Monday, July 15, 2024

Arsenal 3-1 Liverpool – By The Numbers



7 – Arsenal had lost seven of their last eight league games against sides at the top of the table heading into Sunday’s fixture at The Emirates. The exception was a 2-1 win against Liverpool back in July 2020.

And whether you thought Sunday’s encounter was a must-win or a must-not-lose, it was imperative that we took something away from the game. Not just for our title aspirations, but to stop any ridiculous questions that might have arisen around Mikel Arteta’s future had we fallen eight points behind the league leaders.

15 – However, this Liverpool side were unbeaten in their last 15 league matches and had lost just one of their previous 33 league games pre-kickoff.

But Arsenal have made a habit of scoring early goals against Liverpool, and the trend continued as Bukayo Saka was on hand to convert a rebound (0.44 xG) just before the quarter-hour mark. This happened after Kai Havertz had been played in on goal by Martin Ødegaard, only to see his effort saved by Alisson.

4 – Arsenal have now scored inside the first 15 minutes in each of their last four Premier League meetings with Liverpool.

The league leaders had struggled to get into the game for the majority of the first half, but they were gifted an equaliser when Gabriel scored an own goal after a mix-up between David Raya and William Saliba. Neither player covered themselves in glory, but in my opinion, Raya, as the one who can see everything, has to take control either by coming for it or at least, shouting at Saliba.

3 – Shots for Liverpool in the opening 45 minutes with zero on target and a total xG of just 0.11.

The first half was reminiscent of the FA Cup tie just 28 days earlier. In both matches, we dominated but went into halftime with nothing to show for it. It almost felt inevitable that the second half would follow a similar fate to the cup exit. However, despite Liverpool’s decent start to the second half, they never truly gained control. Instead, they produced their own calamitous moment after a long ball from Gabriel. Alisson and Van Dijk both left a routine clearance to each other, allowing Martinelli the opportunity to roll it in (0.75 xG).

Then, in stoppage time, Trossard skillfully evaded Diaz and Elliott before charging towards goal and firing a low shot that flashed between the legs of Alisson (0.04 xG) from a tight angle.

15 – Shots for Arsenal, with 8 (6 inside the box) in the first half and 7 (6 inside the box) in the second.

6 – Big chances (Havertz x2, Saka x2, Kiwior & Martinelli) for Arsenal.

3 – Shots from set-plays for Arsenal, accumulating in 0.46 xG.

6.5 – Minutes per chance for Arsenal.

3.50 – Expected goals for Arsenal, the highest Liverpool have ever faced in a Premier League game.

10 – Shots for Liverpool (6 inside the box). The third lowest total they’ve registered in a league match this season.

0 – Big chances for Liverpool.

9.8 – Minutes per chance for Liverpool.

3 – Times this season Liverpool have recorded an xG total of fewer than 1. Two of those were against Arsenal.

0.37 – Expected goals for Liverpool, the lowest total they’ve had this season.

5 – Errors leading to an opposition goal for Liverpool. Only Sheffield United and Brighton (both 7) have committed more.

0.04 – Average xG per shot for Liverpool. Arsenal’s was 0.23.

We are one of the most capable teams in the league this season when it comes to controlling games. We continually stifle the opposition in terms of expected goals against, including two of the league’s best, Manchester City (0.5) and Liverpool (0.4).

3 – Key passes for Martin Ødegaard (first overall); the Norwegian also played five passes into the penalty area (first overall) and completed seven progressive passes (first overall).

25 – Touches in the final third made by Martinelli (first overall). Additionally, he completed five progressive carries (first overall, tied with Kai Havertz), executed three carries into the final third (first overall), had six shot-creating actions (first overall) and covered some serious mileage, relentlessly running up and down the left flank. He won possession three times in the final third, had two shots, created one chance, had one shot on target, and scored one goal.

The Brazilian relishes playing against Trent Alexander-Arnold and excels when finding space to exploit. However, this season, he has more often than not faced low blocks, which have proven difficult for him at times. Therefore, it’s not particularly surprising that he was effective in a game that brings out the best in his abilities.

53 – Attempted passes (83% completion rate) for Declan Rice. Our record signing, who again was phenomenal on the day, made 66 touches, played two key passes (second overall), completed one switch of play, played five final third entries, won six duels, made four tackles, and two interceptions.


71 touches, 45/53 (83%) accurate passes, six passes into the final third, 24 passes in the final third, 23/27 (85%) medium passes, 21/21 (100%) short passes completed, seven duels won, three aerial duels won, four interceptions, three blocks, two tackles, two recoveries, two clearances, two fouls won and one chance created.

Jorginho and Declan Rice worked brilliantly together, providing us with a solid foundation, and demonstrating that defensive strength doesn’t have to compromise creativity. Jorginho probably had his best game in an Arsenal shirt, and had we signed the Italian from a different club, he would likely have much more popularity among the fan base. Nevertheless, his performances, consistency, and the evident influence and respect he commands from his teammates are winning over any remaining doubters.

