Goals from set plays
During the match today Stewart Robson said that Arsenal were better at scoring from set plays than they were last year and I thought “no they are not”. So I had a peek at the numbers and sure enough Arsenal have scored just 8 goals from set plays (not counting penalties) this season and just 4 goals off corners. Last season they scored 12 goals off set plays, 4 goals off corners. I suppose Arsenal could score another goal off a corner in our last game and Robson would be right in one small sliver of reality.
Including penalties (5), Arsenal scored a total of 17 set piece goals last season. Since these things are relative, Arsenal’s 4 goals from corners last year was 3rd from the bottom. And our 4 goals from corners this year is 6th from bottom. Meanwhile, Liverpool and Man City lead the League in set play goals with 33 and 25 respectively. Man U led the League in set play goals last season with 26. So, last season we were 65% of the league leaders (17/26) on set play goals and this season we are 36% (12/33).
Arsenal last scored off a corner against Sunderland in February. 54 corners ago. Arsenal scored 14 goals in the games since Sunderland and just 2 from set plays. 1.3 goals per game and possibly indicative of a need for more concentration on corners and crosses in practice?
However you slice it, Arsenal are absolutely not better at set pieces.
Since you’ll ask, Giroud scored 4 League goals off headers last season and this season.
Bacary Sagna, man of the match?
Whoscored.com gave Sagna the man of the match award for his performance today which is interesting because there is no sentiment in their analysis. It’s simply a matter of which player had the best stats.
93 – Sagna tied Özil for the most touches today with 93
6 – Sagna led all players with 6/10 aerial duels
63 – He was second in total passes
7 – He had seven clearances, 3 interceptions, and 1 tackle
2 – He created 2 shots for his teammates
1 – He was 1/4 on crosses
I don’t get it.
93 – Özil had as many touches as Sagna
69 – Özil led everyone in passes
48 – He was 41/48 in the West Brom final third, again leading all players. Podolski, Sagna, and Cazorla combined to complete 48 final 1/3 passes!
4 – Özil was 4/7 dribbles, 3 of his successful dribbles were in the West Brom final third and one was in the box (set up his shot)
4 – He created two shots for others, and took 2 shots himself
4 – Özil was 4/4 crosses 3 of which were corners
2 – Özil was 2/3 tackles – and I saw him sprinting back to cover for Sagna at least twice!
2 - He drew 2 fouls, one in a dangerous area for a free kick
1 – He had 2 turnovers, though, one which led to shot
See you next week…