This will be a bit on the shorter side because I am on a holiday with the wife wine tasting but I also enjoyed this match and wanted to not leave this until Monday.
Aston Villa 0-1 Arsenal: By the graphics
Aston Villa 0-1 Arsenal: By the numbers
7 – Shots by Arsenal in the first 60 minutes of this match.
0 – Shots by Aston Villa for the first 60 minutes of this match.
20 – Touches in the box for Arsenal in the first 60 minutes of this match.
8 – Touches in the box for Aston Villa in the first 60 minutes (just 2 total in the first half)
55 – Passes completed in Arsenal’s half (based on starting location) in the first half. That is just 29% of their passes completed in the first half.
After the fast turnaround from the Wednesday match, Arsenal seemed to want to start fast and try to score early before the fatigue of 3 matches in a week started showing on the legs. Arsenal jumped out on top of Aston Villa in this match with lots of pressure, almost all the ball, essentially all the threat, and eventually a goal.
8 – Shots by Aston Villa, the 10th time this season that Arsenal have held an opponent to 8 or fewer shots this season.
1 – Shot on target by Aston Villa, the shot that was essentially the last kick of the game.
7 – Times this season that Arsenal have held their opponent to 1 shot on target.
This was an impressive defensive performance from Arsenal, even when Villa started to get back into things at the end of the match, Arsenal did well to anticipate danger to where there was never a clear moment.
Grab bag of leaders
3 – Shots by Bukayo Saka, leading all players (tied with Smith Rowe). He scored the goal, set up a big chance for Smith Rowe, and ended with a combined expected goals and expected assists of 0.7. A great match considering that he spent a good portion of it being kicked.
5 – Fouls suffered by Emile Smith Rowe, leading all players. Aston Villa kicked the Arsenal attackers all match. Saka suffered 3 fouls, and Odegaard 1.
100% – Martin Odegaard’s final third passing rate, leading all players. So good on the ball and it tight spaces, his connections with Saka and so good. He added 2 key passes in this match as well.
4 – Tackles by Cedric Soares, leading all players. I didn’t have the highest expectations for Cedric when it looked like he would need to step into the starting lineup but he has done well to help keep the Arsenal team ticking.
0 – Corner kick goals conceded. I was afraid after all the talk over the last week about Arsenal’s pristine corner record a jinx would happen but Arsenal did well to add another match without allowing a goal from a corner.
27 – Crosses faced by Arsenal. Aston Villa only completed 5 of those. For all the talk at the beginning of the year about Arsenal’s vulnerability to balls in the air on defense this has not been too much of an issue.
9 – Headed clearances by Ben White (2), Kieran Tierney (3), and Gabriel (4).
Thomas Partey continues his impressive streak
43 – Pass Completed, including 13/16 in the final third
87.8% – Pass completion %
8 – Final 3rd Entry Passes completed
3 – Progressive Passes
1 – Open Play Key Passes
1 – Shot
2 – Progressive Carries
2 – Successful dribbles, of 3 attempts
0 – Times Dispossessed
2 – Tackles
0 – Dribbled Past
2 – Interceptions
9 – Ball Recoveries
Thomas Partey has been so so good.
This match was another continuation of that. I would have to go back and check the exact timing but it would not surprise me that not long after giving his performances to date at Arsenal a 4 out of 10, this run of good form started. He looks comfortable in his role where he has a big responsibility of getting the team up the field and relishes the fight with the opposing midfielders when they are trying to get through Arsenal. The consistent run in the team after the niggling injuries, combined with a settled eleven around him seems to have done wonders for him. Long may it continue.
Top 4 odds check-in
The match tomorrow between West Ham and Sp*rs will change stuff but Arsenal have guaranteed them ending another week in 4th place. They continue to be in pole position where they are not dependent on the other clubs and that feels good to say at this point of the season.
Sources: Opta via Whoscored, StatsZone App, my own database.