Arsenal Ö-2 Bayern Munich: by the numbers


Let’s just go ahead and put this out there, these stats are going to be ugly. That’s what happens when a player is sent off, especially against a team as talented as Bayern Munich.  You are just going to see a hugely lopsided affair in almost every category.

So, for example, in the first half — when things were still even — Arsenal took 7 shots and Bayern took 9. Both teams had two gilt-edged chances, one for each team from the penalty spot. Looks like we held our own to me.

In the second half, Arsenal took 1 shot and Bayern took 17.

Same with passes, Arsenal played defensively, which was the game plan so they had fewer passes than Bayern in the first half: 195 fewer passes.

But in the second half the 10 man Arsenal took up a very deep defensive position, often two banks of four in the box, and allowed Bayern to pass the ball around patiently in the Arsenal final third.

The result was Bayern attempted 508 passes to Arsenal’s 62 in the second half.

Uhh… First half 355:160… second half 508:62.

Bayern’s final third numbers, especially completed passes, were off the charts. In the second half, they completed 242 to Arsenal’s 3.

Yes, that’s three. And if you need to, you can take a sip of whiskey now.

And Arsenal were never going to tackle their way out of that, especially against a team like Bayern. So the tackle numbers are not spectacular either, nor were the interceptions numbers, frankly. Arsenal only attempted 22 tackles (and made 15) and only got 10 interceptions to Bayern’s 12.

If I’m honest, Arsenal did pretty well, considering the pressure they were under, to stick to their game plan which my regular readers know is to make teams take pot-shots from outside the 18 yard box.

Bayern only had one shot on goal in the box (Muller’s goal) and the rest of their shots on goal came from 18 yards or more. That’s exactly how you want the opposition to play . Sadly, you really cannot legislate for a goal of Toni Kroos’ quality: no keeper in the world would stop that. Worse, down a man we couldn’t even pressure him, so he had time to just rotate the ball endlessly and when the open chance came, he took it. Great goal from a great player who I think would be a fantastic replacement for Arteta.

Anyway, Bayern had more passes, shots, crosses, dribbles, corners, ball recoveries, on and on. Arsenal were down a man and dominated by a great passing team in top form.

Here are some other weird match facts:

100 – Szczesny’s red card was the 100th red card of Arsene Wenger’s career as manager which will now spark a spate of stories about how dirty his teams are. I would argue that his teams aren’t necessarily the most dirty but would agree that we are the most penalized!
100 – Toni Toni Toni’s goal was Bayern’s 100th goal this season in all competitions
70 – Toni Kroos had only 70 fewer passes than every player on Arsenal combined  (TK: 152, ARS: 222)
86 – Kroos attempted more passes in the Arsenal final third than all of Arsenal combined (68)
6 – Mario Goatcheese attempted 6 dribbles but was only successful twice
0 – Mesut Özil, Yaya Sanogo, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain combined to go 0/7 dribbling, Jack was 2/2 and Cazorla had Arsenal’s only other successful dribble
10 – Jack Wilshere led all players with 10 ball recoveries, I’m still not sure what I think of this stat. It’s just the number of times Jack picks a loose ball up. So, like Gibbs tackles the ball away, right? If Jack picks it up, he gets a recovery. Or if Bayern play a ball right to him he gets a recovery. It doesn’t strike me as a real active defensive category, like blocks or tackles, but more like a “oh hey, he was standing in the right place” category. Which isn’t bad per se but…
1 – According to Opta, Jack Wilshere has only attempted 1 tackle in his last 4 games. Now again, tackles are counted weird because I personally saw him try to tackle (or at least what I would call a tackle) two to three times. He certainly went to ground that many times in what looked like a tackle. But the problem was his tackles were so late that by the time he got there with his slide, the ball was well gone. Is that a tackle? If you slide around on the ground seconds after the ball is gone? I don’t think it is.
10 – Not only that, but against Man U, again, he led all players (tied with Cleverly and Koscielny) with 10 ball recoveries. Yet made no tackles. Maybe ball recoveries are what testicular repo men do? You know what they say “a repo man spends his life getting into tense situations.” So, erm, yeah, that.
2 – Wilshere also only has 2 interceptions in the last 4 games. So, to sum up, he’s leading the team in ball recoveries (which are something that happens around tackles and can look like interceptions) but is never actually making tackles or getting interceptions. It’s all very odd but it does kind of match with my perception that Jack doesn’t really play defense. Or maybe he does and it’s just a very subtle defense, unlike the way Ramsey and Arteta put themselves about (both leading tacklers at the club), and I just need to re-calibrate my lenses.
3 – And before you yell at me, Özil was credited for 3 interceptions (tied with Sanogo for most among all 22 players) and was 0/2 in tackles, had 4 ball recoveries, and made
9 – Speaking of tackles, Koz and Monreal went 9/9 in that category, leading all players and stuff.
2 – Koz even made two last ditch tackles
6 – Mertesacker had 6 blocks, which is crazy because Arsenal only average 3 blocks a game in League play
3 – Koz had three blocks too, was he the one who made that diving block?
10 – Koz also led all players (tied with Martinez) with 10 clearances
9 – Sanogo led all players with 9 aerial duels won, in fact, I thought Sanogo was better than Olivier Mandzukic and here are the numbers to prove it!

