Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Brentford 0-3 Arsenal: By the numbers

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

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0 – the number of goals scored by Brentford today.

Johnny 4 Hats

Most recent top clubs away at Brentford :

City 1 – 0
Liverpool 3 – 3
United 0 – 4
Chelsea 2 – 0 (They beat Chelsea 4-1 at the Bridge
Sp*rs – 0 – 0

Nobody makes it look as easy as we did.

I think this might be my result of the season so far…


Crystal Palace away was not easy either!!!

Timorous Me

Six very big points to secure early in the season. My guess is not a lot of teams are going to come away with as many in these two fixtures.


Fascinating stuff as always thanks.
Having a strong TP figure is always great (see Gilberto and Vieira) and boosts our chances. But the whole team has stepped up, hope this continues in our next two matches…


Missed it… Travelling. Bummer dude. Looks like to we crushed them (apart from one really good chance they had?). We needed this performance really bad. This was the type of game we’ve struggled with – after breaks, losses. Lots of intent with this one! Come on you gooners!

B Dawg

Good stuff, could do with a proof read!

Bill Hall

Been a good weekend for the gunners. Both teams romped to a good win and both Man City and Chelsea ladies lost 😄


Yes. If the u21s didn’t draw yesterday, would be top of the table for Premier League, WSL and Premier League 2. Even with the draw, the U21s are second in Premier League 2 with same points and Goal difference- just 1 less goal scored.


That moment of Nwaneri substitution, I had the feeling “Our Arsenal is Back”


We’re quite good aren’t we ! 🔥


Am I the only one annoyed by the Number 5 thing? What country are we in? It’s innocent until proven guilty, not the other way around. This pre-judging approach is why TP got booed today and shouldn’t be tolerated.

Otherwise, great stats and fantastic performance, but please can arseblog show more respect for the judicial system.

Thanks, peace and love.


I’m totally with you there Bob.

It’s just childish. Some people need to grow up and learn the law of the land.


Genuine question. What does suppressing his name from match stats achieve? Especially given it’s written twice in the article text.

Scott Willis

It’s a sort of medium ground where I am not trying to go out of my way but also not compromising on doing analysis


“Medium ground” suggests there are two necessary but opposing paths to achieve an outcome.

Again, if the outcome is “stats analysis”, what does name suppression achieves?


By the way he is directly mentioned once in the article (“73 – Passes completed by Thomas Partey, leading all players”) – I guess it’s a genuine ‘error’, but it makes the usage of the abbreviation feel forced.


He isn’t Voldemort. Everyone knows who played DM for us today. On top of that it is almost comical that in a article using statistics to provide a narrative around the events of the game you have allowed something not based in fact to alter the way these figures are presented.

Scott Willis

So if it didn’t change your understanding, what is the problem?


It’s just a bit weird. And this isn’t a dig at you Scott, it’s aimed at the football community as a whole. Treating him like Voldemort is very strange behaviour. I get that journalists can’t write about what he is alleged to have specifically done but that’s his personal life and until it’s proven in a court of law, he’s not guilty of anything. What he does on a football pitch is a separate matter and he should be treated normally in this context.

Scott Willis

I totally understand but also basically everything is not decided in a court of law and everyday people are not held to that because we do not possess the ability to restrict people’s human rights. I very much believe that this is the correct burden for the state.


So what you are saying is that you feel he is guilty of something and therfore you’re taking his name out of your articles as a punishment. I hope you have good evidence.

The whole point in not being able to mention the name of the alleged is to not identify them, what you’re doing is intentionally identifying him. I’ll go further than saying it’s odd, it’s fucking bizzarre.

Scott Willis

I have never said anything of guilt anywhere. I have not intentionally identified anyone or anything, I have just written a players number and nothing more. It’s fine to find it odd, I don’t ask people to do the same not judge them for not. This is a complex situation without easy answers, I try to do things that help me feel comfortable with it.


Thanks for your response Scott, I respect that.

In terms of the subject, we disagree – I’d argue that to treat TP differently to all others is a verdict in itself.


You’re correct Bob, it is.

Scott Willis

I appreciate civil discussion and will glad explain the reasoning for my stance. The fact is that things are different and pretending otherwise feels disingenuous. Going about as if nothing is happening feels like a lie and that is why I would rather say as close to nothing as makes sense. This is still a tough situation because I would also not want analysis to be effected negatively. I try to thread a difficult needle with this. I understand and appreciate others have different comfort levels and different perspectives, this is just mine. I also want to be clear I… Read more »


This is so weird, completely wrong, utterly wrong. In the Western world we have developed some codes to live our lives which are built off the back of all the learnings from our history and are designed to ensure that we can deliver a just and fair experience to all. It may not be perfect but it probably is the best society that the world has ever known. There are some cornerstones to this which include, although not exclusively: Separation of church and state. Innocent until proven guilty. I include both of them because to be frank the latter cannot… Read more »

Bleeding gums murphy

I hope it’s a clumsy mistake by Scott (guess) but I totally agree with your generalised thoughts on the state of society. My old dad would be turning in his grave if we had buried him instead of burning.


