CRYSTAL PALACE 0–1 ARSENAL: BY THE VISUALS
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.
DECLAN RICE’S GAME BY NUMBERS
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 GAME BY NUMBERS
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.
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Sources: Opta, fbref, @Orbinho twitter feed