Saturday, May 25, 2024

Arsenal 0-2 Aston Villa – By The Numbers



Aston Villa visited Arsenal yesterday, having lost only one of their last six Premier League away matches, which was against Man City at the Etihad with a much-changed team (drawing 2 and winning 3).

While City inevitably secured three points at home against Luton a day earlier, boosting their goal difference by four in the process, Liverpool’s loss at home to Palace in yesterday’s earlier kickoff meant Arsenal could have claimed top spot with a clear lead had we picked up three points.

Zinchenko replaced Kiwior, Rice dropped back to the #6 position, meaning Jorginho missed out, while Havertz filled the gap as the left-sided #8 and Jesus played up top. Trossard came in for Martinelli.

For 45 minutes, Arsenal were the better team. Havertz’s movement from deep was a constant feature, demonstrating his value in midfield. Ødegaard was fantastic, dictating tempo and controlling the game. Overall, we posed the greater threat, despite Villa looking dangerous on the break.

Their best chance came when Ollie Watkins hit the post (0.07 xG) following Gabriel’s mistake in giving him possession. But straight after, we went up the other end. Martinez made a crucial save from Trossard, who had the best chance of the half (0.51 xG, 0.79 xGOT).

14 — Shots in the first half for Arsenal. We’ve only registered more once at home during the first half all season, against Brighton.

2 – Big chances for Arsenal in the first half. In the second half, we took a total of four shots, three from outside the box with a total xG of 0.19.

32 – Touches in the box for Arsenal during the first half compared to Villa’s five.

2 – Matches in Arsenal’s last four league games that we’ve failed to score in, having only gone goalless in three of our first 28 matches this season.

18 – Shots overall for Arsenal, above our season average of 16.4 which ranks third in the Premier League.

1.64 – Expected goals for Arsenal, below our season average of 1.75 non-penalty expected goals, which ranks third in the Premier League.

Villa were the much better team after the interval, and in the 84th minute, Bailey was in the right place at the right time as Digne’s low cross evaded everyone, allowing him to give Villa the lead (0.42 xG).

Three minutes later, Ollie Watkins latched onto a through ball, held off Emile Smith Rowe, and chipped the ball over Raya (0.31 xG) to put the game beyond doubt.

2 – Shots on target for Aston Villa. Both of which were goals.

Emery said he didn’t change anything at half-time. He attributed their success to Arsenal not being as effective as we were in the first half, stating: ‘The opponent was dropping deeper, and we had the opportunity to keep the ball more.

226 – Completed passes in the first half for Arsenal, 68 more than Aston Villa. In the second half, Villa completed 31 more passes than us (189 vs. 158).

145 – Passes in the opposition half during the first half for Arsenal. This number dropped in the second half to 89. Villa’s increased from 53 to 77.

7.8 – Passes allowed per defensive action for Arsenal during the first half. The intensity of our pressing dropped in the second half, allowing our opponents 11.4 passes per defensive action. In contrast, Villa increased their intensity, allowing 17.4 passes per defensive action down to 15.6 in the second half.

5 – Offsides for Arsenal, the joint most we’ve registered all season.

It was one of the few times this season we’ve properly let a game drift away from us, but the fact remains that this is our first league defeat in 2024, having won every other game bar the draw at the Etihad. I made this point in my previous ‘By The Numbers’, but it’s still just as relevant: the season’s longest winning streak is Arsenal’s run of eight wins, while Liverpool and City have achieved five and six, respectively. Currently, Manchester City are on three. If they were to go on and win all their remaining fixtures, it would up that total to nine, and they would obviously be champions. However, up to this point, they’ve not managed to put together that sort of run, so there is hope.

How we respond now is the truest reflection of this team’s ‘bottle’. Despite it being extremely difficult to keep on winning playing twice a week at the highest level come April, we must react in the right way, starting with Bayern on Wednesday.

Follow me on Twitter @jonollington

SourcesOpta, fbref, @Orbinho twitter feed

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Spanish Gooner

Thanks for this article. Really good reading and I truly appreciate the last couple of sentences – it was really difficult to see anything other than doom and gloom last night but this really puts the game into context.

As my brother pointed out to me, one positive about yesterday’s game is that Sp*rs now really need to beat City to have a chance of CL football. Here’s to them having their Spursiest moment of all time and accidentally giving us a hand!


Would very much love for that to happen, but it’s hard to see City dropping points now with just 6 games left. Plus, look at their fixtures and ours! They have the advantage of having a ridiculously stacked squad and Guardiola knows how to rotate them ALL THROUGH the season. So they usually arrive at this stage of the season fresh and fit. I think we have more chances of winning the UCL, funny enough. Find a way to get past Bayern on wed, out maneuver City over 2 legs in the semis, and any other team from the other… Read more »


Oh who would have said it, but here’s to them not bottling it up and going on a run after we beat them on the 28th.


Funny enough, the negative Fatgooner isn’t as negative right now as many others on this site. I still think that we can win the title. City WILL drop points, and if we can get back to winning ways then we can catch them. This is where Arteta really earns his money. He has to rebuild confidence and get the players to believe in themselves again. This is a crucial moment in the season: we mustn’t fall away now as we have done in the last two seasons. We need to get back on the horse straight away. Bayern are absolutely… Read more »


Great comments, but I disagree that Arteta got it wrong to begin the match — we were on them, we created chances, we should have been 2 or 3 up at halftime had the players executed their moves, and that would have enabled some serious rotation (from both managers) in the second half, and it should have been comfortable.

