Thursday, April 25, 2024

Burnley 0-5 Arsenal – By The Numbers



Burnley have struggled at home this Premier League season, managing just one win and two draws in their 12 matches played at Turf Moor before kickoff, while also conceding 27 goals, the second most in the league at home, only behind Sheffield United.

Arsenal, their opponents, had conceded the fewest goals on the road (11), and only Manchester City (25 points) could boast a stronger away record than The Gunners (23 points) going into the game.

However, following Liverpool’s win at Brentford in the early kickoff, it was crucial that our good form and what looked like a very winnable game on paper translated into a victory to keep the pressure on.

Martin Ødegaard lashed Arsenal into an early lead (0.13 xG, 0.43 xGOT) after Martinelli’s cross from the left found him on the edge of the area just four minutes in.

Havertz played a quick ball to Trossard in the box, which saw the Belgian go down under a challenge from Lorenz Assignon. Saka’s spot-kick was just out of reach for James Trafford and doubled our lead right before the break.

Slipped in by Ødegaard, Saka scored his second of the afternoon right at the start of the second half when he hammered his shot (0.10 xG, 0.23 xGOT) past Trafford at the near post after some quick feet to set himself up.

4 – Bukayo Saka has now scored in four consecutive Premier League appearances for the first time in his career. He has scored seven goals in his last six league matches.

Another free-flowing move saw the ball fall to Trossard to curl home from close range (0.13 xG, 0.14 xGOT).

Kai Havertz added the gloss in the 78th minute after a quick Jakub Kiwior throw found the German who skipped past Hannes Delcroix before slotting past Trafford (0.44 xG).

21 – Goals scored by Arsenal in our last five league games. The last time we managed more than that over a five-game period was back in 1935.

8 – Penalties won by Arsenal in the Premier League this season. The only campaign in which we’ve won more was during 2006-07 when we were awarded 12.

5+ – Goals scored by Arsenal in three Premier League games so far in 2024, one more than in the entirety of 2023.

5 – Goals scored by Arsenal in back-to-back away league games for the first time in the club’s history.

+19 – Improved goal difference in our last five league games, as we start the calendar year with five successive league victories for the first time in the club’s history. It marks our longest winning run in the Premier League this season.

16 – Shots for Arsenal (including one penalty). It’s the 15th time this season we’ve recorded 15 or more shots in a league game.

2.31 – Expected Goals for Arsenal (1.01 open-play, 0.51 set-play and 0.79 from the penalty spot). The 15th time this season we’ve recorded an expected goals total of two or higher.

2 – Shots on target against Arsenal across our last three league games (Luis Díaz for Liverpool and Mohammed Kudus for West Ham). It’s the fewest we’ve faced across a three game span in the Premier League since November 2003.

0.22 – Expected goals on target conceded by Arsenal over our previous three league games combined.

Expected Goals on Target (xGOT) measures the post-shot quality of on-target efforts at the goal. For instance, a strike into the top corner might carry a 0.95 xGOT, while a shot directly at the keeper might only have a 0.02 xGOT.

96 – Touches overall by Gabriel (first overall). 54 in the defensive third (first overall), 39 in the middle third, and 4 in the attacking third.

60 – Touches in the middle third by William Saliba (first overall).

31 – Touches in the attacking third by Martin Ødegaard (first overall).

8 – Touches in the opponents’ box by Kai Havertz (first overall)

53 – Completed passes for Jakub Kiwior (fourth overall after Gabriel, Saliba and Ødegaard), six passes into the final third (second overall) and one assist.

During the build-up phase, Kiwior operates in the same zones as he would in his favoured LCB role, positioned wide in a back-three. He is starting to come into his own, having been given the platform to flourish by his manager, who isn’t forcing him to do anything that doesn’t come naturally, as Ben White has taken over the inverting responsibilities in the absence of Zinchenko.

7 – Shot creating actions for Kai Havertz (first overall). The German also recorded the highest non-penalty expected goals (npxG) of the game (0.8) and won more than double the aerial duels of anyone else on the pitch (8).

Havertz is still only 24 years old. He’s 6’4″, versatile, technically adept, deceptively quick, wins duels, and can score with both his head and feet. His unpredictability, movement off the ball, and unique profile is a big part in how the team is evolving this season.


Most passes received in opponents’ half (38), most final third entries (9), most chances created (3), joint most assists (1), most progressive passes (12), most passes into the penalty area (5), highest expected threat (1.15), 100% tackles won (1/1), 100% aerial duels won (1/1), two shots, two shots on target, and one goal.

