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.


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