SanogoPlease report all problems with this article to Jim Beam c/o Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, WA.

Enjoy responsibly.



    • We were expected to lose….we lost albeit in a way that was unfortunate.Not the end of the world.Win against Sunderland and get on a roll again.
      PS Some Liverpool fans still moaning about Sunday….typical

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  1. Agree the Kroos goal was great and unstoppable. I was standing directly behind the post it curled inside and was certain it was going wide until it appeared in the back of the net. Seems I wasn’t alone either, since a member of ground staff went and gave the side of the net a tug straight afterwards, as if to check that there wasn’t a gap the ball had gone through. Vain hope unfortunately.

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  2. Mandzukic had 11 touches? Blimey.

    And how come Sanogo’s ball over the top to Ox isn’t a key pass? Did Ox not actually touch the ball? It led to a pretty desperate clearance from Neuer.

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    • Because Ox did’t get a shot off. There were several of those. How many little touches did he make that looked like a shots was going to happen and then there was a clearance? I think two or three at least. I’m pleased for him He’s had two very solid performances against two very good teams. Hope he continues along this progression for the rest of his career.

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  3. This is clearly all because Wenger did/did not start your “favorite” player today. You told him what to do but did he listen? The stubborn old fool.

    He’s clearly lost the plot for starting Sanogo, who was better than Giroud has been in months.

    He was out-thought tactically by Guardiola in that second half. Didn’t you see, Bayern had, like, 100% possession.

    He should never have believed in Szczesny, who has been the best GK in England.

    He should never have said that Robben made the most of the contact. Nevermind the triple pike.

    We were robbed of a fabulous game of football tonight, and I blame: Arsene Wenger.

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    • Cmere lad, if Giroud had kept his Mickey in his pants the night before the 5-1 drubbing to Liverpool and isn’t facing a possible separation from his wife then maybe, just maybe he would have had a start. Do you honestly think a geezer is going to be in a full frame of mind after cheating on his wife and getting caught out before an important league game? To which he’s been playing fairly laissez faire before?

      I completely blame Wenger for it all. I blame him for the atrocities everywhere. Sure if he knew how to tie his lagging jacket then maybe we may have a chance of winning summit, but until then it’s all about getting past level 98 in Tetris.

      (Yeah, not my actual reply to what you’re saying, just a typical reply. I agree with you mon frere, oh how I agree!)

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      • I am not having “he is really good at holding up play” replaced with “if he hadn’t been in The Sun” as *YET MORE EXCUSES* for Olivier Giroud, a striker who simply can not score scoreable chances. He’s had 2 years, and has been a disaster up front. No amount of glamopur models changes that. He is a dud. He should be permanently dropped.

        If Giroud’s scoring rate with that ‘glamour model’ is anything like his scoring rate for us, his marriage should be 100% safe.

