Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Arsenal 2-2 Sp*rs – By The Numbers



3 – Arsenal entered the North London Derby aiming to secure three consecutive league victories against Tottenham for the first time since 1989.

Despite the visitors enjoying more possession early on, it was Arsenal who generated the first decent opportunity. Bukayo Saka’s cross found Gabby Jesus, whose half-volley (0.07 xG) was saved well by Vicario.

Not long before the half-hour mark, Ødegaard found Saka out wide, and his curled shot was deflected off Romero to give Arsenal a well-deserved lead.

Six minutes later, Vicario passed to James Maddison, who was tackled by Jesus inside the box. However, the Arsenal forward fired over the crossbar from 14 yards (0.43 xG), and it turned out to be a pivotal moment.

5 – Until Arsenal took the lead, they allowed an average of around 5 passes per defensive action, pressing exceptionally well against a Tottenham side content to retain possession in their own half. An all-too-familiar trait of this Arsenal team is dropping their intensity after going in front, rather than maintaining the same level.

Spurs woke up, and the derby turned up a notch as David Raya’s superb save denied Brennan Johnson (0.38 xG, 0.43 xGOT) from Pedro Porro’s cross.

1 – Tottenham have only failed to score in one of their last 16 Premier League away matches.

1 – Arsenal have kept only one clean sheet in their last nine Premier League home games against Spurs and just one in their last 11 at the Emirates.

Just before half time, Raya unconvincingly tipped away a cross but did well to stop Johnson’s follow-up (0.17 xG, 0.54 xGOT). Despite Arsenal surviving the initial attack, Tottenham levelled when Maddison found Son (0.13 xG, 0.96 xGOT), who scored off the post.

Ten minutes into the second half, Saka confidently converted a penalty (0.90 xGOT) to make it 2-1, and almost immediately from the subsequent kick-off, Jorginho carelessly lost possession, allowing Maddison to assist Son (0.34 xG).

13 – The number of shots that both Arsenal and Tottenham accumulated during Sunday’s North London derby. However, Spurs generated more ‘big chances’ with 4 compared to Arsenal’s 3 and had a higher expected goals value in open play (1.39 vs 0.74).

25 – Arsenal registered 25 touches in Tottenham’s box, with Saka responsible for 28%.

46% – Arsenal’s share of possession in this game, representing their lowest share of the ball so far this season.

2 – Oleksandr Zinchenko played 2 passes into the opposition penalty area, leading Arsenal (joint 2nd overall with Romero), 7 progressive passes (joint 1st overall), 7 passes into the final third (joint 1st overall). He also registered more touches (66) and tackles (5) than any other Arsenal player.

4 – Key passes by Saka (1st overall). Arsenal’s goalscorer and the catalyst behind Romeo’s own goal had an indifferent performance by his own very high standards. While still being the team’s best attacking player, he was beaten horribly for their first goal and gave away possession in dangerous areas with some sloppy passes (28 from 37 passes overall).

61% – However, the captain managed the lowest percentage of successful passes (20 out of 33 overall) on the day for Arsenal. Ødegaard was outstanding against PSV midweek but suffered a forgettable day in Sunday’s derby.

It wasn’t our best day at the office. Our passing was off (81.8% is the lowest we’ve achieved so far this season), and there was a lack of spark upfront, but it’s worth noting that both of their goals resulted from our own mistakes.

I thought we looked much more dangerous in the first half. However, after Rice was substituted, our midfield lost its cohesion, and a few of our players went missing.

Not having Martinelli and his main backup, Trossard, as well as the option to turn to Partey after Rice’s injury, proved too much on the day.

0 – Nevertheless, Tottenham have won none of their last 13 Premier League visits to the Emirates (D5, L8).

Follow me on Twitter @jonollington

SourcesOpta, fbref, @Orbinho twitter feed

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Our pressing (apart from Jesus’ chance) was not it’s normal quality, particularly in the second half (backed up by the data). It felt like seasons of old, where we’d have one player chasing around way too often instead of the more effective press where positioning forces the ball into desired areas and then the press is ramped up by 3-4 players in unison. The whole game just felt disjointed. Hopefully, it’s a blip, but these injuries are getting real concerning.

Bleeding gums murphy

Would have liked to see nketia stats. He was absolutely useless. I struggle to understand how some can’t see how impotent we are in the final third whenever he plays. He seems a nice lad but he’s just not good enough as a back up striker let alone starting. Not if want to win league titles


The new only graphic we have, increased/ decreased chance of scoring via passing puts him in the last place. I’ve always been a strong advocate for him, but yesterday he had an awful game. Useless, late and inactive. Could have easily got a red card for his terrible foul on Vicario and then what !?

Heavenly Chapecoense

I can see that Arteta likes him and you don’t but I can’t say who is right.


With and without him in the team our performances are almost identical across many statistics as per Scott Willis’ latest blog.


