Sunday, April 21, 2024

Crystal Palace 0-1 Arsenal – By The Numbers



1 – Heading into the match at Selhurst Park, Arsenal had won only one of their last five Premier League away games (W1 D2 L2) but had lost just one of their previous eight league encounters with Crystal Palace (W3 D4).

The Gunners started slowly but had grown into the game when Eddie Nketiah came very close to opening the scoring around the half hour mark. Arsenal pressed well to win the ball back from Jeffrey Schlupp. Nketiah managed to position himself between both central defenders and held off Marc Guehi, but was unfortunate to see his shot come back off the post (0.20 xG).

Not long after, Nketiah was played in beautifully by Declan Rice following a nice passage of interplay but saw his attempt from close range (0.45 xG) fly over Sam Johnstone’s bar.

At half-time, the score was 0-0, but Arsenal were in full control. They had taken 9 shots (0.96 xG) compared to their opponents’ 5 (0.11 xG), had 22 touches in the opposition box to their opponents’ 6, completed 310 passes compared to 148, and won 27 duels, whereas Palace had 21.

Ten minutes into the second-half Nketiah was once again involved when Gabriel Martinelli’s quick free-kick found the striker. He went to ground under pressure from the sliding Johnstone, earning Arsenal a penalty.

82 – Bukayo Saka’s start for Arsenal marked his 82nd consecutive Premier League match, equalling Paul Merson’s club record in the Premier League.

But it was Martin Ødegaard who stepped up to take the spot kick and slotted home from 12 yards (0.70 xG, 0.99 xGOT) sending Johnstone the wrong way.

24 – There were just over 24 seconds between the ball going out of play and Takehiro Tomiyasu being shown a yellow card. Within these 24 seconds, Tomiyasu held the ball for 8 seconds, Kai Havertz for 9 seconds, and Martinelli for approximately 6 seconds.

Seven minutes later Tomiyasu was shown a second yellow card for the softest of ‘fouls’ on Jordan Ayew.

Arsenal dug deep for 30 minutes, but in truth, Aaron Ramsdale was never seriously tested as the visitors secured all 3 points.

4 – All four Arsenal subs (introduced after the red card) maintained a 100% pass accuracy after coming on: Jorginho (10/10), Oleksandr Zinchenko (6/6), Jakub Kiwior (4/4) and Gabriel (1/1).

14 – Arsenal took a total of 14 shots and while 11 were inside the box, just 2 (15%) were on target.

0 – Following the red card, Arsenal failed to register a single shot, while Crystal Palace managed to take seven.

33 – Before the red card, Arsenal had amassed a total of 33 touches in the opposition box, while Crystal Palace had just 8. However, after the red card, Arsenal didn’t register a single touch in Palace’s area.


90% pass accuracy, 68 touches, 7 passes into the final third, 4x possession won, 3 duels won, 1 chance created, 2 passes into the penalty area, 0 fouls.

Arsenal’s record signing controlled the midfield, stopped transitions, and made four recoveries. He set up Eddie Nketiah for the best chance of the match and was a key part of Arsenal’s dominance until Tomiyasu’s red card. His performance after the sending off showcased his leadership, and if he continues in this vein, he’ll soon become a pivotal Arsenal player.


Kai Havertz completed 89% of his 28 passes, took a shot inside the box, created an excellent opportunity for Martinelli (2 shot creating actions in total), played 2 passes into the penalty area, won 4 out of 6 aerial duels (ranking 1st), made 3 ball recoveries, and played a significant role in controlling the game.

Much of the criticism directed at Havertz arises from the perception of him as an attacker. If he were to be evaluated as a midfielder, praised for his duels won, pressing, and tackling, his start at the club wouldn’t be in question.

11 – Arsenal have the most Premier League clean sheets away from home since the start of last season.

11 – The Gunners have won 11 of 13 London derbies since the start of last season.

