If you’re looking for the silver lining Arsenal grew their lead at the top of the table and stopped the team in third place that is chasing them from gaining any ground. That might not feel good after the match but this was not a BAD result for Arsenal, especially on a quick turnaround with a squad that looks a bit stretched.
Let’s dig in.
Arsenal 0-0 Newcastle: By the graphics
Arsenal 0-0 Newcastle: By the numbers
17 – Shots for Arsenal, that is the 4th most Newcastle have allowed in a match this season.
1.2 – Expected goals for Arsenal, that is the 4th lowest total for Arsenal in a match this season.
0.07 – Arsenal’s expected goal’s per shot attempt, this is the 3rd lowest average chance quality that Arsenal have managed this season.
0 – Big Chances for Arsenal.
8 – Shots for Newcastle in this match, that is their 4th lowest this season
1.0 – Expected goals for Newcastle, that is their 5th lowest total this season
1 – Big Chance
This was a game of tight margins. Newcastle had the best chance (it was still tough) but it was still a tough flicked on header that was hard to direct. Arsenal came out fast again and could have been up early for the second match in a row. In the opening 15 minutes Arsenal again dominated here is the stats:
5 – Shots for Arsenal, for 0.7 expected goals
1 – Shot for Newcastle, for 0.02 expected goals
61% – Possession for Arsenal
14 – Touches in the box for Arsenal
1 – Touch in the box for Newcastle
In the end, Newcastle did finally get a foothold in the match and were able to slow the game way down. It looked like Newcastle’s strategy in this match was to make this game as short as possible, by doing so there are less chances for superior talent to shine through and make the difference and that is pretty much exactly what happened with the allowance from the referee.
In this match Newcastle committed 16 fouls, doing really well to rotate those fouls around. With Bruno Guimaraes, Joe Willock, and Joelinton all committed 3 fouls, with Dan Burn and Callum Wilson each committing 2. All these really disrupted the flow of the match and made it hard for Arsenal to get things going. Against their very well-drilled defensive unit that really ups the level of difficulty.
The other thing that happened was that Newcastle was very effective at timewasting. In this match the ball was in play for just 53 minutes, for a typical Premier League match the ball is in play for on average 61 minutes. Newcastle was able to make this match 13% shorter than typical.
The big added time numbers of the World Cup were a little jarring but it also made strategies like this pointless to try, I wouldn’t have minded if the board came up with a 12 rather than a 5 here.
Thomas Partey goes sideways
91 – Pass Attempts, led Arsenal
78 – Pass Completed, second on Arsenal
85.7% – Pass completion % on 86.6% expected Pass completion % for a 99.0% Pass Efficiency (100% means completed as many as expected with a higher number better)
8 – Final 3rd Entry Passes, second on Arsenal
2 – Progressive Passes, seventh on Arsenal
7 – Long Passes – Completed, 58.3% Long Pass completion %
259 – Progressive Pass Distance, seventh on Arsenal
22% – The percentage of his passes that went forward
2 – Shots, second on Arsenal
0.05 – xG, seventh on Arsenal
0 – Dribbles Completed
0 – Progressive Carries
1 – Dispossessed
3 – Tackles, second on Arsenal
1 – Dribbled Past
2 – Fouls
1 – Interceptions
9 – Ball Recoveries
Partey has been one of the best midfielders in the Premier League but this match was not one of his best. Newcastle clogged the middle and left little space to find lanes to progress the ball through. On a day where getting the ball into dangerous locations was tough, one of the really hard tasks was that the team seemed a bit slow, especially when looking to switch the ball quickly from the left to the right.
Overall I think that there really isn’t a problem with this match, sometimes these kinds of things happen. If Arsenal can score a goal in their opening minutes of dominace I think they go on to win, if they get the penalty for the shirt pull (something that was called a foul multiple times elsewhere) Arsenal probably win, if the Eddie Nketiah chance late goes in Arsenal probably win, if Joelington scores his header Newcastle could also have held on. Overall this is a match that on balance I think Arsenal win 40-50% of the time, with a draw about 30% of the time and a loss 20-30% of the time. It wasn’t ideal but this is not a bad result in the grand scheme of things and we move on to the next big one.
Sources: Stats via Opta, from FBRef, Whoscored, StatsZone, and my own database