It was a great finish from the captain that set us up for the win. Ødegaard is striking a balance between dropping deep, allowing him to be involved in the buildup and receive 80+ touches per game, while also influencing the game higher up the pitch.

Our performances are finally catching up to our underlying numbers, and our self-belief is growing despite injuries. Next up is a trip to Porto as the Champions League resumes.

Follow me on Twitter @jonollington

SourcesOpta, fbref, @Orbinho twitter feed

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Thierry Walcott

Been looking forward to seeing these numbers since fulltime, thanks.

“39 [touches by Gabriel] in the middle third (first overall)” I’m thinking you maybe meant second overall since:

60 – Touches in the middle third by William Saliba (first overall).


Are you able to aggregate defensive actions as team by field position and possibly how long it take to win ball back?
We really throttle teams defensively and it’s q joyous thing to watch.


Very interesting stats, thanks.
I am not sure if the numbers back me up (would be interested to know), but I have noticed that there seems to be a big difference after we score one or two goals compared to earlier this season. Earlier this season we seemed to attack less after scoring, compared to now. This obviously means we can score more (as we have), but we also seem to control the games better and give up less chances when attacking as opposed to defending.

Dr. Gooner

Absolutely. That was my big gripe about our performances in 22/23.


It is interesting that if the penalties at the start of the season were not shared around, but instead taken by Saka, he would potentially have 4 more goals to his name, assuming he scored all the penalties. This would put him on 16 goals – joint top with Haaland for most goals in the Premier League this season.

Dr. Gooner

Hi Jon, this is great stuff. I would also love to see some sort of comparison to other top teams and top players on other teams. Or just keep doing what you’re doing and I’ll keep loving that too.


Great to see Kai evolving!
MA is using him and previously Xhaka in a very demanding role physically and technically. It is so confusing that at a graph above Kai is a striker and Leo is the left 8!

I miss santi cazorla

Can you present the stats when Arsenal start with different strikers
Jesus, Trossard, nketiah, kai
Because teams seems to play with 10 men when Eddie is on the pitch.
Just want to confirm with the stats that whether it is my bias or the truth.


Sorry for my English, but what is really happenned for the first time in clubs history in the following:

+19 – Improved goal difference since the start of the calendar year, with five successive league victories for the first time in the club’s history.


Arsenal’s remarkable run of 14 consecutive wins during the 2001-2002 season is etched in Premier League history…


I got confused with this too, I think it’s to do with the goal difference swing I’m 5 games being the highest in history. Which still feels astonishing tbh


Thanks Jon. And thank you for the great effort.

Third Gooner

The club went on a five-game winning run with a goal difference of 19 for the first time in their history.


It all seems to be clicking into gear at the right time. Obviously still cautiously optimistic, as I’m a gooner but this is turning into another fun season, and the stats suggest we’re very good.

As an aside, anyone see Lakonga v Man U yesterday, I know they’re pretty shit (with an immensely deluded fanbase) but Sambi was the best player on the field for me. Hopeful that him and Biereth can come back and nicely bolster an already awesome squad.


5+ – Goals scored by Arsenal in three Premier League games so far in 2024, one more than in the entirety of 2023.

Are you saying that we have scored 5 more goals in three PL games in 2024 vs all our PL games in 2023?




Much appraciated, thanks Jon. Visual quality adds to the enjoyment of stats for us who are endlessly thirsty for everything about our great team


Jon, dividing the field into three areas does not draw safe statistical conclusions. Especially when lower-performing teams prioritize low blocks and leave the opponent space even in the final third. 
More productive is to divide the areas into five parts. The defensive and offensive fifths (spaces slightly larger than 20 meters from the goalposts and of course all the nearest ones) more accurately capture both the offensive and defensive qualities of both opponents. From this perspective the effect on the passes attempted by the players would be more clearly seen. 


First time reading one of these. Great article though John!


We need to upgrade on this Raya guy. He’s the only one in the team with 0 G/A


Stealing a living, that guy

Death by 300,000 Passes

@Jon Ollington:
Hi Jon,
There was a shot for Burnley in the 27th minute from a tight angle that Raya saved, but it seems it was not counted (also by other stat websites). Was it considered a cross?

And a second question/observation:
I find the PPDA graph quite confusing. Is there a reason why the ordinate goes from 100 to 0 and not, more naturally, from 0 to 100? This would allow also to focus the scale on a smaller range (say, 0 to 50) and not have the whole bottom half empty.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x