Before I start: the 442 StatsZone App is no longer available in my country (USA) and that thing was my stats workhorse. This is a huge loss for me and I’m left scrambling for data now, reduced to just a few web sites (WhoScored and Squawka) for my stats. I would like a moment of silence please, in memory of what was a great app.
First, his heatmap
Kola played mostly as a CB but took up an unusually high position on the pitch due to a combination of his natural desire to go forward (he’s a LWB by trade) and Arsenal’s domination of possession (632 to 263 passes, 2.4:1). Sead had 85 touches, the most of any of the center backs and an equivalent number to Bellerin. The only defender who had more touches was Ox with 97. Kolasinac played so far forward in the first half that he didn’t really look like a center back and it was his assist for Welbeck’s goal that leveled the teams 2-2.
Kola also led Arsenal with 4/4 tackles. However, he had just the one interception and didn’t win a single aerial duel (he didn’t even attempt an aerial duel). He also only made 3 clearances.
Kolasinac also had the only Zidane dribble of the match.
Xhaka completed 12/15 long bombs, that’s Pirlo level passing, folks. You just don’t see players making 80% of their long passes, unless their name is Arteta. He also dropped 5 key passes (passes for a shot), 3 of which were “chipped” (in the air) and 2 of which were assists. He also led Arsenal with 106 passes.
He did have several bad passes which led to shots. One which led to the Vardy volley goal.
Defensively he only made 1 tackle, 1 interception, won 0 aerial duels, blocked 0 shots, and had just 1 clearance.
Elneny made 4/4 tackles but also just 1 clearance and 0 interceptions. The announcers on TV said that Arsenal were playing with 2 DMs but in reality we played with no DMs.
Put on a dribbletacular: he won 8/9 duels, including one which put Mahrez on his ass and made Ozil look like a decent defender.
Laca scored with his second touch of the match. I don’t have this sort of data but that has to be the fewest touches any player has ever had to score a goal on their debut for a premier League team. One thing I loved seeing was Lacazette trying to win the ball back when Arsenal lost possession: he won 3/4 tackles, including one where Ozil turned the ball over and then he ran over and won the ball.
Arsenal conceded just 6 shots and normally that would be a damn good defensive display. However, three of those shots were in the 6 yard box and last season the best attacking team in the League (Man City) only averaged 1.3 shots per game in the opposition 6 yard box. So, three is fucking awful.
It’s no surprise that all three shots in the 6 yard box scored.
It’s also a problem that two of the three Leicester goals were from set plays and the third was from a turnover. However, in Arsenal’s defense (get it?) were two players played out of position. So, it’s a bit premature to write off the whole season as a defensive nightmare. Let’s wait at least one more match! (JOKES).