This was worth the wait.
I am very glad that this match was able to go on because it would have been a real pain to miss out on a performance like this. Arsenal returns to the top of the table and return to winning ways.
It was a good test of the depth of the squad and they came up big, continuing the very good performances that the team has put in to start the season.
Brentford 0-3 Arsenal: By the graphics
Brentford 0-3 Arsenal: By the numbers
4 – Shots from Gabriel Jesus, leading all players. Jesus ended with 3 shots on target (also top), 1 goal, 0.8 expected goals (also top), and 2 big chances (also top).
What a player
0.02 – The expected goal probability on Fabio Vieira’s goal. What a hit. I love a shot that goes in off the post.
This might be the early leader for the goal of the season.
58 – The most touches among Arsenal’s front four, this was Gabriel Jesus
50 – The fewest touches among Arsenal’s front four, this was for Gabriel Martinelli
The front four were very good interchanging, with pretty incredible balance (there didn’t seem to be a noticeable tilt to the play from Arsenal today). For all the preaching of how structured Arsenal’s play is in build-up, there is quite a bit of freedom to interchange and swap around in the final third.
73 – Passes completed by Thomas Partey, leading all players. Brentford flooded the middle of the field with players but Parety was still able to control and dictate things very effectively even when he was playing pretty close to a loan role.
20 – Final third entry passes from Arsenal’s fullback. Ben White was immense with 13, and Kieren Tierney looked very good in a more traditional wide role adding 7 of his own.
I thought the Arsenal full-back were very good in this match. After playing a much more inverted tucked-in style over the first part of the season, both fullbacks played wider than we have seen from Arsenal this season. I think that this was a nice tactical tweak from Mikel Arteta to exploit the wide areas that were vacated with the back 5 and 3 players keyed on Partey in Midfield.
6 – Progressive passes for Granit Xhaka.
Xhaka had a great match. He did well to help pick up some of the creative slack that Arsenal needed with Martin Odegaard out. He assisted in midfield well, taking up some of the positions that you would normally see Zinchenko take up. He also played one of the best passes that you will ever see to assist the second goal. I will readily admit that I did not see this level to his game but I am glad that he has repaid the faith placed in him.
75.6%, 71.1%, 77.1%, and 62.5% – Arsenal’s share of the final third possession for each quarter time period of the match.
Arsenal got out to a quick start in this one and then never really let up. This is a solid sign, with Arsenal getting almost Manchester City levels of match control in this one.
29 – The number of Arsenal possessions that featured 7 or more passes. Arsenal had 69 total possessions in this match and 7+ passes in 42 of them. Arsenal had 17 possession sequences with 10 or more passes
The buildup to Arsenal’s second goal
The buildup to Arsenal’s third goal
4 – Shots allowed by Arsenal in this match. This is tied for the fewest they have allowed this season and the 6th time this season Arsenal have held an opponent to 10 or fewer shots (the only time they haven’t they allowed 11 shots).
1 – The number of times Tottenham have held an opponent to 10 or fewer shots in the Premier League
52 – The total number of shots that Arsenal have allowed this season, the second fewest in the Premier League
62% – The percentage of Brentford’s passes that started in their own half.
34% – The percentage of Arsenal’s passes that started in their own half.
This has been a bit of a grab bag of stats from this match but I thought that there were a bunch of interesting good things that I wanted to capture.
Sources: Opta via Whoscored, StatsZone, my own database