60 – Arsene Wenger’s win percentage against Chelsea from 1997-2003
28 – Arsene Wenger’s win percentage against Chelsea from 2003-2017
From the day Arsene Wenger was appointed Arsenal manager to the day that Roman Abramovich took over Chelsea, Arsenal dominated their London rivals. Wenger’s team lost to them just twice in that period from 1997-2003. And if we extend that record through the Invincibles season Arsenal notched up another three wins, a draw, and the loss in the Champions League quarter final. So, three losses total before the big money took effect. After that (2004/05), Wenger’s Arsenal lost 18 times out of 31 and won just 8 for a 22% win rate.
However, since 2015 the record has started to turn around a bit. Arsenal have won 4 matches, Chelsea have won 3, and today’s draw. The problem is that Arsenal’s losses have all come in the Premier League and two of their wins were in the Community Shield.
Even worse, Arsenal had only taken three total points from Stamford Bridge in the last 8 tries with Chelsea winning 7/8 and the only good Arsenal result the infamous 3-5.
So, Arsenal supporters feel it rather acutely when Arsenal face Chelsea in the League. And that explains why so many are happy with today’s draw.
1.1 – 1.6 – Expected goals for Chelsea and Arsenal respectively
Arsenal took two fewer shots than Chelsea (11 to 13) and only managed the one shot in the second half but Arsenal had the better chances in this match. Arsenal created two big chances (Welbeck header and Lacazette shot from 4 yards) and took 7 of their shots inside the 18 yard box with 4 of them right inside the prime areas in front of goal. Chelsea on the other hand did create one big chance for Pedro, which Cech saved, but took 8 shots from outside the 18 yard box where they were very unlikely to score (I assign these shot a 3% chance of scoring). Great stuff from the Gunners who can probably count themselves unlucky not to score.
And forcing Chelsea to take shots from outside the box is exactly what you want your defense to do, if they can! And today the Arsenal midfield and defense played as a compact unit, doing exactly what they needed to do to force Chelsea into frustrated shots from distance – which Arsenal also blocked, blocking 5 of Chelsea’s long-range bombs.
25 – 9 – Dribbles for Chelsea and Arsenal respectively
Once again Arsenal started and finished the game making very few dribbles – which is unusual for an Arsenal team from the last few years.. Ramsey led all players with 4 successful dribbles, including one in the 18 yard box which he nearly poked home for the goal (which led to Lacazette’s missed big chance).
By the way, Ramsey already has 10 successful dribbles. That’s half as many (20) as he had in 1231 minutes last season.
6 – Tackles attempted by Ramsey and Xhaka (each)
Further evidence of Arsenal’s meaty core (lol) is shown in the fact that Ramsey and Xhaka combined to attempt 12 tackles. Not all tackles are good and Ramsey only won three of his six but Xhaka and Kolasinac both won 4. Kolasinac alone won 4/4 tackles on the day – leading all players.
3 – Interceptions by Ramsey
Ramsey had an outstanding all around game today and added 3 interceptions to his 3 tackles. Koscielny and Monreal led Arsenal with 4 each but it was David LULZ who led all players with 6 interceptions. He too was excellent keeping Welbz and Lacazette quiet until he went full Luiz and tried to kick The Tanc.
91 – Percent of passes completed by Iwobi
I couldn’t figure out why Wenger subbed off Lacazette and left Iwobi on until I had a crack at the stats. Turns out that Iwobi led Arsenal with 91% pass completion and created 3 chances for his teammates, leading Arsenal in that category as well.
Elneny was brought on to help Xhaka who had another awful passing game, completing just 76% of his passes and like in the last few games he seems to just pass the ball to nowhere at times. It looks like teams have figured out that if you press him he will cough the ball up. Today he had 17 misplaced passes of 72 attempted and was 3/8 on long passes.
Mustafi and Kolasinac both passed at a 79% rate, though you can forgive Mustafi a bit because 6 of his 9 misplaced passes were long balls.
Ramsey led the midfielders (after sub Elneny who made 89% of his passes) with an 82.4% pass completion rate.
Neither team passed the ball well. Chelsea finished the game with 77% rate and Arsenal 79% rate. This is pretty normal for a big match where both teams are contesting for the points.
5 – Number of the last seven matches between Chelsea and Arsenal which have had a red card
In the last 7 matches between these two clubs there have actually been 7 red cards. There was the famous Costa match, where Cazorla was sent off for two yellows, Gabriel got a red for a stamp (later reduced to yellow) and Costa was given a retroactive red for eagle clawing Koscielny;s face. Then Mertesacker got a red for a foul/dive on Costa and after that there was a two match hiatus from reds. The last three matches have all been reds for Chelsea players (LULZ, Pedro, and Moses).
David LULZ deserved that red as well, he had dropped his shoulder on Kolasinac a few minutes before he went in on his shin studs up. He seemed to be going after Kola. Not sure why. Maybe just to take out Arsenal’s toughest player? Though I’m surprised he didn’t break his own foot kicking King Kola.
Here’s the League table sorted by my own expected goals formula’s expected goal difference.
Arsenal are not doing too bad. Note on Everton: they have started the season against Stoke, both Manchester sides, Tottnumb, and Chelsea. That explains their poor results so far and low position on the table. Palace is also a team which is in a funny place: they have created a fair number of good chances and simply failed to convert. Bournemouth are in real trouble as are Swansea. Swansea is my early pick to make the drop. Also note Man City and Man United pulling away from the pack. Could be a two horse race unless the three clubs below them can pull off some good results.
– Tim from 7amkickoff.com
Follow me on Twitter @7amkickoff
Sources: WhoScored.com, My personal database, 11v11.com