sambi or AMN will put undue burden on those two to paper over the cracks that Xhaka would leave, which will limit their ability to develop their own game. Even though we extended his contract (which I suspect was done… Read more »


I want nothing to do with xhaka being anywhere near this team again. If xhaka is picked in the NLD, all good will arteta has built up will be gone. IMO the konga-partey double pivot should be top priority, especially against teams where it will be a real battle (top6 and teams that play really tactical defensive lines that like to counter, I.e., Burnley). Against teams that out try to play in midfield (ie, Norwich) a single DM and the double #8/10 might be better suited as there could be a little more space for them to operate. Still I… Read more »


The passing wasn’t great, the attack was slightly out of sync, but I think the state of the pitch had a lot to do with that, a good win under the circumstances, Burnley are a horrible side.


I’ve been critical of the way Arteta sets the team up and the timidity with which we attack, but can’t really fault his approach yesterday and can see why he was maybe hesitant to play this way last season with these players. The front 3 didn’t look comfortable in tight spaces, the combination play was poor and the ball didn’t stick. Saka was uncharacteristically sloppy, and the experienced players Auba and Pepe were particularly average. Looks like it will take some time for it to all gel together.


6- the length of grass in inches
10- the moisture content in percentage of the grass
0 – the number of fucks given that Burnley got nothing out of the game
3- the points taken home.


46 – the number of times I laughed at Sean Dyche’s rage during the 90 mins.


50 – the temperature (in °C) of Sean Dyche’s face when measured at full time


You know, I just don’t get this. Everyone knows some teams have deliberately terrible pitches – and everyone know what teams they are.

A common criticism is that we only perform is everything is perfect and that all our training pitches are pristine.

Surely it would make sense to have a dedicated training pitch which mimics the conditions these shit teams will subject us to and use it in the week before games like this?

It seems like a no-brainer.

Naked Cygan

I have to be honest and say I really was worried after 3 defeats and no goals. But now after two back to back 1-0 wins and finding out that our manager was inspired by Ted (wan*ker) Lasso ,,,,,,I know we are in safe hands now.

S Sokhi

Clearly we are the not playing out best football, we lack fluency, not scoring enough and our passing hasn’t been good. But let’s look at the positive side. When you are playing bad as we did on our first three games ” player confidence goes so low and they doubt them.self”. These last 2 wins would give them confidence and freedom to play freely and hopefully they can build on it. Good thing is we are plays spuds when they have hit low too… Next week its going to be the battle of low confidence teams…..


A little surprised by Burnley’s higher exG numbers. Didn’t feel they mounted much in terms of dangerous attacks. Great point about slow pace of our attack. Our attack is too often plodding and ponderous, and allows defenses too much organization. More consistent organized (or even disorganized) chaos needs to be part of our attacking scheme. Total number of shots was also surprising and encouraging. Hope it confirms the belief that our anemic attack is on the verge of exploding into life.

djourou's nutmeg

i don’t get what’s the deal with “winning at burnley’s never easy”. last season they were the 4th worst team in the PL at home, losing half their matches. we should have done a lot better and the numbers show.

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