That was a great way to end the year!
I don’t think even the most optimistic Arsenal fan would have dreamed to see where Arsenal are now. Played 16, won 14 (most), drawn 1 (fewest), lost 1(fewest, tied), 43 points (most), 40 goals (2nd), 14 goals allowed (2nd), +26 goal difference (2nd).
In 2020/21 and 2019/20 Arsenal managed less than 60 goals scored (55 and 56) this year with just 42% of the season played the team is well over 70% to those totals and not far behind last season’s 61.
Arsenal are top of the League. They deserve to be there. They are a fantastic team to watch.
It was a great year and I am looking forward to 2023.
Brighton 2-4 Arsenal: By the graphics
Brighton 2-4 Arsenal: By the numbers
4 – Goals for Arsenal, the second most they have scored in a match this season. This is the third time they have scored 4 or more goals and the 8th time they have scored 3 or more goals.
2.9 – Expected Goals (xG), this is the most Arsenal have created in a match this season.
0.21 – Arsenal’s average expected goals per shot in this match, their second-best average shot quality this year.
11.2 – Arsenal’s average shot distance in yards, the closest average shot distance they have taken this year. All 14 shots Arsenal took in this match were inside the Brighton box, with the longest distances being just 17 yards (Martinelli 2′ and Odegaard 39′)
9 – Shots allowed by Arsenal, this is the 10th time this season that Arsenal have held an opponent to a single-digit shot total.
106 – Touches in the attacking third for Arsenal, the second-fewest they have managed in a match this season (Leeds – 99). Arsenal have averaged 191 this season.
150 – Touches in the final third for Brighton, the third most Arsenal have allowed this season (Leeds – 185, Crystal Palace – 158). Arsenal have averaged 102 against this season.
3 – Times this season that an opponent has had more final third touches than Arsenal. (Leeds and Crystal Palace the others)
29 – Touches in the box for Arsenal, just about average (32.5 is the average for the season)
24 – Touches in the box for Brighton, the second most Arsenal have allowed this season (Crystal Palace – 25).
This match looks interesting statistically, and I think a lot of that is driven by the fact that Arsenal came out and blitzed Brighton in the opening 10 minutes, getting a goal in just 66 seconds. For the rest of that opening 10 minute period, Arsenal pinned Brighton back not letting Brighton out of their own half.
Playing like that was awesome and made for a great start of the match but it is also not sustainable (or smart with a lead) to do so for an extended period of time. For the rest of the match Arsenal looked to cede possession and pick spots where they could attack. Arsenal did this effectively creating numerous good chances but it also made for a very different statistical match than we have grown used to with Arsenal controlling more of the ball, and controlling significantly more of the territory. This also lead to a pass map that is out of the ordinary:
I don’t think that this necessarily means that Arsenal are going to change to something like this all the time, but it is nice to see that Arsenal can be effective while changing slightly from the way that they typically play.
Martin Odegaard is exploding into a superstar
36 – Pass Attempts, 1st among Arsenal players
4 – Progressive Passes, 1st among Arsenal players
3 – Box Entry Passes completed, 1st among Arsenal players
5 – Deep Completions (not Cross), 1st among Arsenal players
3 – Key Passes, 1st among Arsenal players
1.03 – xA, 1st among Arsenal players
1 – Shot, 4th among Arsenal players
3 – Progressive Carries, 3rd among Arsenal players
1.53 – xG Chain, 1st among Arsenal players
0.43 – xG Buildup, 3rd among Arsenal players
6 – Ball Recoveries, 1st among Arsenal players
I don’t have a lot of words that I feel would do justice to describe Odegaard at the moment. He is quickly becoming one of the most important players to Arsenal’s attack and one of the best creative midfielders in the Premier League. This season he ranks 4th in passes completed into the penalty area, 8th in progressive passes, 3rd in expected assists, 3rd in actual assists, 7th in key passes, 4th in shot-creating actions, 3rd in shot-creating actions from open play, 16th in shots, and 6th in non-penalty goals.
What he has done over the last couple of matches hints that there is an even higher level that he could push to.
This pass 🤌 that finish 😘 pic.twitter.com/567ITisQt3
— Cannon Stats (@CannonStats) January 1, 2023
I am enjoying every minute of him.
Happy New Year everyone!
Sources: Stats via Opta, from FBRef, Whoscored, StatsZone, and my own database