Monday, April 22, 2024

Arsenal 2-1 Brentford – By The Numbers



With title rivals Liverpool and Manchester City facing off after Brentford’s visit to The Emirates, Arsenal had the opportunity to claim top spot for the first time in 2024 with a win in yesterday’s evening kick-off.

1 – Arsenal had only won one out of their last six Saturday 5.30pm kick-offs (W1 D2 L3), but it came against Brentford earlier this season when Kai Havertz scored in the final minutes.

The visitors had kept only one clean sheet in their last 17 Premier League matches and have lost 12 of their last 16 matches.

Aaron Ramsdale, who hadn’t featured since the reverse fixture back in November, came in for David Raya, who was ineligible against his parent club, while Leandro Trossard replaced the injured Gabriel Martinelli.

Ben White crossed for Rice to head home (0.04 xG, 0.39 xGOT) around the 20-minute mark, giving us the lead.

Deep into first-half stoppage time, Ramsdale collected a routine back-pass but was caught in possession as he attempted to clear by Yoane Wissa (0.35 xG, 1.00 xGOT), resulting in the ball ending up in the back of the net.

Once again, White provided the assist as Havertz’ header proved too much for Flekken (0.24 xG, 0.87 xGOT), sealing victory at the death.


17 – Attempts in total for Arsenal, ranking ninth highest this season, aligning with our season average of 16.8 shots per 90 minutes (which ranks third overall in the Premier League).

1.28 – Expected goals for Arsenal, ranking 14th highest this season and below our season average of 1.81 npxG per 90 (which ranks third overall in the Premier League).

12 – Shots from open play for Arsenal, accumulating a total expected goals (xG) value of 0.94.

5 – Shots from set plays for Arsenal with a total xG of 0.35.

2 – Headed goals for Arsenal, both registered as big chances by Opta and successfully converted.

16 – Headed goals for Arsenal this season, the most in the Premier League.

46 – Touches in the opposition box for Arsenal, ranking eighth highest this season and above our average of 38.3 (which ranks first overall in the Premier League).


5 – Passes into Zone 14 for Brentford, three of which (60%) were played from within their own half.

77 – Attempted long passes by Brentford, accounting for 31% of all passes attempted by the visitors on the day.

Thomas Frank’s side attempted 80 short passes with a success rate of 63.8%, 72 medium passes with a success rate of 69.4%, and completed 41.6% of their attempted long passes (32 out of 77).

37 – Touches for Ivan Toney, the second-highest for Brentford after goalkeeper Mark Flekken, but fewer than Aaron Ramsdale (39), who had the fewest touches among all the Arsenal starters.

1 – Touch in Arsenal’s box for Ivan Toney.

1 – Shot for Ivan Toney.

10 – Aerial duels contested by Ivan Toney, who won 70% (7).

9 – Aerial duels contested by William Saliba, who won 44.4% (4).

9 – Aerial duels contested by Gabriel, who won 33.3% (3).

46 – Recoveries made by Arsenal. 16 more than the number of recoveries made by Brentford with White topping The Gunners with 6.

Gabriel and Saliba were rarely troubled by Ivan Toney, whose only effort came from the halfway line. Despite winning his fair share of aerial duels, Arsenal consistently mopped up the second balls, as Toney struggled to get anything from the Arsenal centre backs.


49:26 – The amount of time the ball was in play, which is less than 50% of the total time played of 105 minutes and 1 second.

In what turned out to be the perfect dress rehearsal for Tuesday’s game against Porto, Brentford did everything they could to nullify us, as we were not allowed to build any rhythm. At the Estadio do Dragao, the ball was in play for a similar duration (50 minutes and 2 seconds), and we’re likely to face a similar challenge in the home leg.

1 – Error leading to a goal. It was a bad mistake by Aaron Ramsdale and part of why he’s lost his place, but I felt for him all the same and was over the moon he managed to pull off two fantastic saves.



Most touches (84), most passes (68/80), furthest progressive pass distance (309 metres), most passes into the final third (10), most successful crosses into the penalty area (2), joint most progressive passes (6), most key passes (3) and two glorious assists.

If opponents persist in man-marking Saka and doubling up, we still have Benjamin White. His delivery from the half-space for the opener, followed by the cross for the winner, was game-changing. His level understandably dropped earlier in the season when he was widely known to be playing with an injury, but since recovering, he has been exceptional.

10 – Points now won from goals scored during the final five minutes, putting us (tied with Liverpool) in first place for points won during this period.

8 – Consecutive Premier League games won in a row by Arsenal, for the first time since April 2015.

With Manchester City and Liverpool drawing at Anfield, we end the weekend at the top of the league on goal difference after winning a tough encounter that will hopefully go some way in helping us progress on Tuesday.

Follow me on Twitter @jonollington

SourcesOpta, fbref, @Orbinho twitter feed

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Thanks Jon, always an interesting read


Top = Arsenal
Most wins = Arsenal
Most goals = Arsenal
Fewest goals conceded = Arsenal
Best goal difference = Arsenal
Longest winning run = Arsenal


….and yet only a 15% chance of winning the title…. apparently.


