ARSENAL 2-1 NOTTINGHAM FOREST: BY THE VISUALS
ARSENAL 2-1 NOTTINGHAM FOREST: BY THE NUMBERS
Going into the season opener, Arsenal had lost four and won just two of their last seven opening day fixtures when playing at the Emirates.
However, Nottingham Forest scored the fewest goals in the Premier League away from home last season (11) and conceded the most on the road (44) as well.
7 – Arsenal have won seven and lost none of their last nine home matches against Nottingham Forest in all competitions.
The visitors spurned a decent early chance as Brennan Johnson was unable to hit the target (0.28 xG) after being slipped in behind.
It took Arsenal a while to break down a stubborn Forest defence until an outrageous piece of skill by Gabriel Martinelli found Eddie Nketiah whose deflected shot (0.11xG) left Matt Turner with no chance, but after going in front Arsenal were superb until the break. Martinelli sprung into life and Bakayo Saka caused problems galore down the right.
Arsenal went into a 2-0 lead with an absolute stunner. Saka cut in from the left to curl a simply unstoppable shot across goal and inside the far post (0.04 xG, 0.60 xGOT).
12 – No player has been directly involved in more home goals in the Premier League in 2023 than Bukayo Saka with 12 goal contributions (8 goals and 4 assists).
At half time, the home team had 82% possession and recorded 7 shots, compared to the single big chance from Forest, and had amassed 17 touches in the opposition’s box compared to their opponents’ 3.
2 – Arsenal have kept just two clean sheets in their last 11 Premier League games at the Emirates Stadium.
The second half looked like being played out with The Gunners largely in control until Forest broke from an Arsenal corner with 10 minutes of normal time remaining and substitute Taiwo Awoniyi finished a cut back (0.57 xG) from Anthony Elanga.
15 – Arsenal took a total of 15 shots during the 90 minutes, 8 of which were from inside the box. Despite dominating possession, they failed to create a single big chance.
30 – Number of touches within the Nottingham Forest penalty area. Bukayo Saka was 1st with a total of 7.
13 – Successful passes into the penalty area. Martin Ødegaard was 1st for Arsenal with a total of 4.
127 – William Saliba had the highest number of passes among Arsenal players, attempting 127 and completing 124. He also covered over 824 yards in progressive distance, which was the most by any outfield player.
BUKAYO SAKA’S GAME BY NUMBERS
75% pass accuracy, most final third passes (35), most crosses (9), most touches in opposition box (7), most defensive actions (5), joint most shots (3), joint most chances created (3), highest expected threat (1.55) and 1 world class goal.
Mikel Arteta has a week to prepare his players for a tough away match at Crystal Palace next Monday. We’ll need to improve if we’re to take 3 points from Selhurst Park, but our priority was getting off to a winning start and that’s precisely what we achieved.
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Sources: Opta, fbref, @Orbinho twitter feed