ARSENAL 2–2 FULHAM: BY THE VISUALS
ARSENAL 2–2 FULHAM: BY THE NUMBERS
0 – Arsenal had never lost a home league game against Fulham (W24 D6) going into Saturday’s 3pm kickoff. It’s the longest unbeaten streak at home against a single opponent in English league history.
57 – Just 57 seconds into the match, Andreas Pereira capitalised on a poor pass from Bukayo Saka, and his attempted lob-come-shot (0.03 xG) caught Aaron Ramsdale flat-footed.
3 – Arsenal have conceded a goal within the first minute in three of their last nine Premier League home matches (against Bournemouth, Southampton, and Fulham).
Saka missed the best chance of the first-half when he miscued a header from six yards, sending it into the ground and over the bar (0.53 xG) after a cross from Leandro Trossard.
During the break, Arsenal trailed by a goal, despite having a higher expected goal tally (xG) of 1.41 compared to Fulham’s 0.3. The home side had taken 8 shots to Fulham’s 6, with 4 on target compared to Fulham’s 1, and had squandered the only big chance of the match up to that point. The Gunners had recorded 29 touches in the opposition box, whereas Fulham had managed just 4.
Gabriel Martinelli’s clever through-ball to substitute Fabio Vieira, the standout performer after his introduction, drew a foul in the box, allowing Saka to level with a penalty (0.79 xG, 0.99 xGOT) at the 70 minute mark.
3 – It took under three minutes for Arsenal to take the lead. Vieira spotted Eddie Nketiah’s well-timed run and delivered a low cross, as Eddie found the net for the second time in three games (0.25 xG), steering it beyond Leno.
Calvin Bassey saw red on 83 minutes, and that should have been it. However, Declan Rice and Saka failed to deal with a late corner, allowing Palhinha to score with a half volley (0.11 xG) and secure a draw for Fulham with 10 men.
19 – Arsenal took 19 shots, 16 (84%) were from inside the box, and Opta recorded 5 as big chances – situations where a player is expected to score.
1.60 – Arsenal’s open-play xG of 1.60 is the most they’ve achieved so far this season.
0.98 – However, their open-play xGOT of 0.98, derived from 11 shots on target, suggests an afternoon of subpar finishing.
1.4 – Eddie Nketiah is currently leading Arsenal’s non-penalty expected goals tally with 1.4 from 10 shots. He may have been disappointed not to start, but finally found the net as a substitute for the first time since April 2021 when he replaced Alexandre Lacazette and scored a late equaliser against Fulham as Arsenal drew 1-1.
FABIO VIEIRA’S GAME BY NUMBERS
76% pass accuracy, 27 touches, 5 progressive passes, 2 progressive carries, 3 passes into the final third, 1 pass into the penalty area, 1 chance created, 1 take-on completed, 1 shot and 4 defensive actions.
Mikel Arteta has made two surprising choices at the start of this season: Eddie getting a significant amount of playing time over Leandro Trossard, and Fabio Vieira coming on as we chased the game. Both decisions have proved wise. Eddie and Vieira faced criticism, but both show signs of improvement. During preseason, Vieira looked more confident on the pitch, especially in the left #8 role where he struggled last season.
Although many wrote him off due to his slow start in England, his potential has never been in question. However, he was always going to be a bit of a project to start with.
When you concede a goal in the opening minute, it’s an immediate uphill battle. It’s a bit odd for this to have happened three times in a single calendar year, but it’s a problem that needs fixing immediately.
Arsenal showed resilience by fighting back to take the lead and should have been celebrating maximum points after three games. However, another recurring weakness from last season reared its ugly head as we conceded again from a corner.
2 – Arsenal have only kept two clean sheets in their last 13 Premier League matches at the Emirates.
Unfortunately, if you can’t keep clean sheets at home, you’ll eventually going to start dropping points. Let’s hope we can change that next Sunday.
Follow me on Twitter @jonollington
Sources: Opta, fbref, @Orbinho twitter feed