Saturday, February 24, 2024

Luton Town 3-4 Arsenal – By The Numbers



Since September, every Luton game has either ended in a draw or been decided by a single goal, except for the 3-1 defeats at Aston Villa and Brentford. Despite winning just one of their last eight league matches (D2, L5) before kickoff, the Hatters had avoided defeat in their previous two at Kenilworth Road, beating Palace and securing a point in their fixture against title-chasers Liverpool.

It was never going to be an easy place to visit, and the hosts seemed destined to secure a point after two errors from David Raya had put them in front. However, Arsenal recovered, and Declan Rice secured the win at the death.

Gabriel Jesus pressured a back pass, resulting in a throw-in. His swift delivery found Bukayo Saka, who set up Martinelli to finish (0.17 xG, 0.75 xGOT) 20 minutes in.

Gabriel Oso drifted away from Martinelli to head home (0.16 xG) Alfie Doughty’s corner just five minutes later.

7 – Jesus had gone seven Premier League games without a goal or an assist, marking the joint-longest run of his Premier League career.

But just before the break, Ben White stood up a cross to the back post that was met by the Brazilian, who headed in from close range (0.53 xG, 0.84 xGOT).

Less than five minutes into the second half, the hosts levelled for the second time as Elijah Adebayo leapt to head in (0.21 xG, 0.45 xGOT) another Doughty corner, with Raya off his line and beaten to the ball.

Once more, Raya was culpable as Ross Barkley’s low shot (0.05 xG, 0.03 xGOT) slid beneath the Spanish goalkeeper to put Luton in front.

20 – Encouragingly, only Sheffield United (25) had conceded more second-half goals than Luton.

Then just three minutes later, Kai Havertz capitalised (0.45 xG) on a long ball steered into his path by Jesus to equalise.

In the 7th minute of stoppage time, Ødegaard exchanged passes with Zinchenko before delivering a delightful cross for Rice (0.07 xG, 0.37 xGOT) to head home, securing another late victory for Arsenal.

5 – It was the fifth time in 15 Premier League games this season that The Gunners have scored a game-changing goal after the 84th minute, the third in stoppage time:

  • 97th minute winner at Luton
  • 89th minute winner at Brentford
  • 84th minute equaliser at Chelsea
  • 86th minute winner vs Manchester City
  • 96th & 101st minute winners vs Manchester United


6 – There were goal contributions from our entire front six (goal and assist for Jesus, goal for Martinelli, goal for Havertz, goal for Rice, assist for Saka, and an assist for Ødegaard).

23 – Attempts in total, the most Arsenal have taken this season, with 16 coming from inside the box.

19 – In open-play, Arsenal produced 19 attempts, accumulating an xG total of 2.01.

4 – Shots registered from set-plays, resulting in a total xG of 0.26.

4.3 – Minutes per shot for Arsenal compared to 16.5 minutes per shot for Luton.

3 – All three big chances credited to Arsenal were converted (Martinelli 20′, Jesus 45′, Havertz 60’).

11 – Shots after the substitutions (Zinchenko for Kiwior and Trossard replacing Martinelli) in the 64th minute.

49 – Touches in Luton’s box, the second-highest number Arsenal have recorded this season.

5 – Errors leading to goals. No team has committed more errors leading to goals in the league this season than Arsenal.

2.49 – The delta between goals conceded minus xG conceded.

Luton scored three goals from only four shots on target and six attempts in total on a night where David Raya didn’t cover himself in glory.

The Arsenal keeper had an off night, but statistically, Raya has faced 75 crosses this season in the Premier League, stopping 13 and boasting the highest percentage (17.3%) of successfully stopped crosses into the penalty area among goalkeepers. However, he has recently looked less than convincing in an area considered one of his strengths.

13 – Touches in the opposition box for Jesus. The Brazilian completed 50% of his 4 take-ons, made 3 progressive carries (2nd overall), completed 2 carries into the penalty area (2nd overall), played 5 key passes (joint 1st with Ødegaard), and received 9 progressive passes (2nd overall), in addition to his goal and assist.

