CHELSEA 2–2 ARSENAL: BY THE VISUALS
CHELSEA 2–2 ARSENAL: BY THE NUMBERS
Chelsea had endured an indifferent start to the season (P8, W3, D2, L3) as their prolonged period of transition continues. Nevertheless, they had won two straight league games heading into Saturday’s fixture, and their underlying metrics since Mauricio Pochettino took charge suggested they were better than their league position of 9th – Understat’s xPTS (points based on xG and xGA) had them in 4th.
5 – Arsenal had won five and lost just one of their last seven Premier League matches against Chelsea.
However, with only one win in their last 11 Premier League home games and a poor recent record against an Arsenal side fresh from defeating Manchester City, it appeared that the hosts were in for a difficult evening.
Bukayo Saka made his return, with Gabriel Jesus returning to a central role. Gabriel Martinelli started his first league game since recovering from an injury sustained against Everton, and, perhaps most surprisingly, Jorginho retained his place.
Yet, despite the favoured front three, Arsenal were far from their free-flowing best.
1 – Goal from inside the 6-yard box.
1 – Goal from outside the box.
1 – Big chance created and scored.
13 – Attempts in total, with 9 from inside the box.
0.99 – Expected goals (xG) for Arsenal, 0.55 from open-play and 0.45 from set pieces.
6 – Shots from set plays, with 5 of those coming from corners. Arsenal had 7 corners in total.
7.5 – Minutes per shot for Arsenal compared to 8.9 minutes per shot for Chelsea.
3 – Shots on target (23%).
1 – Error from the opposition that resulted in a goal.
* The graph on the right only considers passes (not carries). Forward passes are rated highly, while passes backward, away from goal, are rated negatively.
46 – Only three Chelsea players – Levi Colwill (63), Enzo Fernandez (51), and Thiago Silva (49) – completed more passes than David Raya. The Arsenal keeper attempted 17 long balls, completing 7 (41%), and 100% of his 26 medium-range passes. However, the short pass he misplaced (8 out of 9 were successful) was a terrible ball straight to Cole Palmer, and it probably should have cost us the match. That said, on a positive note, he doesn’t let the mistakes affect him too much. There was a save from Nicolas Jackson’s feet that could easily have resulted in a penalty if he had faltered.
2 – Switches of play from Declan Rice (1st overall). The pendulum swung when Robert Sanchez made a careless pass, which found Rice 14 minutes from time. His drive and influence have been crucial in many of our performances, especially considering that we haven’t quite found our attacking rhythm this season.
3 – Key passes for Bukayo Saka (1st overall). He was relatively quiet by his own standards but provided an assist to secure us a point. He possesses the ability to create opportunities at any moment in a game, even when he’s not at his best.
12 – Passes into the final third for Jorginho (no Chelsea player made more than 3), 2 passes into the penalty area (joint 1st overall), 10 progressive passes (1st overall), and 29 completed passes in the opposition half (joint 1st overall with Martinelli).
1 – Identical action by Mudryk, mirroring Saliba’s attempt to head the ball, with the only difference being that he gets there first and heads the ball onto the hand of the Arsenal defender.
5 – Arsenal’s substitutes have provided five goals and three assists in their nine Premier League matches this season.
When it seemed like Arsenal were heading for our first defeat this season, we managed to turn it around, despite not being at the races for most of the game. While we didn’t control the match as usual and were drawn into a physical battle by Chelsea, many of the starting eleven were not at their usual standard; however, most of the substitutes made a positive impact, and credit must go to Mikel Arteta for the changes.
With a quick turnaround before Tuesday’s match at Sevilla, hopefully, we just needed to shake off a poor performance.
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Sources: Opta, fbref, @Orbinho twitter feed