One of the things that made me chuckle in the lead-up to this match were the comments that because Tottenham wasn’t playing well but they were still getting points, while Arsenal WERE playing well (while also picking up points) that this was something that should be a plus for Tottenham rather than a red flag.
I think that this match showed the differences between the teams.
I don’t think that this was an outstanding performance from Arsenal. Yes, it was good, but this wasn’t all that close to Arsenal at their best. Yet it was good enough to dominate for long stretches in this match and showed that Artetaball has a much larger margin for error than Conteball.
When you invite pressure and shots, looking to create a few good chances on the counter or from set plays you have to be perfect in defense and clinical in attack. That wasn’t the case today and Arsenal punished them while opening up a four-point gap.
NORTH LONDON IS RED
Arsenal 3-1 Sp*rs: By the numbers
Arsenal 3-1 Sp*rs: By the numbers
22 – Shots for Arsenal, the third time this season that Arsenal have topped 20 shots. This is also the fourth time this season that Tottenham have allowed 18 or more shots against them
3 – Goals for Arsenal, the fourth time this season that Arsenal have scored at least 3 goals this season
9 – Shots on target for Arsenal, the most Arsenal have had in a match this season and the 6th time they have managed more than 5 shots on target in a match.
2.3 – Expected goals (xG) for Arsenal, the fourth time this season that Arsenal have created at least 2 xG this season
4 – Shots by Gabriel Jesus, including 1 goal from 1.4 xG and 3 shots on target
5 – Key passes by Bukayo Saka, with 0.2 expected assists
2 – Goals from midfielders! And what splendid goals they were.
3 – Shots from open play for Tottenham in this match. This is the 5th time that Arsenal have allowed 5 or fewer open play shots from their opponent.
7 – Shots total for Tottenham in this match, this is the fewest shots they have had in a match all season.
0.6 – Tottenham’s expected goals excluding the penalty, this is the second lowest tally that they have created this season and it does include a 0.4 chance that might have been offside from a set play.
324 – Touches for Arsenal in the final third
84 – Touches for Tottenham in the final third
53 – Final third touches for Gabriel Martinelli, leading all players
16 – Final third entry passes completed by Oleksandr Zinchenko leading all players, Tottenham as a team had just 14.
59 – Touches within 25 yards of goal for Arsenal
18 – Touches within 25 yards of goal for Tottenham
15 – Touches within 25 yards of goal for Martinelli, leading all players
42 – Touches in the box for Arsenal
14 – Touches in the box for Tottenham
13 – Touches in the box for Gabriel Jesus, leading all players
Coming into this match, Arsenal were second in attacking third touches in the Premier League and Tottenham were allowing the second most attacking third touches. It was a stark contrast in how the teams want to play and that continued in this match. Even during the later parts of the first half and Spurs were looking the most dangerous, Arsenal managed to have more possession close to the opponent’s goal. This can be an effective style but man it must be dreadful to watch on a regular basis.
2 – The number of times that an Arsenal player was dribbled past in this match. Arsenal were 13 of 15 on their tackles in this match and when they were beaten they ensured that Tottenham could not cause additional damage and had some good cynical fouls.
10 – The number of times that a Tottenham player was dribbled past in this match
4 – Dribbles completed by Martinelli in this match, leading all players
58 – Progressive carries in this match for Arsenal
11 – Progressive carries for Martinelli, leading all players
0 – Times that Harry Kane was able to beat William Saliba in a foot race
4 – The points gap between Arsenal and Tottenham
1 – Arsenal’s position in the table for at least another weekend
Enjoy the weekend
Sources: Opta via Whoscored, StatsZone, my own database