Nottingham Forest 4-2 Arsenal: By the Numbers


Before I start I need to say that FA Cup stats are difficult to obtain. There once was a web site called but they closed up shop and when they did, they took their historical data with them. Even something simple like “how many wins does Arsenal have in the FA Cup?” is impossible to find. I know how many “points” Arsenal have won (620) thanks to a site called – which means that Arsene Wenger has 31% of Arsenal’s total points won in this competition (he’s won 194 points on 61 wins, 11 draws, and 13 losses) but I don’t know how many matches Arsenal have won over the history of the Cup.

I do know that if you just look at the number of losses (for example, Wenger’s 13) and the number of times Wenger has won the cup (7) you can add them together and nearly figure out how many seasons Wenger has been at Arsenal! Because you either lose 1 match and go out or win all the matches and win the Cup!

I also want to say that I’m not here to try to stat bomb you, “change your mind”, or say that what you saw was “wrong”. My data posts should be taken as fun, informative, and always written from a unique perspective. When I’m wrong, which I am often, I have no problem being corrected. Anyway, enough excuse-making.

24.7 – Average age of Nottingham Forest today – they were the 17th youngest team to be fielded in an FA Cup match this season
7 – Number of Forest players under age 24 who started this match
20.9 – Average age of those 7 players
20 – Average age of Forest’s front 4 of Brereton, Clough, Dowell, and Cash
25.2 – Average age of Arsenal today – not much difference, just slightly older than Forest
5 – Number of Arsenal players under age 24 who started this match
19.8 – Average age of those 5 players
23.5 – Average age of Arsenal’s front 4 of Welbeck (27), Walcott (28), Iwobi (21), and Nelson (18)
2,183 – Total minutes Ben Brereton has played in his football career (equivalent of 24.3 full games)
6 – Goals Ben Brereton has scored in his football career
498 – Minutes that Cash and Clough have played (combined) this season for Forest (in the League Champ.)
1,003 – Minutes Danny Welbeck has played for Arsenal this season, this season, just this season, about half (46%) of the minutes Ben Brereton has played in his adult life
5 – Goals Danny Welbeck scored this season
0 – Goals Danny Welbeck intentionally scored this season (HA HA?)
2006 – Year which Arsenal last went out in the FA Cup in the first game – it was technically the 4th round though I can’t figure out why Arsenal were allowed to skip the third round that year and my faulty memory fails here as well
1 РGoals scored by Giannakopoulos in the 84th minute to lift Bolton over Arsenal in that match and give Sam Allardyce a chance to huff and puff about what a genius he is
1 – Philippe Senderos played at left back in that match

This game was only a blow-out because of the two penalties Arsenal conceded. (See above) I’m not saying Arsenal didn’t deserve to lose. I’m just saying that statistically, Arsenal had more of and more of the better chances in this match.

Let me just have a stream of consciousness for a second.

Arsenal committed just 7 fouls in this match and Forest scored off three of those fouls (Lichaj’s header, and the two pens). All 7 Arsenal fouls were committed by Debuchy (2), Holding (3), and Maitland-Niles (2) and all three player’s fouls led to a goal each. That’s a weird fact all in itself. Arsenal have committed 235 fouls in the Premier League. If they conceded 43% of those as goals, like they did today, they would have conceded 101 goals! That’s all just to say that giving up two penalties and a set piece goal off 7 fouls is a huge outlier.

But the opening goal was quite a surprise as well because Forest are not a threat from set pieces! They have just 4 goals from set plays in the league Championship – that’s the second worst record of any club in their league. That makes me wonder if Arsenal took their set play threat too lightly.

The stats also show that Forest got 9 shots on target and you’re going to win a lot of games if you do that. 6 of those shots on goal came from open play, 2 from pens, and one from the Lichaj header. But of those 7 (non-pen) shots on goal, only 1 was a big chance – the Lichaj header. I can’t stress how important Big Chances are. They are scored at a 45% rate and teams like Arsenal only concede 1 or 2 a game (Arsenal allow 1.54 per game in the Premier League, Man City – the best – 0.91).

That means arsenal conceded 3 big chances (all scored) off 3 of their 7 total fouls in this match. Again, that’s not suggesting you saw a different match from me, just rather that you saw a really, like, bad defensive performance from Arsenal. I say that because Forest didn’t create a ton of great chances that went begging. Instead, Arsenal just imploded and handed Forest the game on a platter.

Offensively, Arsenal did just fine. They created 4 Big Chances in this match; two for Nketchia, who was saved by Jordan Smith both times, and 1 each for Welbeck (scored) and Holding. It’s just the defense crublings like an overbaked shortbread cookie that’s the problem.



Touches – 89 (10% of Arsenal’s total, which will just be represented as a % from here on out)
Passes – 76 (12%)
Key Passes – 1 (13%)
Shots – 3 (21%)
Shots on goal – 0
Dribbles – 2 (10%)
Possession loss – 5 (15%)
Interceptions – 0
Tackles – 1 (6%)
Clearances – 0
Blocks – 0
Aerial duels won – 1 (5%)
Errors – 1 (100% – this is non-foul, non-pen conceding errors which led to a shot)


Touches – 55 (6%)
Passes – 39 (6%)
Key Passes – 2 (25%)
Shots – 3 (21%)
Shots on goal – 0
Dribbles – 4 (20%)
Possession loss – 4 (12%)
Interceptions – 2 (17%)
Tackles – 4 (24%)
Clearances – 0
Blocks –¬†2 (20%)
Aerial duels won – 0


Touches – 100 (12%)
Passes – 72 (11%)
Key Passes – 4 (50%)
Shots – 1 (7%)
Shots on goal – 0
Dribbles – 6 (29%)
Possession loss – 7 (21%)
Interceptions – 0
Tackles – 0
Clearances – 0
Blocks – 0
Aerial duels won – 0


Sources:,, my database


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