Arsenal’s opening performance against Crystal Palace was good but showed that there were still things that the team could sharpen up. This match showed that the team can perform at that level for much longer and I think provided the first glimpses of just how good this team can be.
There are still silly mistakes in this team but overall this was a comprehensive dominant performance against a team that not long ago was seen as usurping Arsenal’s spot among the top six.
Arsenal 4-2 Leicester City: By the graphics
Arsenal 4-2 Leicester City: By the numbers
65 minutes of dominance, all stats below will be for the period from the 5th minute to the 71st minute for the match
13 – Shots for Arsenal
0 – Shots for Leicester City
7 – Passes completed into the box for Arsenal
1 – Passes completed into the box for Leicester City
29 – Touches within 25 meters of goal for Arsenal
2 – Touches within 25 meters of goal for Leicester City
192 – Touches in the final third for Arsenal
58 – Touches in the final third for Leicester City
One of the things from the opening match of the season against Crystal Palace was that Arsenal dominated for the first 30 minutes, and then did pretty well controlling space for the next 30. In this match, Arsenal were able to extend the dominance to 70 minutes and then did well to limit Leicester’s access into dangerous space for the whole match.
One of the things that I think really helps tell a story of how well a defense did is looking at how often the opposing team was able to get into the box against you, in this match Arsenal limited Leicester to just 13 touches in Arsenal’s box (Gabriel Jesus had more than the entire Leicester team with 15 in this match), that would have been tied for 6th fewest for Arsenal last season and would have been the 4th fewest that Leicester managed last season.
That is a very good omen, sure allowing two goals isn’t pretty on a score sheet but overall this was a very good defensive performance for Arsenal.
Gabriel Jesus shows he is a very good Premier League Striker
7 – Shots, led all players. He had more shots total by himself than Leicester did as a team.
3 – Shots on target, led all players. He had more shots on target total by himself than Leicester did as a team.
6 – Shot creating actions, tied for most for all players with Gabriel Martinelli
3 – Key passes
15 – Touches in the penalty area, led all players. He had more touches in the penalty area by himself than Leicester did as a team.
31% – The percentage of his 48 touches in this match that came in the penalty area
3 – Successful dribbles, led all players tied with Martinelli
10 – Progressive passes received, led all players
21 – Pressures, led all players
15 – Attacking third pressures, led all players
“Jesus has his questions, how much of his performance is down to super team effects at City and just how bad and big of an issue is his finishing. He does come with quite a lot of very good boxes checked as well, he is a very good all-around player who has played and excelled in the Premier League, in a system not dissimilar to what Arsenal wants to do, while also having the connections to Arteta and Edu.
The fee is on the high side for a player with one year left on his deal, but not crazy (and maybe a discount) for a player of his talent while buying from within the Premier League. I think that this is a move that comes with a relatively low risk of a flop while still having some good potential upside where he blossoms into one of the top all-around forwards in the League.”
It has been just two weeks but I think that this still stands up on the good things about him and that the big question of how much was down to being a part of Manchester City is starting to not be a worry. I think looking forward we are going to think that his fee and impact on this team will be a bargain.
7 – Progressive passes for Martin Odegaard, leading all players. He has 12 progressive passes total this season leading Arsenal. It hasn’t been the fastest start for him but he is still providing a progressive threat.
11 – Progressive carries for Oleksandr Zinchenko, leading all players. Zinchenko has been a nice complement to the skills that Kieren Tierney provides as a full back. His ability to interchange with Granit Xhaka has also been a very nice thing for Arsenal to be able to implement tactically.
6 – Interceptions for William Saliba, leading all players. Saliba had another solid game in defense even with his own goal (but at least he scored on his home debut!).
4 – Aerial Duels won by Ben White, leading all players. White had another good performance playing out of position on the right side.
100% – Arsenal’s win rate this season
Sources: Opta via Whoscored, StatsZone, my own database. StatsBomb via FBRef.