Find out what Arsenal managed to do well this weekend, and what aspects need improving. View the Numbers takes a look at the statistics and analysis’ them.
It was another weekend where Arsenal were required to dig in and get a well deserved and hard-fought victory, against a side who tried to out do us physically. The Gunners came through the storm in the final 30 minutes, as Sunderland bombarded the Arsenal box, showing our capabilities to cope with physical and aerial pressure once again. We did this when Stoke came to the Emirates last week, re-emphasising this new dimension to our game that is consistently improving, while
proving consistent as well.
Sunderland did defend reasonably well completing 14 successful tackles, 21 interceptions and 6 clearances. They also only committed 6 fouls, according to the referee at least but I’m sure Wenger and most Arsenal fans will tell you that they did in fact do a damn sight more.
Arsenal won 22/40 aerial duels throughout the match, to Sunderland’s 18. The height in the team has really helped in this area, but credit has to be given to the whole team and the back-four, who withstood a lot of aerial pressure in the last 15 minutes, especially Bacary Sagna who won 6 of these aerial duels, second to just Giroud and Fletcher (7).
Sagna also made 11 clearances which is truly incredible when you consider that the next best was Mertesacker on just 6. Again, the commitment Bac displayed, especially with his height, was just phenomenal.
Aaron Ramsey, perhaps surprising, was the single most successful at tackling during the match, with 5 completed. He thrived in that holding role and did a good job when asked to play right-back for the last 30 minutes. Credit where it’s due.
Moving on to passing, before looking at what is most in need of improving based on the Sunderland game.
Arsenal completed 515 passes, almost twice as many as Sunderland. You may think that Sunderland would have a better accuracy having a lot less passes carried out and completed, but you’d be wrong.
Arsenal had a 85% pass accuracy to Sunderland’s 76%. From experience, it’s very rare anyone would beat Arsenal in this area. It’s even more rare that Arsenal would achieve an accuracy of less than 80%.
And it was that pass-master, Arteta, who had a 95% passing success rate bearing he mind he also attempted more passes than anyone else too. Cazorla wasn’t too far adrift, but did complete more passes in the ‘attacking-third’ than anyone at 41 compared to Mikel’s 20, although Mikel only attempted 21.
As you would expect, it is inevitable Arsenal had 61.4% of the possession.
Another interesting fact is that the most common pass was from Arteta to Ramsey, which happened 23 times.
Unfortunately it wasn’t all great, and Arsenal committed 13 fouls, with 1 red card, and a further yellow. Which I didn’t feel was a true reflection of the game.
Furthermore, it was the shooting department that was most disappointing. 19 shots, and just 8 on target. A shooting accuracy of 42%. A shot on target doesn’t guarantee a goal, but the more shots you get on target the more chance there is of a goal. The finishing was poor.
Theo had 3 shots on target of his 5 which was the best of any Arsenal player. Despite Santi getting that all important goal, it was his only attempt on target. He hit 4 wayward.
Olivier Giroud, however, was the biggest culprit. Considering he is the main striker as well, and most Cazorla’s shots were from range, Giroud really should be doing better. He had 1 on target, but failed to even trouble the ‘keeper with 5, a few of these inside the box, one quite memorable which he drilled past the far post.
He also enraged Wenger by taking on a hopeless shot from outside the box when he would have done better to keep the ball given the circumstances late on.
Ramsey hit 2/2 on target, and Diaby had 1/1 on target although it was an easy save for Mignelot.
If you haven’t done so already, read the Match Report and Player Rating, with quotes from Wenger.