Toughest run-in. Our five remaining away games are City, Brighton. Wolves, Spu*s, Utd. Not a gimme in there, and given how Pool and City are looking, likely we will need at least 10 points from these. Tough ask, but here’s hoping!

karl g

I was quite encouraged by watching the Liverpool vs City game. In past seasons we would have seen a classic match, but neither side really deserved to win. Both sides have ageing top stars and Ederson looks like he will be out for a while now.

We may not win it this year for sure, but the gap is getting smaller all the time.


Honestly, I don’t think 10pts will be enough from those games. Looks like 90 pts is going to win it with three teams on 64-63 pts (89 maybe). That’s 25-27 pts, at least one team will claim 25 pts, maybe 2. That means at absolute maximum we can lose 1 and draw 1, more likely 1 loss + 9 wins or 2 draws + 8 wins is needed. I think we need 11-12 points at least from those 5 games. It is a tough ask, but you don’t win the EPL by being good, you win by being elite. This… Read more »


We struggle more against low block teams. At least we can be more competitive in those games. Let us enjoy the run.


1 – average league position for arsenal this weekend


Most headed goals for Arsenal is interesting. Have we ever had the most in a full season?


I just had a look at the overall rate and we are just second to Liverpool. So it is likely that we have scored most headed goals before. I reckon the percentage of headed goals to all goals would make more sense.


Hooray for us!


Great read.


Trossard’s avg position is an interesting one when contrasted with Martinelli who is usually very high up, on par with Saka. I think we missed that directness and I hope Jesus is fit enough for a start at LW v Porto.

Dr. Gooner

that’s it. The positional map crystallizes what I saw on the day, which is that we played without width or threat on the left flank.


It is interesting to see the stats on this forum after the game, as i usually get pissed off with the commentary and some league box inclusions on our screen to how many goals we’ve scored from set pieces and every bit of guff these guys lament on telling us, just say what’s going on the pitch, i couldn’t give a monkeys how many cards or assists a player has had when the ball is in play, all i know from this game is benny crossed 2 superb balls to win us the game.

Cliff Bastin

Enjoy every moment friends. Enjoy that we are breathing right down the necks of 2 freaks of teams and managers.


39 touches for Aaron Ramsdale was one too many!

karl g

If you don’t play for months at a time, this can be expected. Party has been off the boil on his return, but his position won’t be so critical if an error is made.

Bleeding gums Murphy

What Ramsdale did was the equivalent of partey turning to face our goal and bending one into the top corner.


Liverpool played Man City yesterday.
Really? Who won?


The pundits post game concentrating on whether Doku clearing a high ball should have been a penalty. Remember after the brentford game they were all up about whether Kai should have got a second yellow and brought in an ex ref to push the narrative but he explained it down. The guests were all former arsenal (Keown and a former Arsenal ladies player)

Nobody talked about Trossard being pulled down by the neck/shoulder nor big Gabi being pulled down. Nada, no!

Was hoping for once one of them brings it up and I see how it’s explained away


We’re not getting a penalty, don’t even delude yourself into thinking we have a chance at one.

A Different George

We have been awarded 8 penalties this season, the joint most in the league with Liverpool and Chelsea (and made them all).


By VAR mate… but hey, you knew that


I don’t understand what Gareth Southgate fails to see in Benjamin.

Kyle Walker at right back may be giving arrogance to Southgate to ignore White, but if he is really interested in making England a win a significant tournament, White has to be there in some capacity.
In guardian one of the article talked about England needing one more John Stone, but they fail to understand they have White


White and Saka are a good pairing when Arsenal attack. The reason that White was under no pressure while he measured the cross for Rice to score, was that the guy who should have been marking him was occupied doubling up on Saka. White is a footballer, not merely a defender. Any decent manager should see that combo, eh, Mr Southgate?


It’s better this way…


The various maps just show how truly dominant we were in a deceiving 2-1 scoreline.

Billy bob

In the mini league at the top (arsenal, liverpoo & oil city) our stats read:
Won 2
Drawn 1
Lost 0
Somehow we’re not title contenders according to some!!!


I think Man City has the easiest remaining games. So probably the game with Man City will be the key this year.


White assisting Rice for the first goal is White-Rice, yeah?


Hey thats my jersey!


As outstanding as Saka is, there is one player who is more important to our title challenge than him. Martin Odegaard is the most important Arsenal player because he is the one player that we do not have a replacement for. If we lose Odegaard for a few games the title challenge ends immediately. We do not have anyone who can do half of what he does in midfield. It’s not the captaincy, Gabriel and Rice can fill the leadership void, It’s the midfield creativity and piloting our press. Nobody on the bench can step in and provide what Odegaard… Read more »

Naked Cygan

Honestly I really don’t think Liverpool will drop many points from now on, maybe 2 points. They just play good no matter what team they put out. Man City, I think we are the only team that will seriously cause them any problems, other than that they will not drop any points, maybe 2-3 points max. This means we almost have to win every game left, maybe, maybe a draw with City and we still win it. Big task but it all depends how hungry we are to stay top. If we can keep our first team fit till the… Read more »

Bleeding gums Murphy

Did you watch Liverpool against forest last week.

Crash Fistfight

I think the first 2 goals kind of highlight a slight flaw in xG (no offence to you, John). Try those 2 actions 100 times each and see how many times the ‘chance’ Wissa had goes in, versus the one Rice scored from.

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