And just like that, we’re back in the title race after three league wins on the bounce following that horrific run of games after Christmas. More importantly, we secured a win against the league leaders that will instill belief as we head into the business end of the season. With City beating Brentford last night, it means we’re on the same points as the reigning champions, albeit having played one more game, but now, only two points behind top spot.

Follow me on Twitter @jonollington

Sources: Opta, fbref, @Orbinho twitter feed

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100 – Number of times legendary Valencia manager Garry Neville talks about how Arteta should conduct himself as a manager and why he’s failing by finishing just in second position


Can’t believe Raya hasn’t scored or assisted yet! RAYA OUT!


Great analysis Jon. Lots of excellent numbers. confirmation of our dominance in creating the best chances, but not dominating possession and controlling where and how the opposition (and a good one) get possession. I think Arteta is surpassing Klopp as best off ball tactical manager in football. But, a bit of a cheap shot comment on Raya. That’s Saliba’s ball. Clear it. Would like to see some more depth analysis on the work Raya is doing to prevent chances. His cross claiming is head and shoulders above any other GK in the league right now and he continues to start… Read more »


1 – times Raya should have dived on the ball at Saliba’s feet.


Easy in hindsight. Danger is Raya comes for it just as Saliba decides to hoof it and they end up colliding… like Alisson and VD.
To me Saliba had control, as soon as Raya doesnt come he needs to get rid into the stand. But again it’s easy in hindsight, thank fuck it didn’t cost us.


100%. Saliba doesn’t get dispossed much, but he did here and it’s his mistake. Apart from that he was faultless. Gabriel was brilliant beside him.


Time and time again we’ve seen defenders open their arms ( to prevent the attacker sneaking in ) as que for when a goalkeeper should come out. This ball was 100 % at Saliba’s feet and as we saw from the liverpool comedy later, there’s a reason goalkeepers should never rush in while the defender is still “in control” of the situation. Saliba should have cleared away( as should have Van dijk) or spread his body to ensure Diaz can’t get anything on it. What I saw was what Saliba has been doing all season long and more. Turning a… Read more »


That throw-cum-pass by Raya to Martinelli which is the second time I seen him execute in recent games is a major weapon for us. Saka didn’t score this time but my goodness doesn’t it tickle my loins!
I think it will prove especially effective later as seaosb progress as more teams push for wins

Cliff Bastin

And this was a team that absolutely barbecued Chelsea with shots in mid week. I know that’s not saying much because it’s Chelsea but the point is we completely handled them.


This is the silent work of David Raya. He claims so many crosses, his control and sweeper actions are outstanding. Our chances against are so low this season, and without questions Raya’s influence is impacting that. He’ll never look like an overly flashy goalie diving around with aerial acrobatics (he’s like the David De Gea anti-matte; polar opposite GKs and we have the much more effective version for the modern football we play) because with him we just give up so few chances – that is a massive victory.

Death by 300,000 Passes

Why wasn’t Gabriel credited with an assist for Martinelli’s goal? The ball was shot after his pass. I understand that it is considered an error lead to goal, but it’s not like Van Dijk passed the ball. He “just” didn’t clear it, but missed interceptions that lead to goal happen often, and the original passer always gets an assist…


Dubious assists panel to the rescue!


I think because van Dijk touched it?

A Different George

I have two comments about data, neither terribly important. I think a big disparity in “clearances” is often–maybe not always, but very often–an indicator that the other team were dominating. I’m sure Dyche’s Burnley and Pulis’ West Brom must have led the league in clearances. Without knowing, I’d bet Liverpool rarely need to make 23 clearances in a match. The other is about xG for Martinelli’s goal. I thought a penalty was .8 xG, while Martinelli’s goal is given as .75 Yes, a pen is from 12 yards out and Martinelli was further away. But, you know, the little matter… Read more »

Crash Fistfight

I’m interested to understand how the xG for a chance is estimated. How many shots have been attempted that were ‘the same’ as the one Martinelli scored? I’d imagine so few as to be statistically insignificant. And having said that, how could anyone miss that chance?


Miki proving what a top manager he is, tactically outsmarting Klopp with line up & plan, amazing stats that show on our day we can beat anyone, as difficult as it will be we are still in this PL comp also CL where teams who are now in the knockout stage are not so adverse to the 10 men behind the ball, no more injuries god bless and it could be our year..


Thanks for breaking the game down with so much detail. The post-game analysis on Sky was a salty clown festival that really underlined how brutal this defeat was for the Liverpool fanbase who clearly underestimated Arteta and his team


I don’t think they underestimated us at all. Klopp himself has said how tough we are to deal with and how well we control a game, even without the ball. I think we’re just really good at football, to quote a particular right back


David Raya starting to really look the business now.

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