Well, looking at the line-up and the bench, there were really few options. Though, I preferred to see Kai replacing Eddie rather than Vieira. Overall we looked teethless up-front without Martinelli and Trossard.

Bleeding gums murphy

Open your eyes as well as look at stats. Denilson had wonderful stats.

89 again

I reckon its fair enough to comment on stats underneath the ‘by the numbers’ post. I also think there is some recency bias here, Eddie did well enough to justify being a back up striker when Jesus was out last season. He was shit on Sunday though, no argument there.

Bleeding gums murphy

The last 5 games last season he started consecutively before he was dropped, he scored none, assured none, set up one chance for odegarrd against villa. 5 consecutive games. For me that’s not doing well enough to justify back up striker.


statistically they may be identical. but its a lot more pedestrian to watch. for instance 30 percent of his touches resulted in a loss of possession against. he had 4 miscontrols. our xg is less when he plays, so we’re definitely less sharp when he plays and we gather less points when he starts which mean we end up drawing or losing more games when he plays. we definitely have a similar style and system which results in similar stats but we lose quality when he plays. the argument scott makes is that he’s a backup. but with jesus being… Read more »

Man Manny

Arsenal at their worst this season (including injuries) and Spurs at their best ends in a draw.

I miss santi cazorla

Nketiah is a confidence merchant nothing else.

Crash Fistfight

Is it me, or was possession inversely proportional to field tilt in this game? Seems like the only way the teams could keep the ball was by knocking it about in their defensive thirds.


I have an observation regarding that game. We missed our ability Time to fall back in shape: in previous game Ramsdale handling of the ball afford our attackers ability to fall back in shape. And push high up the pitch. Raya gets the ball and recycle back into the grinder immediately. The opponents press is still high up and we don’t look comfortable retaining the ball. Odegarrd our influential play maker wasn’t able to get a sync with the ball, cos we’ve either lost it before it reached him or he is being marked by orcs and troll. We shot… Read more »


Partly true, I rewatched most of the game. Raya mislaid a few passes. But There were a lot of mislaid passes by almost every player even when not pressed which caused us to lose possession and we couldn’t build up momentum. Odegaard missed a few easy passes, attempted some fanciful switches, which were not in. We were not fresh enough. Against PSV all the team played excellently. Against the spuds 🥔 most of the team had an awful game. Zink and Gabriel had a good game . Saka’s faded away. On their first equaliser White was asleep waiting for Saka… Read more »

Dr. Gooner

I had a bit of an Arsenal epiphany I’d like to share. We need to reconfigure that front 5. Odegaard and Saka need new positions. Hear me out. Odegaard is a wonderful player but he lacks something essential: dynamism. I can’t show you so it will take a lot of words to describe what I mean. The issue comes when we are comibing in tight areas. He does not readily make the run off the ball to receive in the box. That can be remedied tactically. The bigger issue is he doesn’t have the burst or running power to take… Read more »

A Different George

Well, everyone sees different things, I guess. For me, the idea that Odegaard lacks “dynamism” is bizarre.

Dr. Gooner

The ability to take on defenders and dribble past them, or to use running power to win a 50/50 is what I consider dynamism.

Dr. Gooner

Think of it as the difference between Jack Wilshere and Denilson or Arteta (in his playing days obv) or Xhaka. Jack would make a living from baiting defenders and then juking past them. That opened up all sorts of passing angles and possibilities. KdB does the same. So did Hleb and Rosicky. That’s what we need more of from our midfield. More static passers are still useful but much more so from deeper areas.


Odegaard is not that player and I can’t see much benefit from that switch. We have Saka (on the right) and Nelli (on the left) for that. MO is good at providing the link between the two flanks of the attacking midfield. what we are missing so far is appropriate and planned rotation between our front 4. what we are missing is understanding that shoehorning into our formation 5 attacking players against top 6 opposition and hoping that Zink can provide cover when we are threatened with a turn-over it’s illogical. we have a tried and tested 4-2-3-1 it’s not… Read more »

Dr. Gooner

Thanks for taking the time to reply, I appreciate it. I’m scratching my head and trying to understand where the 4-2-3-1 is coming from. This is not a formation we’ve played since 21/22. In possession it’s been a 3-2-5 buildup and out of it there are various pressing structures when we’re pressing and then a settled 4-4-2 block in our own half. I guess my argument is that we are not playing Saka or Odegaard in their best positions currently. I know that sounds crazy because of how good they’ve been but it’s something I feel really pretty confident about.… Read more »


You need to take exams first 😂

Dr. Gooner

I don’t mind taking some flak, but I was hoping to generate discussion. Tell me where you see it differently.


I had posted a long reply, but it’s in moderation.
we got speed on flanks with saka and nelly
against the big 6 we need to play a 4-2-3-1,
our settled back 4,
rice and TP5 in midfield and play the best players in their best position
but rotate with their cover to ensure they don’t burn out


I had posted a long reply, but it’s in moderation. even the further reply is in moderation

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