AussieGooner, everyone else managed to make their point without some ham-fisted diatribe on ‘society sliding backward’. Whether I agree or disagree with Scott I will firmly defend him against these empty right-wing talking points. He can write what he bloody well wants as the author of this blog! Instead of defending his right to free expression, you are calling him out as ‘woke’ because he wrote something that upset you. That is utterly hypocritical! And it shows that certain people’s addiction to labeling everything ‘woke’ is a hollow attempt to restrict other people’s free speech because they have ethics and… Read more »


I think it says much more than you that it does about me to describe being innocent until proven guilty as a “right-wing” trait. I am certainly not right-wing, my voting record would put that one to bed pretty quickly. Not naming a player because he is accused of something is awful, it is assigning doubt to that player’s innocence, it is taking a side before there is even a court case. The neutral position would be to just name the bloody player like everyone else in a list of player’s names. Nobody else is doing this. The commentators are… Read more »


Scott, by calling him by his number you are not taking a neutral position on this. You have actively decided to treat him differently to every other player based on nothing more than a rumour. The State has no part of this argument and I can only think you are confused. There are rules about naming players in the media regarding any potential crime that may or may not have been committed. Hence why there are cases that cannot be discussed in the media. However, this is a football stats column and you are allowed to name the players when… Read more »


Absolutely spot on.


Not annoyed as such, but it does seem kinda dumb when his name (rather than ‘our number 5’ is written in the article.
I’m sure many have some understanding of the situation, and have their own opinions, but for now it seems most wise to keep those opinions to ourselves until the appropriate authorities do their work.


Agree. This just seems childish. If he’s found guilty then he will rightly be dropped and will rightly be treated accordingly by all the free press.

In the mean time, this actually makes a bigger thing of it. It’d be far easier to just not do this.

And then no one would be talking about it here

Which is ideal, because legally arseblog cannot comment and I’m surprised his panelists and contributors are allowed to make such implications.


It Is What It Is

I forget until I hear boos. While reading the article, it became a lingering background thought, mainly because I was reminded.
It served its purpose pre-season, probably time to return to normal service.

A Different George

I hope your annoyance has nothing to do with his being an Arsenal player. If all the facts that we now know were exactly the same, but he played for Chelsea, would you feel the same? If he played for Spurs, would you expect Arsenal fans to boo him mercilessly every time he touched the ball, or would you view that as an affront to the English legal system? I’m not sure I agree fully with what Scott is doing, but I am certain he is trying not to be a hypocrite. I hope the same is true for those… Read more »


This isn’t about football, let alone Arsenal, it’s about a culture of trial by media, rather than the actual justice system.

But hey, I didn’t intend to cause this fuss, and Scott clearly has thought about this deeply, which is great, so live and let live.

Man Manny

Brentford was supposed to be a test; many pundits predicted a draw! I can understand: they swatted away United and Leeds with a combined score of 9-2.
But Arsenal made them look like a team battling relegation, and in their own patch. Wonderful.

Man Manny

I agree they were a test in a general sense, but not in the sense pundits use the word.
However, truly, we passed really well.


Great result at a difficult venue.
Saliba is top quality and Viera made a great debut. Jesus worked his socks off as usual.
Must admit the Brentford manager was very complimentary in defeat to us – I hope they do well.
But not against us….

Jean Ralphio

I didn’t think Jesus would make our attack this transformational. So happy we bought him


One of the biggest improvements we made as a team this season is visible in our passmaps – the center forward is never isolated. Several times last season, there were no lines connecting our CF to anyone else.

Fabio Vieira’s seamless integration and good football IQ are also evident in the passmap. Great work, Scott!


Ypu could drobably do with running the article through the spellchecker!


Him and other transatlantic Gooners were up at 4am their time to watch the game so he gets a pass I think

Moving over there in a bit – not looking forward to middle of the night or 7am kickoffs!

Teryima Adi

Thanks for all you do, Scott.


So could ypu.


how can the XG be 1.2? the two headers were clear opportunities weren’t they?


oh right , parsed as a tough chance i guess, xg is a bit skewy. I need to watch that game again, not actually sure what just happened!? Tactically beating Brentford? Didn’t expect that


why is the xg 1.2? weren’t they two headers clear opportunities?


Love the grab bag of stats. The shots allowed comparison is a nice little fillip ahead of the derby. Thanks!

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