ARSENAL 4–0 PSV EINDHOVEN: BY THE VISUALS
ARSENAL 4–0 PSV EINDHOVEN: BY THE NUMBERS
19 – Arsenal’s streak of 19 consecutive appearances in the UEFA Champions League ended during the 2016-17 season with back-to-back 5-1 defeats to Bayern Munich. Tuesday night marked the club’s return to the top table of European football.
3 – Before kickoff, Arsenal had scored only three goals in four European competition home matches against PSV. Two of the three were own goals by Alex, playing for the opponents.
4 – Historically, Arsenal’s home matches against PSV Eindhoven have been low-scoring encounters, with only four goals scored in four games played in North London and a total of just nine goals in the previous seven meetings.
8 – PSV came to Arsenal in good form having won eight and drawn one of their opening nine matches in all competitions so far this season.
Bukayo Saka set the tone with an early goal (0.28 xG, 0.82 xGOT), following a parried shot by Martin Ødegaard.
The second goal came from a counter-attack sparked by Gabriel Jesus, who played in Saka, setting up Leandro Trossard for a well-taken finish (0.10 xG, 0.49 xGOT).
Jesus added to the scoresheet with an exceptional effort (0.19 xG, 0.62 xGOT) from a deep Trossard cross.
And about half an hour remained when Ødegaard widened the gap with his own fine finish (0.07 xG, 0.30 xGOT).
18 – Arsenal attempted 18 shots, with 15 of them inside the box. Of those, 8 (44%) found the target, with an average expected goal (xG) value of 0.13 per shot.
6 – Martin Ødegaard registered 6 shot creating actions (1st overall).
6 – Gabriel Jesus took six shots (1st overall) with a combined expected goals value of 1.31 (1st overall), two of which were recorded as ‘big chances’ by Opta. In total, Arsenal recorded three big chances, with Saka’s goal accounting for one of them. Jesus also had 12 touches in the opponents’ penalty area (1st overall).
The Brazilian elevates every player on the team, from goalkeepers and wingers to defenders and midfielders. While I’m not sure if he’s our best player, he’s unquestionably the most important for how our attacks function.
80 – William Saliba registered 80 touches of the ball (1st overall), won 100% of his aerial duels and made 60 carries (2nd overall). Saliba and Ben White are the only Arsenal players to play every possible minute so far this season.
196 – Arsenal made 196 touches in the opposition third, including 41 touches inside the opponent’s penalty area.
3 – Despite playing for just 33 minutes, Reiss Nelson executed 3 carries into the opponent’s penalty area (1st overall), made 5 shot creating actions (2nd overall), attempted 3 shots (joint 2nd overall) and registered an assist.
18 – David Raya completed 13/18 long passes (72%) and made 4 saves from 4 shots on target. In two appearances this season, the Spaniard made 7 high claims and completed 19 from 26 long passes. Aaron Ramsdale, in 4 games, made 2 high claims and completed 11 of 33 long passes.
MARTIN ØDEGAARD’S GAME BY NUMBERS
76 touches (2nd overall), 64 passes completed (1st overall), 10 passes into the final third (1st overall), 4 passes into the penalty area (1st overall), 4 duels won, 3 recoveries, 3 of 3 dribbles completed (1st for Arsenal), 0.94 xT (1st overall), and 3 shots on target out of 3 shots.
Ødegaard’s best performance of the season by far, in my opinion. He was secure in the pivot, executed excellent first-time passes all evening, and delivered a trademark finish just outside the box between the lines
After six years away from the Champions League, it’s difficult to envision a better comeback for Arsenal in the competition. Four goals, four different scorers, four different assist makers, and a clean sheet – it was a dominant performance that sets us up perfectly for Sunday.
Follow me on Twitter @jonollington
Sources: Opta, fbref, @Orbinho twitter feed