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    • Wenger shouldn’t have started Sanogo as centre forward…, For such a high profile game, No. Not a novice France under 21 lacking in match fitness. Podolski should’ve been a better choice for his experience even if he is not a natural centre forward. Could’ve @least converted the penalty unlike that lazy disinterested Ozil…, I wonder how the chameleone like-eyes dude wasn’t subbed instead of Carzola or better still The Ox? Most expensive player on the pitch turned out to be the worst player on the picth!!! The ref rigged nothing. He awarded us a spot kick, did onyone expect the same ref to score for us?? Had we scored a situation will not have arisen for Szczesny’s sending as Baryer would’ve been on the back foot. Am not a big fan the big pole myself though…, he’s not good enough for Arsenal. Certainly not the kind of keeper that will win trophies for a club. What, with 3 years on the helm and still rivaled by Fabianski? He’s never going to be good enough. Thank goodness he will miss the away leg so perhaps Fabianski might just pull off an unlikely repeat of last season. Goonerforlife

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  4. Eiregun the by the numbers column is done by Tim from 7amkickoff. It’s only 8pm for me in the USA, and only 5pm where Tim is. He shouldn’t be getting anything extra…..

    Just kidding, love your blog and all these stats Tim, keep up the good work.

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  5. Interesting stats with Sanogo. Wonder what Giroud is thinking tonight?

    It’s not over. Score first in Germany and they’ll start shitting themselves. Keeping 11 men on the field will help.

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    • Why be so trite and dull? I say we go to Germany, get 2 players sent off before the match even starts and then play defensive for 89 minutes. In the last minute of extra time we fire in two goals, take the game to extra time and then smash them 10-0. That is the way to win.

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  6. I’ve watched Bayern games over the past few years and i can confidently say Kroos is one of the best strikers of a football. Could do with a player like that. I’m sick of shouting at my T.V all the time for Ozil to take a freaking shot.

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    • …even a shot from the penalty spot would have been nice.

      That penalty last night was a disgrace, nothing less. And it wasn’t the first time either – wtf is going on at Arsenal Football Club that allows that sort of fuck up to happen on a Night of Nights that the first 10 minutes promised so brilliantly??

      Frankly Arsene mate, its just not on. Name a penalty taker and let him practice his craft every day. EVERY DAY. So that sort of floppy dick effort by Ozil never happens again.

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  7. I swear I tweeted like 10 times before the game not to let Kroos shoot. Why don’t the Arsenal players follow me 🙁

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  8. Wilshere. Could it be that he doubles up the press on the ball, so that while he may not put in the tackle he is the closest to the ball when a tackle by, say, Ramsey or Arleta dislodge it? And a pass away from the double team or that beats the press goes by Young Jack who is playing tight to the ball? I don’t know.

    Let’s just say, he’s defense adjacent.

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  9. I remember at least one Robben shot curled to far post that was inside the box. There was a header and the mert block which just hit him was too… How come it says they one had one shot inside our 18 yard box?!

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  10. Awesome article! Nothing biased I feel. I just wonder what could’ve been if Szczesny wasn’t sent off with a red. Because the game was extremely tight & practically even.

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  11. Well done Tim once again, always looked forward to your post. I really was looking forward to a before-Montreal and after-Montreal stats. I felt we were BY FAR the better team before Monreal came on and we should have been a couple of goals up if our finishing was better.

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  12. What can I say about Ozil? He needs a bit of TLC from Wenger to get the best out of him. I am giving him the benefit of the doubt at the moment because I know we are yet to see the absolute best of him. His performances in the past few games have shown us he is not the finished article just yet. He needs to work on his defensive side, tracking players and shutting them down, as well as taking much more shots on goal because he has the raw materials to do it – accuracy, power and technique. I trust Arsene to bring out the best in him and I see him becoming the next Bobby Pires.

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  13. it was a fine game for BM arsenal was unfortunate nevertheless the gunners played with absolute confidence. i foresee a different ball game in Germany.

