7 – Giroud shots¹
3 – Giroud shots on goal¹
1 – Andreas Weimann shot
1 – Andreas Weimann shot on goal²
1 – Andreas Weimann goal²
1 – Szczocking errors by Szczesny to allow Weimann to score¹
6 – Cazorla shots
2 – Cazorla shots on goal
2 – Cazorla goals¹
92 – Passes attempted by Wilshere¹
78 – Passes completed by Wilshere¹
51 – Passes attempted by Wilshere in the Villa final third¹
42 – Passes completed by Wilshere in the Villa final third¹
5 – Chances created by Andreas Weimann (passes that led to a shot for a temmate)¹
4 – Chances created by each of Walcott or Cazorla²
3 – Chances created by Arsenal which rolled slowly across the Villa box but which no one got a boot on to take a shot so they don’t actually count as “chances created”
1 – Assists by Nacho Monreal
0 – Assists by Andre Santos in 23 League games for Arsenal
4 – Successful dribbles by each of Wilshere and Lowton¹ (both of 5 attempts too!)
3 – Successful tackles by each of Lowton, Jenkinson, Diaby, and Monreal¹
5 – Attempted tackles by Lowton and Jenkinson¹
3 – Attempted tackles by Diaby and Monreal
7 – Interceptions by Arteta¹
33 – Yes, you read that right, Arteta had 33% of Arsenal’s total interceptions
6 – Bennett and Lowton interceptions (each)²
70 - Yes, you read that right Lowton and Bennett had 70% of Villa’s interceptions
As you can see, Arsenal have their third consecutive League win and third consecutive League match with a high rate of overall hustle. Three matches ago Arsenal played Stoke and as you can see from the chart, most of the challenges were aerial duels (yellow) and tackles (blue) were very low. But the last two League games have been fairly consistent in terms of challenges made and won across the three categories I am tracking this season (tackles, aerials, and dribbles). Bottom line is that Arsenal are working hard and getting results in the League.
If you remember from my column following the Bayern match, Arsenal had a similar number of tackles to today (19) but the difference is that Bayern outhustled Arsenal with 28 tackles and 30 interceptions, stifling Arsenal’s midfield — especially when Arsenal tried to get penetration. Villa didn’t work as hard as they needed to today and as a result, Arsenal got a lot of joy in the Villa final third, creating 22 shots off passes compared to the rather poor 8 Arsenal managed against Bayern.
It’s also notable that Cazorla’s brace makes him joint leader (with Walcott) at Arsenal with 11 League goals. He is tied with Walcott with those 11 goals but he’s taken 82 shots to get there. That’s 7.9 shots per goal. It’s not a horrible rate, Suarez is 8.4 shots per goal in League play, and he’s a midfielder who shoots from outside the box so it’s nothing to cry over.
Giroud, on the other hand, is going through a poor patch in front of goal. He hasn’t scored (or assisted) for Arsenal since the draw against Liverpool and as a consequence his shots per goal number has climbed to 9. It’s a run of 22 shots without a goal (7 tonight) and we have to hope that he can get back to form for Arsenal. Of course, he does a lot more than just shoot and I think his movement today was excellent, he just needs a little luck I think.
All numbers today via Opta, ESPN, or my personal databases
¹Lead both teams in this category
²Lead just his team in this category