Arsenal burst out of the blocks last season, winning their first five games while playing some sublime football. This year, we’ve secured two wins from two matches, although we’re not quite firing on all cylinders. The back-four is makeshift, the midfield includes two new signings, and our backup striker currently leads the line.

As widely accepted, visiting Selhurst Park and collecting three points is no simple task. Going down to 10 men with 30 minutes left to play makes it even more challenging. However, despite not hitting top gear, Arsenal faced minimal trouble on Monday night, even after the shift in possession following the sending-off, and have maintained a perfect start to the season. Until next time.

Follow me on Twitter @jonollington

SourcesOpta, fbref, @Orbinho twitter feed

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Man Manny

I saw a two-sides-of-the-coin display from Arsenal on Monday. They were unruffled for 60 minutes or thereabouts, and never looked like conceding after the unfortunate Red card.
Next 5 games – Fulham, United, Everton, Spurs and Bournemouth – should fetch 15 points! COYG!!! ’23/24 EPL champions.


I really hope we smash United this year. I’d even take a draw to Spurs if it meant beating them convincingly. Every year since about 2013 they’ve been crap, but manage to pull out a performance against us. My hatred of them was slightly starting to dissipate, then we had the game at OT last year and I was at a pub in Highbury full of so-called United fans. Remarkably quiet until they took the lead, then started dancing at the front of the room. Now I want them to lose more than just about any other team, for those… Read more »

Man Manny

I won’t take a draw against Spurs at the Emirates no matter what! That team is not as good as United made them look in the second half. Six points from both games is minimum for me…and I think we are going to get it.

Heavenly Chapecoense

What is the maximum, 4-0 scoreline each time?


The maximum points from each game occurs if we get into double figures and invoke the little-known “Bonus Points For Goals Scored” rule (Law 19, section 1, subsection k, paragraph 16, note 7, bullet point gamma): “Should a team in a professional competition score more than nine (9) goals in one league championship match, they shall be awarded bonus points in the league table amounting to the square of the number of goals scored after the ninth.” So a couple of nice 16-0 wins will net us a total of 98 bonus points and seal the title with 31 matches… Read more »


One game at a time lads. I feel if we approach it the same way as Mikel then somehow we have the collective synergy to batter whatever is front of us. COYG!!


Funny, I was walking my dog in deepest kent the other day. I was aware Utd were playing Wolves and paying little attention to it. Then i heard a celebratory primal scream coming from the top window of a small cottage you would only usually hear in the jungle. I figured utd had scored and I was correct. There aren’t any wolves fans in kent. Anyway I deduced at that point the whole lot of them are glory hunting neandrathals (with the exception of that Mark chap who is quite funny)


First two graphics are difficult to tell which team is which. You ou should add a little key to the charts to show which colour represent which team. Like you do with the 3rd graphic (in/out of possession). Close game though.


Home team on the left. Arsenal are red.


There is no left or right on the 2nd chart. This is my point.


Hence Arsenal are red. That’s my second point.


As someone who’s eagerly watching Havertz every game in the hopes we see Leverkusen Havertz emerge, I thought Crystal Palace was really promising – not least because it looked like a bit of bite and personality was coming out of him, rather than drifting around like a ghost of a Victorian boy who died of starvation because he was too meek to ask for any food. I liked that he seemed genuinely pumped when Odegaard scored the penalty, I like that he was mad at Nketiah for not passing to him, and I see this as the fuel for the… Read more »


Love the ghost of a ‘Victorian child’ comment, made me chuckle!!


I didn’t follow him much before he came here and he’s actually the opposite of what I expected. I thought we were getting a very creative, “ball-dominant” player that maybe lacks energy and physicality in the mould of Ozil. In reality he’s actually a very combative and hardworking player that is more peripheral when we’re in possession. I almost think his current style would better suit a more direct team that would try and find him with longer, earlier balls. I’m sure with time, our players will spot his movement better. He’s clearly very technical too, and I’d like to… Read more »


Just wait until it’s Jesus up front… Then we’ll see all the mids and wings flourish. Eddie is solid, but he’s still more a goal poacher than anything else (and he missed his poaching). Jesus is everything.


