Playing the early game on a Saturday is a high-risk proposition as a fan, if the team loses it can be enough to ruin your whole weekend and you don’t even have the chance to reveal in potential schadenfreude, depending on where you are watching you could have potentially thrown off your sleep schedule to be crushed. If the team wins, you get to be on cloud nine and whatever else happens on the weekend doesn’t matter.
Arsenal 3-1 Manchester United: By the numbers
Arsenal 3-1 Manchester United: By the numbers
14 – Shots for Arsenal
5 – Shots for Bukayo Saka, leading all players
3 – Big Chances for Arsenal
159 – Final third touches for Arsenal in this match
115 – Final third touches for Manchester United in this match
26 – Deep touches (within 25 meters of goal) for Arsenal
25 – Deep touches for Manchester United
8 – Deep touches by Bukayo Saka, leading all players
This was a crazy match, especially in the first half.
There were 22 shots in the first half, with both teams looking like they might be able to create a goal on any given possession. The teams combined for 5 big chances and 3.7 expected goals (xG).
Thankfully Granit Xhaka scored a thunderblast of a goal and killed things off. Manchester United, chasing the game and “trying” to save their season managed no shots after Arsenal took a 2 goal lead. The final 20 minutes were a stark contrast to the first 70, with Manchester United managing 0 entries into Arsenal’s box and just 33 touches in the final third.
Granit Xhaka is immense
68 – Passes Completed, led all players
94.4% – Pass completion percentage
110.9 – Pass Efficiency (a measure of actual completion compared to expected, 100 means completed as many as expected)
8 – Final 3rd Entry Passes completed, led all players
5 – Progressive Passes
6 – Long Passes Completed, led all players
85.7% – Long Pass completion percentage
3 – Box Entry Pass
1 – Key Passes
1 – Shot, 1 Goal (0.02 xG)
3 – Progressive Carries
2 – Interceptions
With Arsenal’s best midfielder out, the chances of top four on life support, Arsenal turned to Granit Xhaka and he has been up to the task. He might not be everyone’s favorite player but you cannot deny his importance to the team right now.
Martin Ødegaard Runs the show
46 – Passes Completed
90.2% – Pass completion percentage
116.7 – Pass Efficiency (a measure of actual completion compared to expected, 100 means completed as many as expected), highest among all players.
8 – Progressive Passes, led all players
6 – Box Entry Pass, led all players
5 – Deep Completions (not from a Cross), led all players
2 – Open Play Key Passes, led Arsenal
0.40 – xA, led Arsenal
2 – Shots
0.14 – xG
3 – Progressive carries
6 – Final third entry passes received
7 – Ball Recoveries
Odegaard’s importance to the Arsenal attack can feel a bit underrated. He doesn’t produce the same number of goals as the other forwards, and he isn’t quite a midfielder like Xhaka but in his role where he needs to do a bit of both. It does seem like there is a strong relationship between how Odegaard performs and how Arsenal’s attack looks. Today he was excellent and was a big part of Arsenal looking dangerous everytime the ball got into the final third.
Sources: Opta via WhoScored, StatsZone and my own database.
Am I reading it wrong or does Saka’s penalty xG value look lower than Bruno’s?
It shouldn’t be but it does look like it.
Does it depend on the player and the goalkeeper involved?
Lies, dammed lies,and statistics. Apologies to people that like this stuff, but the score is the only thing that matters in football.
Nobody made you read it. I for one enjoy these articles
Game of real fine margins, victory yes, rejoice, but never shy away facts which is to say game was very much even, just that we wanted it more than United.
Thanks for your compliments, Alan, I teach Statistics!
It’s funny because the score in itself is a statistic, albeit the ultimate statistic
Great result, let’s hope we keep it going against our London rivals.
Have to give credit to Granit’s last two performances. He’s looked assured on the ball, not just playing backwards passes and also not making dumb fouls.
And Odegaard looks amazing! So smooth and such vision and technical quality. He’s like Ozil and Cazorla combined! Love how underrated he is as for others as us fans know his class. Captain for sure next season!
I agree totally about Xhaka, except you somehow forget that one of his main strengths has always been his forward passing. I’ve never understood at any time the accusations of his constant backwards passing.
Isn’t it funny how we keep having to say about Odegaard ‘well, his stats don’t quite show it, but …’ we all see how excellent he’s been in recent weeks, hugely important to the team, but he keeps getting slagged off on socials cos of his stats. (Ooooo Brentford hit the post!) Guess he’s just one of those ‘intangible’ players, I think he’s been superb, even better that expected, and turning into a 30mil steal:) would be the highlight of the summer tx business, if we hadn’t unearthed the future legend that is Tomi :)) (the fact that spuds got… Read more »
Great captain material too !
Definitely, KT is great, but I think a center mid captain just feels more ‘right’ than a left back. And he’s been Norway Captain a while already.
Plus he’s never injured!
Yeah, I also have a feeling the captain should be a central back or midfield player.
Except you have a HENRY up front!
Does the downvotes mean some guys don’t like Henry? Or didn’t like him as a captain? Both are hard to digest for me!
Would have preferred him not to have been captain, best player I’ve ever seen but his time as captain wasn’t brilliant.
Would it be possible to pull up Xhaka’s defensive stats? He’s gotten a lot of praise for his performance today, and rightly so, but I felt that at certain times in the match he went missing. Specifically the 20 minutes after half time where our midfield was completely overrun and United were making chances at will.
On the xg graph, why does it seem like United’s penalty had a larger xg than our penalty?
Maybe because of the penalty takers career stats?
No, Xg goes off the quality of the chance not the player in question. Just a fuck up from whoever inputs the stat. Which is why Xg is not really to be taken as a matter of fact, more a hint as to the balance of the game.
The MØ stats are missing an important count;
Number of Nutmegs.
Also known as the Ødegaard constant
The space Utd gave Ø was madness.
I really like the summaries you are giving at the end of the stats. Xhaka really stepping up. We got the little bit of luck you need but we earned it, and from Ramsdale’s fingertip save to Xhaka’s bolt from the blue and the two penalties we won this game by the margins and it is huuUGE COYG
St Totteringhams day looking a real possibility now. That’s all I want for the season. A restoration of the natural order.
Number of yellow/red cards not received?
So glad Fernandes missed. Not just because I find him annoying but also his cuntish style of penalty taking. I hate it.
We need to start tracking stats for referees. A new expected red card stat and expected penalty stat would help because I think the xG tells you a bit more about the balance of the game it doesn’t factor for the ‘luck’ (or refereeing incompetence) you benefit from over the course of the game.
How about a counter for the amount of times Arteta pulled down his shirt? 😁