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  14. Anyone agree we shld take sanogo off n put on gnabry after the red?i mean,sanogo is upfront himself for the past hour n its obvious he cant make any run himself.we can play gnabry with a quickie if we are gonna park the bus n try to get for thought.the way bayern controlled the game was quite depressing.reminds me of the fabregas era where we would shit on opponents in possession. :/

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  15. Wasn’t Sanogo’s through ball to Ox out of a tight position considered a key pass? I know it was misjudged by Alaba and then swept clear by Neuer but still 😐

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  16. Like the comparison of Sanogo’s stats to Manduzic. I thought he was fantastic seems to have the strength and aerial ability of Giroud plus an extra 1/2 yard of pace looking forward to him netting his first goal in the near future. I know this can’t be measured by a stat but how many times did we see Flamini shouting abuse at an opposition player every time they did something or just simply barking orders and clapping his hands frantically. Major plus for me this year is that we once again seem to have a team with immense pride in the Jersey this is typified by Flamini.

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  17. What is all this rubbish about Ozil. The guy is class. His movement created the space for the through ball, his quick thinking and skill won the penalty, and he’s not a penalty taker so don’t know why he took it. He isn’t a left back and shouldn’t be expected to be, and he can’t pick the ball up 80 yards from goal, take it past 8 players and pass it to sangogo for a tap in, let’s be realistic.

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  18. They really need to change the rules, and stop with the triple punishing.. Szczcesny gets a red card, opposition gets a penalty and Sczczesny gets a game ban. That is 3 punishments for 1 offense.

    Other than that i thought we held our own pretty good until the red card. Sanogo was impressive. But with Ozil under achieving for awhile now, i would have liked to see Cazorla in the mid and Podolski on the wing. Poldi is scoring when he wants this year both for club and country, so dont know what he has to do to show is worthy of a place in the team. By far our most efficient goalgetter by a loooong way.

    Poldi got 14 attempts on goal and 6 goals. Allmost 50% conversion rate. Of the 14 shots, 7 shots were on target. So 6 out of 7 shots on target is a goal. More interestingly, Poldi wins 75% of duels he is involved in which is among the best in the team. I think he deserves a chance to play himself in to the team instead just getting the occasional substitution. Its not like he can do much more to prove it.

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  19. first goal could have been stopped

    i think jack gave kroos a lot of time to shoot

    had he closed down quick enough
    surely he would have missed

    its just my opinion tho

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  20. Should have let Yaya have the pen.

    Imagine what it would have done for his confidence if he’d have scored?
    Imagine what it would have done for career if he’d have missed?

    Some people being so ÖTT with Özil, the little languid magician is just a bit off colour at the moment. We don’t all work in media, so we can show a bit of common sense y’know. He’ll be back we just need to get behind him and support.

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    • One thing is clear: Ozil is, well, more or less shit in OUR half as he isn’t def-minded.. He is a different player in the other..

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  21. Hi 7am,

    Thanks for the “ball recovery” explanation.

    It seems that Wilshire has been doing well in this particular stat recently. Perhaps his instructions are to be on his toes ready to pick up loose balls or “the second ball” resulting from other players pressurizing of opponents or tackles. Perhaps he just reacts faster than your average player or perhaps it is just coincidence…

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  22. I think the Gibb’s injury hurt us the most. With the way he was playing, I think if he had stayed on, it would have made a big difference.
    Monreal, I am not sure what he was doing but when camera panned to him right as he was putting on the shirt, he should have been watching the game and already dressed and warming up… once he got going I thought he was ‘alright’ considering the how he had to come into the game and who he was up against… I wasn’t impressed by Robben… made one fortuitous run unfortunately for us.

    The Red Card fundamentally changed the game and the best I was hoping for was a 1-0 loss since I figured it was impossible to keep them out for 90 minutes.

    Those he say its over sicken me… Was it over for Blackburn, or Birmingham against us? We have seen it happen to us too many times to think that we can’t do it someone else.

    Ozil should be give a break, I know we had important games but given he has played ever season as a pro with a winter break, this past month or so had to be a shock to the system. I don’t normally defend millionaire athletes with every know tool and trick known to medical science to recover, along with masseuse’s, chefs, etc… however he is human and I think we are all ‘set in our ways’ in some shape or form. I don’t want him on the field for Sunderland or our next game.

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