10 – Shots per game Arsenal average inside the penalty area at home (leads the League)
4 – Shots Arsenal took inside the penalty area against Leicester
5.6 – Shots per game Arsenal average outside the penalty area at home
8 – Shots Arsenal took outside the penalty areas against Leicester
5 – Number of times Alexis Sanchez lost possession (dispossessed or bad touch – led Arsenal)
5 – Number of times Mahrez, Drinkwater, and Ulloa lost possession (each)
Leicester’s plan was to crowd the 18 yard box and frustrate Arsenal. They did. Arsenal struggled to get good shots against Leicester and resorted to Xhaka and Coquelin taking pot shots from 30 yards out. Alexis and Ozil both lost possession a great number of times in this match and almost all of that was in and around the 18 yard box:
|Player||Touches||Possession lost||Bad passes||Ball recoveries||Tackles won||Interceptions||+/-||% Touches Lost|
“Bad passes” here means any pass that was attempted but didn’t find a teammate. This includes corners.
Ozil lost possession more than any player though that is largely because he was 3/11 on corners. Of his 11 bad passes from open play, 5 were in midfield, 1 was in the Arsenal 18 yard box (which nearly led to a goal) and 4 were inside the Leicester 18 yard box where he was 6/10. Alexis made 14 bad passes, 10 from open play with 1 near his own 18 yard box, 2 in midfield, and the remaining 11 in the opposition final third.
Alexis also lost possession (either had the ball taken from him or lost the ball due to bad touch) 5 times which was tied for the most (worst) with Drinkwater, Mahrez, and Ulloa. One of those Alexis lost possessions was in his own half, while Mahrez lost possession in the Leicester half 4 times.
Both Alexis and Ozil were the only two players who were recorded as guilty of an error leading to an opposition shot. Alexis for that bad touch turnover in the 6th minute in his own half and Ozil for that bad pass in the 93rd minute in his own 18 yard box.
In attack, Ozil was the man of the match on offense creating three chances for his teammates from open play and one from a corner. However, no player really shined in this match as both Leicester and Arsenal set up defensively in order to shut down the opposition.
|Player||Touches||Shots||Key passes||Dribbles won||Through Balls|
Of Ozil’s 4 key passes only two were inside the 18 yard box and one from open play, meaning that while he led all players with 4 key passes, half of them were simply dumping the ball off to either Coquelin or Xhaka and watching them have a low percent shot from distance.
Despite Arsenal setting up with a back three, Leicester will be pleased that all 7 of their shots on the day were inside the Arsenal 18 yard box. That said, that was just about average for Arsenal who are allowing 6.6 shots per game in their 18 yard box this season. That’s up over a half a shot per game from last season where Arsenal averaged 5.9 shots per game from the same positions.
Leicester’s players all topped the defensive stats. Leading the lines: Drinkwater attempted 6 tackles, Benaloon had 6 interceptions and 1 studs to the back, Robert Huth had a WWE style body slam, and Fuchs led all players with 12 clearances while also throwing the ball at Alexis like a petulant little baby man once.
Koscielny was a boss in the air, he won 7/9 defensive aerials and was 5/5 in aerial clearances. He also passed the ball at 94% with just 5 bad passes of 72 attempts. That said, his most prolific pass combinations were to Gabriel (22) and Monreal (22). Yep, 44 of his 67 completed passes were to either side. Meh, that’s what he’s supposed to do, which is why both of Koscielny’s pass combinations right and left were also Arsenal’s most common pass combinations. Arsenal’s second most common pass combination was Xhaka to Özil (21) and Özil to Xhaka (17) was 5th. You won’t be at all surprised to learn that Gabriel to Bellerin (18)was the 4th most common pass combination or that Monreal to Gibbs (16) was 6th. Arsenal attempted to build play from the back!
It was a poor game, decided by the own goal off Huth. It was also great fun at the end to listen to the apoplexy of the commentators as Alexis simply did what every player has done since I’ve been watching the game and tried to gain an advantage through gaming the referee. Still, Benaloon, Huth, and Fuchs should all be brought up on charges after the match for their various fouls.
I won’t hold my breath waiting for the FA to act. In fact, if anything, I expect Alexis to get a 20 game ban. Because rolling around on the ground is clearly much worse than maliciously throwing the ball at an opponent because you’re frustrated with him not standing the requisite 2 meters back…
Sources: 442 Stats Zone, WhoScored.com, my personal database