Bleeding gums Murphy

What you wouldn’t have started Nketia 😂😂


Touche! Nice one. 😉


Fatgooner: the ray of light!

Paul Gammidge-Jefferson

(Villa Fan) We had to be on it against a very good Arsenal team. With your home record, no one can expect to go there a take control from minute one. We defended well as a unit and as the ballanced article said we were dangerous on the break. Along with everyone else, I expected an Arsenal onslaught. It didn’t happen. Our confidence has been fragile since Christmas and we grew into the game and our confidence returned. We got stronger as the game went on. From your point of view, it was just one of those days. Good luck… Read more »


Arsenal should have been away in the first half. Some golden ops missed. Then in the second half, Emery upped the press and Villa tried to play football more, which considering Havertz was in midfield (his passing game is always the simplest option – and he wants to get forward) was exactly what they should have as there was space to control the middle and villa did in the second half. It was really disappointing that Arteta didn’t address that. IMO it should have been done at 55mins, on the hour mark at the latest. Instead it was like 80… Read more »


Thanks, PGJ.
Can we please have Ollie Watkins in the summer?


Watkins is (or was) an Arsenal fan growing up, so who knows? I don’t.


I just wish our fate was in our own hands for once, instead of just waiting to hope the Clubs around us slip up, just like we did.

karl g

At Christmas, nobody would have been against W10 D1 L1. We are just facing the same issue Liverpool had in their best years. Normally Arsenal could have picked up 2 titles, but the depth of the City squad with Guardiola in charge is just too much.

A Different George

Against Luton, their bench included Foden, Grealish, Bernardo Silva, Rodri, Walker, and Ake. Probably some I forgot too. When we play them head-to-head, I would say we are slightly better (as our two results against them show). But over 38 games, we (like Liverpool) cannot match the extraordinary depth of City. (That also helps explain why they had so much more trouble winning the Champions League than the Prem.) That doesn’t mean they won’t drop any points, it just means they are less likely to do so then their rivals. I don’t want to bang on about this, but in… Read more »


Opta’s current probabilities are 18.3% us to win the PL, City at 70.1% and Liverpool 11.7%.


We should be <10%… We gotta fight, but that was essentially the title slipping away…[cry emoji]!

Chinese Gooner

Personally, I would like to see us prioritizing doing a double against Villa over absolute everything else next season… I don’t care about the trophies if we keep getting humiliated by the likes of Emery and Martinez.


We just can’t have a good evening against them. Maybe if we rearrange something.


Statistics are an interesting read but become meaningless when we crumble like we did yesterday. Last seasons capitulation could be understood – smaller squad, injuries to key players, fatigue and a general lack of experience led to our downfall. We now have a bigger squad and have suffered fewer injuries and supposedly have more experience. You can print all the stats you want but the truth is we crumbled once again under pressure. It just seems that this team gets to a point in the season when they weigh up the effort and sacrifice required to push on and then… Read more »


No. Every loss is not a cruble. The second goal could have been considered as much, but failing to win against Villa, failing to keep the best streak in the PL alive, failing to never lose is not a crumble. A season, even a half a season, cannot be judged against The Invincibles.


“I just want this season done”? You make it sound like we’re 8th again, out of all cups and scrabbling around for a ECL place!


“You make it sound like you’re 8 years old again”. Corrected


This squad is no bigger than last season and a lot of our first team are carrying injuries. We get Declan in midfield and lose Partey, Big Gabi hasn’t trained for two weeks and was back to covering for two people because Zinchenko is nowhere to be seen defensively again. Ben and Gabi Jesus with serious knee problems.The team is just as exhausted as last season and just because Mikel doesn’t talk about injuries doesn’t mean they’re not there. This team has been amazing and given us some wonderful times this season and now when they’re mentally and physically tired… Read more »


What do you do with a team that has won nine out of ten games and drawn admirably at the Etihad? You tinker with it – bringing the busy fool at left back and Gabriel Jesus who couldn’t score a fucking goal if his life depended on it into the team. You remove Kiwior who has been solid and take Havertz away from his most effective position and worst of all take Jorginho out of the team thus preventing Rice from playing his most effective role in the team. And then you lose. I am beginning to wonder whether Arsenal… Read more »


If you hope Bayern win, you’re not a real Arsenal fan, and have no business criticising anything.


So many insane “fans” blogs – we’re fighting at the top of the table and damn near the top of europe and folks are saying our manager isn’t the right person for the job. I wonder who beyond pep they think IS? The list of winning managers last season was very short.

Grab em Gab

To see every one of my comment being put on hold for moderation while this gets published, is probably worst insult than being defeated twice by Villa!


We must be ready in case City drop points but I fear we won’t be up for it. We’re a better team without Jesus, and Zinchenko
, but same happened last year when Arteta brought him back and disrupted the team. There’s a reason Pep sold him.


will city drop points? hmm maybe yes.. after we have dropped even more points. 3rd season in a row we are failing at the crunch time. all the excuses that arteta does not have a big squad as city. have you seen how guardiola started bobb and lewis in the same game? and rotate players. saka is basically undroppable even when tired and ineffective. we’re supposed to have one of the best academies and yet no one can start. arteta has set the standard high (he is amongst the best), but can he progress and be flexible enough to be… Read more »


Wednesday is gonna be tough hopefully Arsenal will come out victorious

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