The Arsenal forward has the ability to elevate all players around him. Despite his size, he uses his body exceptionally well to bully defenders and create havoc. I was surprised to see him play the full 90+ minutes, considering his schedule since the injury, but it’s understandable given his influential role in the team and the context of us chasing a winner.

29 – Oleksandr Zinchenko made more passes than Kiwior (23) in fewer minutes.


90 touches (2nd overall), 79 attempted passes (2nd overall), 72 completed passes (2nd overall), 1 key pass, 5 progressive passes (2nd overall), 7 recoveries (joint 2nd overall), won 2 tackles (1st for Arsenal), 7 passes into the penalty area (2nd overall) and 1 HUGE  game-winning header.

Arsenal’s record signing is writing history.

2 – Declan Rice becomes the third Arsenal player to score two 90th-minute winning goals in a single Premier League campaign, following in the footsteps of Ian Wright (1993-94 and 1995-96) and Nicklas Bendtner (2009-10).

1 – Rice’s winner at 96:23 stands as Arsenal’s latest recorded winning goal (since 2006-07) in a Premier League away game, breaking our 10-game winless streak against Luton in all competitions away and securing the first victory at Kenilworth Road since 1984.



60.6% passing accuracy, 45 touches, 6 in the opposition box, 10 duels won (2nd overall), 6/11 aerial duels won (54%), 5 shots (1st overall), 4 chances created (2nd overall), 5 shot-creating actions, 0.82 xG (1st overall), and his 3rd goal in his last 4 appearances.

His goal aside, yesterday was the best I have seen from Kai Havertz for Arsenal. We’re witnessing more from him on and off the ball, which is encouraging; his movement was good throughout, and the timing of his runs, how he arrives in space, is beginning to yield positive results.

It’s quite incredible what this Arsenal team is able to show in the most difficult moments. Despite the individual errors, we’re developing a habit of finding a way to win, or at least get something from the game, again and again. We deserved to win last night on an evening that seemed destined to be one of those games where the chance wouldn’t come.

Follow me on Twitter @jonollington

SourcesOpta, fbref, @Orbinho twitter feed

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Looks a lot like the wolves game. Should have been far more comfortable. Raya was poor on the shot, and not great on the corner goal, that surprised as he’s been excellent on crosses as The data shows, he wasn’t helped by the defense. The defense on the two goals from corners was abysmal, like so bad. In general this was by a long long way the worst defensive effort from the whole team but defenders and gk in particular. It felt like a real trap game and we lacked our usual defensive solidity and intensity. Hopefully just a blip… Read more »


Great analysis as usual, thanks.

We are the only team to have.conceded less than a goal per game despite the three we let in yesterday. Hope we return to our previous defensive form and that we get no more injuries. That’s what did us in last season when Tomi and Saliba got injured. With Tomi and Timber both out, we can’t afford any more.


Yup, we’re back to being razor thin at the back…especially with another of our “RBs” also out…


There ought to be a ‘by the numbers’ column for poor officiating and wrong VAR calls. I bet it would read like rollcall during Arsenal games.

Guardian of the Arse

Great analysis overall, but I am baffled by this claim:
Raya off his line and nowhere near the ball.”

Really? “No where near”? He was right there, the guy just got his head to it first. I’m not trying to say Raya isn’t to blame, only that “nowhere near the ball” is severe hyperbole.


Rice’s marking left more than a lot to be desired on that play too. If he actually sticks to his man it would have been an easy claim for Raya.

Man Manny

10 – The number of games United have lost out of 21 (48%)!
I didn’t know things are that bad over there.

Bleeding gums murphy

Watching villa dominate city. Can’t help but think once again we got rid of wrong keeper with Martinez. Like him or not, he’s very good.