Eddie have been good when given the chance not same level that Jesus but a better goal scorer and he always works hard for the team. Very good back up

Heavenly Chapecoense

Read the comment, checked the name and it wasn’t Santori. Wanting Arsenal to hire Luis Campos as a sport director wasn’t there either. Hope yes is Santori.


first to mention that we should have bought riyad mahrez is Santori, lol


When he talks about R Marhez it’s Santori


Your post wasn’t long enough.


maybe if you took the time to try to consider and express your thoughts clearly you wouldn’t get downvoted all the time


He was excellent in Germany and I think Chelsea destroyed him give him time and I think he will show he is a true star in the right team

Naked Cygan

Great to see these stats from our new signings. I feel they will get even better with time once they adjust to our style of play. Still feel horrible about Timber. I feel he was going to be our best signing.


I also feel horrible about Timber and pound for pound he may still turn out to be the best signing of the summer. But Rice is a monster. He and Jude were the best players on the market and we are very fortunate to have gotten him.

Naked Cygan

Serious off topic question. I have been watching football for over 35 years now and I can’t remember any team having such a big turnover like Chelsea? They have almost changed their entire squad and Thiago Silva has probably another season in him. Do you guys remember any other team going through such drastic change and transformation, if so, did it work? Surely team chemistry must take time and also taking into account most of them have never played in the Premier League and the manager is new too. Hopefully they get knocked out of both cups early and get… Read more »


Prefer they stay in and have to split their focus.


Dunno. Part of their issue is they have about 73 players in their first team squad. They need the cups to give minutes. Going out early will just give more dead time for discontent to brew in the camp.

A Different George

Some newly-promoted teams probably come pretty close–Forest when they came up seemed to buy as many players as Chelsea. And that makes some sense. And my guess is that relegated teams are forced into similar drastic changes. But for an established club staying in its own division, I don’t think anything matches what’s happened with Chelsea.


Notts Forest last season had an enormous turn over, but it wasn’t so obvious since most of us are not watching much Championship football. They kinda got it together by the end of the season.
I think Chelsea under Potch will get going at some point, just a question of when. But this league is unforgiving. I’d be very surprised if they make it to the top 4, and not at all surprised if they miss European football again. I hope they do miss out and the whole in their finances just keeps getting bigger.


Might just be me, but am often surprised how low xG chances can be. Like the second Nketiah one being 0.45 which I think means you’d expect a goal less than half the time for a chance that good?

On a different note do you have expected threat numbers (xT)? From what I understand that looks at how many goals might expect depending often got into threatening positions. Is quite interesting to look at alongside xG


xT the pitch is divided into threat zones and you add xT by taking the xT value of the position the ball is passed from away from the the xT value of the position the ball is received.

Broadly speaking the closer to the goal the xT zone is the higher its xT value.

Quite hard to explain without diagrams.

Teryima Adi

Great job

Heavenly Chapecoense

Taking Lukaku on loan at transfer deadline. Why not? I am thinking out of the box (even out of the container) here. His physical presence may be a weapon. To succeed, you need something really different sometimes.


Great overpaid lazy lump with a first touch like an elephant, no thanks. We are not Tony Pulis’s Stoke. Ger back in your box 😂


suitable mainly for long ball tactics by flick on

Heavenly Chapecoense

I see a potential of Shaquille O’Neal in basketball in him (especially 2 years ago at Inter). Shaq was MVP for many years but cannot shoot a free throw which is a common and basic thing in basketball.
Second argument is that many Arsenal fans want Trossard to start ahead of Nketiah but in the Belgian national team, no such discussions, Lukaku starts.


If you gave him a banjo and then put him within two feet of a barn door and then said: “Hey, Romelu, please hit the barn door with this,” he would somehow find a way to miss.


Remember the days when we couldn’t win ugly. Nowadays it’s all we ever do!

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