ARSENAL 1–0 MANCHESTER CITY: BY THE VISUALS
ARSENAL 1–0 MANCHESTER CITY: BY THE NUMBERS
Arsenal finally suffered their first loss of the season in midweek, but what drew more attention in the post-mortem was the concern surrounding Bukayo Saka’s injury and his potential availability for Sunday’s encounter against Manchester City.
87 – Saka’s streak of 87 consecutive Premier League appearances came to an end, which had been the longest active streak among all Premier League players and remains the longest streak in Arsenal’s Premier League history to date.
Gabriel Jesus took his place on the right, Leandro Trossard came in on the left, and Jorginho was brought in for Kai Havertz to provide additional stability in our buildup play.
6 – Arsenal had lost six consecutive home league games against Man City, their joint-worst record against any opponent, along with Chelsea (1960-65).
4 – All four substitutes contributed to Arsenal’s winning goal. Thomas Partey’s long ball found Takehiro Tomiyasu, who had been brought on to strengthen the defence but took on a striker’s role by nodding it down to Kai Havertz. Havertz then laid it back to Martinelli, whose first-time shot (0.04 xG) deflected off Ake, wrong-footing Ederson.
12 – Arsenal’s twelve shots against City were one more than we recorded against Lens (11) in our previous game, but the fewest we’ve registered in the Premier League this season.
6 – Shots for Arsenal that were inside the box.
2 – Shots for Arsenal that were on target (17%).
3 – Eddie Nketiah tied for first place in total shots overall (3) and had the highest expected goal tally (0.2 xG) among his teammates but struggled to make the ball stick. There were also numerous occasions in the second half when Ødegaard had to demonstrate when to press, and there was a forgettable moment when he took the ball off the captain while in an offside position.
Arsenal had failed to keep a clean sheet in their last 11 Premier League matches at the Emirates against Man City and had only managed to keep two clean sheets in their last 15 Premier League home games. Yet, on the day, we produced a defensive masterclass.
4 – Manchester City had only four shots, marking their lowest shot count in a Premier League game since April 2010 and their lowest tally ever in a league game under Pep Guardiola. This season, only Wolves (twice) had fewer shots in a Premier League game.
4 – Manchester City’s four shots are the fewest that Arsenal have faced all season.
58 – City’s last shot of the game was in the 58th minute, and from the 34th minute onwards, they only registered a single attempt on goal.
2 – It was only the second time in the Premier League that Erling Haaland hadn’t recorded a shot.
25 – Arsenal had 25 touches inside the box, with Kai Havertz contributing 3 of them, which accounted for 30% of his total touches (10).
14 – Touches in the box for Manchester City, eight of which they had in the first half.
193 – Arsenal had 193 touches in the final third compared to Manchester City’s 102, resulting in a 65% field tilt.
76 – No Arsenal player registered more touches than William Saliba. He won 100% of his duels and completed 97% of his 70 attempted passes against Man City. The Frenchman didn’t commit a single foul, nor did he get dribbled past once. In fact, he hasn’t been dribbled past in his eight Premier League appearances in 2023/24, and he has committed just two fouls all season. It was reported post-match that he was playing with a slight injury and will consequently miss the upcoming interlull.
He and Gabriel were absolutely brilliant.
1 – Nutmeg on Jeremy Doku by Ben White, who was also brilliant.
24 – David Raya attempted 24 long passes, completing 11 of them (46%). He also achieved a 100% completion rate for his short passes (9) and medium-range passes (14). Additionally, he tied with Ruben Dias for completing the most passes into the final third.
In my opinion, the manager’s decision to choose Raya as the number one goalkeeper is based on his belief that he possesses abilities that Ramsdale lacks. Despite Aaron Ramsdale’s popularity or the apparent unfairness of this choice, there was always a need for adaptation in Ramsdale’s playing style. Raya’s inclusion allows us to execute the manager’s preferred approach in playing out from the back, even under pressure. Arteta acknowledges that mistakes may occur but is willing to accept them because adhering to his desired style of play is more important to him.
DECLAN RICE’S GAME BY NUMBERS
53 touches, 36/40 (90%) accurate passes, 1 progressive pass, 2 key passes, 2 passes into the final third, 1 pass into the penalty area, 31 carries, 2 progressive carries, 4 recoveries, 3 interceptions, 3 tackles, 2 clearances, 2 blocks, 0 fouls committed and 1 clearance off the line.
It’s still early in Declan Rice’s Arsenal career, but if he continues to perform like this over the next few years and stays fit, I believe that £105 million could turn out to be a bargain – which is, of course, a ludicrous thing to say. That moment late in the game when Matheus Nunes surged through the middle, and Rice executed a flawless sliding challenge from behind was legitimately a joy to watch. He is the perfect player for what this team needed.
12 – Arsenal end their 12-match losing streak against Man City, beating City for the first time since 2015.
24 – Mikel Arteta has now beaten all 24 clubs he has faced as Arsenal manager in the Premier League.
We experienced a shaky start, but we persevered, overcame some terrible refereeing decisions, and ultimately put on a remarkable defensive performance, effectively taking control of the game. While our offensive threat was limited, it wasn’t Mikel Arteta’s primary focus. The introduction of Martinelli in the second half improved our approach, and the manager’s substitutions were fantastic, helping change the outcome of the game.
As we head into the international break, we’ve broken a 12-match losing streak by defeating the reigning champions and now find ourselves tied for the top spot in the league.
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Sources: Opta, fbref, @Orbinho twitter feed