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

Easily one of the best performances I’ve seen this season, by any team. Saturday should be interesting

A Different George

They really are a different team without Rodri. It’s certain Guardiola will be looking for a back-up in January. Although I hate to sell a player to a rival, I think if they offer 50 million for Elneny, we need to consider it.


You can see why they were so desperate for Rice! Playing two CBs in midfield ahead of Phillips, Kovacic and Nunes says it all. Too bad for them hehe..


It’s going to be a cracking ebening

A Different George

You know, Tielemanns was really good. Maybe we should have gotten him instead of Rice.

Bleeding gums murphy

You can do better than that George

A Different George

I can, but I was reluctant to–again–point out that Martinez is not that good, even if he has a good game. He made a couple of good saves, but was pretty much untroubled by City (and that’s really the story). He looks assured on high crosses, is a decent shot-stopper (though not exceptional) and is poor with the ball at his feet, and wayward in distribution. We had him for a decade and, at his best when Leno was injured, he looked good enough to be a starter for a decent team, but nothing like the best. His exaggerated reputation… Read more »

In hindsight it may have been better to sign Tielemans last year instead of spending £34m on Vieira.


I watched that double save. Brilliant. He is definitely a very good keeper, and in my opinion better than Leno. But it dies not mean we could sell Leno and retain him at that time.


“Once more, Raya was culpable as Ross Barkley’s low shot (0.05 xG, 0.03 xGOT) slid beneath the Spanish goalkeeper to put Luton in front”

This is great. A slightly higher (but perhaps not statistically significant(?)) chance of scoring from that position by being off target and deflecting into the goal (I am assuming…?), than actually scoring from the shot being on target.


That’s not what it means.

this is our year

since dave here just said that’s not what it means but didn’t explain …

xG is a pre shot model that looks at the probability of scoring from a shot given certain conditions like location, etc.

xGoT is a post shot model that takes into account where the shot was on target (maybe also keeper position, not sure) and then indicates how many shots that were shot with that condition, in that place in the goal were scored from the entire data set.


Thank you “this is our year”

and ah…. that’s how you answer Dave :-p


Cheers. I suppose “this is great,” could be misinterpreted. I meant more along the lines of interesting/intriguing. Posted in good faith and I appreciate the response in-turn.


Good ebening everybody

Man Manny

Aston Villa are in for a shock on Saturday. They can’t do to the hungrier Gunners what they’ve done to a filled and thus tepid City. We want that epl title like our lives depend on it. We’ll make a statement at Villa Park on Saturday.

Kennington Gunner

I have an issue with “good ebening” being used at or in Unai Emery’s direction. Context and intention matter hugely. On both counts, Arseblog is an excellent place to visit because of the classy community it attracts, curated by Blogs’s award-winning vibe that is hard won and protected by his clear comment policy and active moderating policy. On both counts I have no doubt that Chippy is celebrating the team’s form, what it means to us and is savouring our next challenge. So to be very clear I support that vibe and am really excited by Saturday’s game. But when… Read more »


Gone are the days when Seaman & Lehman would be 1st choice keepers season after season, the list of keepers we let go since then is baffling, Szczesny who won 2 fa cups with us went on to win 3 italian league titles & play in a CL final, Martinez a WC winner playing well at Villa, Leno who i thought was a decent keeper that we sold for peanuts now at Fulham, Fabianski a euro cup winner at Hammers, we went and bought another dud from Chelsea Ptre Czech who consistently dived the wrong way in every pen against… Read more »


I’m starting to wonder about Inaki Cana, assuming he is in charge of everything keeper related. There isn’t much to go on, but Rasmussen and Turner were weird signings, and even Ramsdale too, considering he clearly doesn’t play in the desired way. Also, Ramsdale got worse rather than better under his tutelage last season.


Great breakdown thanks. Could you include a link to definitions for people who don’t know their xGOT from their Chance Creating Action. ?


Kai has 4 goals not 3, which your stat image says

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