Arsenal 1-3 Man U: de Gea saves Man U (By the Numbers)

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7amxG first half – Arsenal 1.64 – 0.43 Man U
7amxG full time – Arsenal 4.07 – 1.78 Man U*
7.33 – Manchester United’s expected goals for over the last four matches
12 – Goals Manchester United have scored over the last four matches
4 – Goals United scored from outside the 18 yard box against Watford (total xG for in that match just 1.12 for United)
7.69 – Man United’s expected goals against over the last four matches
4 – Actual goals Man United have allowed over the last four matches
7 – Big Chances saved by de Gea in the previous 14 Premier League matches
4 – Big chances saved by de Gea against Arsenal tonight
45 – Percent rate that all Big Chances are scored in the Premier League
11 – Big Chances Arsenal have created in the last two matches
5 – Big Chances Arsenal scored in the last two matches
1 – Coincidence that the scoring rate exactly matches the season average over the last two matches but it’s funny because Arsenal scored 4 (of 6) big chances in the match against Huddersfield and just 1 (of 5) against United

7 – Shots by Lacazette
4 – Big Chance shots by Lacazette
1 – Big chance goals by Lacazette
3 – Big Chances taken by Lacazette, saved by de Gea
19 – Minute Lacazette got his first big chance (Xhaka header)
31 – Minute Lacazette got a second big chance (Alexis cross blocked)
48 – Minute Lacazette scored a goal (assist Ramsey)
55 – Minute Lacazette got his last big chance (Iwobi)
55 – Minute Alexis got Arsenal’s last big chance (rebound off Lacazette’s shot)
63 – Minute Lingard scored United’s third goal (assist Pogba)
11 – Shots Arsenal took after United’s third goal
3 – Shots on goal by Arsenal after United’s third goal
2 – Number of those shots that were headers
1 – Shot in the 91st minute, on target, with a foot, from near the penalty spot, by Aaron Ramsey
0 – Big Chances for Arsenal after the 63rd minute

18 – Missed passes by Arsenal in the first 11 minutes
3 – Bad passes by Mustafi in the first 11 minutes (of 6)
4 – Bad passes by Kolasinac in the first 11 minutes (of 8)
3 – Bad passes by Lacazette in the first 11 minutes (of 7)
2 – Bad passes by Alexis in the first 11 minutes (of 7)
1 – Bad passes by each of Ozil, Ramsey, Xhaka, and Bellerin in the first 11 minutes
1 – Bad pass by Koscielny (he went 6/7) in the first 11 minutes (led to a goal)
0 – Bad passes by Monreal in the first 11 minutes
2 – Interceptions by United in the first 11 minutes
3 – Interceptions by Arsenal in the first 11 minutes
1 – Tackles by United in the first 11 minutes (led to a goal)
3 – Tackles by Arsenal in the first 11 minutes

Like I said in my preview this was always going to be one of those games where the stats didn’t matter. They do tell a story – Arsenal dominated passing 655 – 222, matched United in tackling with 24 each, forced United to make 65 clearances (they average just 25.5), took 33 shots to their 8, got 15 shots on target, and cut them open with 5 big chances. And it was literally just two poor actions from Koscielny and Mustafi which put Arsenal behind. Arsenal fought back and should have won the match but for the heroics of de Gea.

One last thing: Arsenal are now -8 in expected goals difference to actual goal difference which makes us one of the most “unlucky” teams in the League. Arsenal are creating chances, tons of them, and great ones at that, but they aren’t finishing them. Meanwhile Man U continue their run of “lucky” performances and they are +17 in expected goals difference versus actual goal difference. With Arsenal the problem is finishing (-6.4), United is leaning on de Gea and their defensive difference is +12.9.

*Orbinho is putting the xG for Arsenal at 5 and 1.82 for United. I know that Opta (where he works!) have much more detailed shots data than I do and I can think of at least 4 reasons why their xG is a whole goal higher than mine: Arsenal had four shots inside the 6 yard box against Man U, three of which were big chances. My (simple) xG model counts all the big chances the same (0.45) and at least two of those shots (Alexis and Lacazette) were point blank and almost certainly added more than 0.45. Think about Lingard’s third: what odds would you assign for that shot? 90%? I don’t have the data but it has to be pretty huge. Same with Alexis’ rebound shot that de Gea made a kick save on. Unbelievable stop from the United man.

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