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Arsenal 0-2 Chelsea, Premier League: Statistical Review and Analysis

The numbers behind the game

Arsenal v Chelsea - Premier League Photo by Clive Howes - Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Overview

The 2-0 scoreline flattered Arsenal as a dominant debut from Romelu Lukaku powered Chelsea to a comfortable win, despite not being at our best defensively.

A depleted Arsenal defence was no match for the skill, athleticism and intelligence of the Chelsea attackers. They were picked apart at will and conceded chances all around the box. Just like last season, the Blues should have scored at least a goal or two more, but for bad finishing.

Defensively, there is certainly room for improvement. The back three and Mendy were excellent as always but the pressing was not always in sync, leading to the midfielders having to defend more. Smith Rowe in particular found plenty of space behind our midfield and better players — like Liverpool next weekend — will make us pay.


Match statistics

Statistics from FBref and Understat.

Note: some statistics on the player charts might not corroborate with those presented in the “stats of note” sections. This is because the stats for the charts are obtained from a different source and not fbref. For instance, Reece James has 11 loose ball recoveries according to fbref and 7 according to Opta. In most cases, the differences will be minimal.


Individual ratings

Thomas Tuchel

Aced yet another big game, extending his unbeaten streak in big away games (against top-six rivals and in Champions League knockouts) to seven. Dropping Chalobah was a contentious decision but Tuchel’s preference for experience is well known and was justified.

As mentioned above, the team’s pressing was not entirely pleasing however. It is still early in the season and shaky games are to be expected, but being the perfectionist that he is, Tuchel will surely expect better.

RATING: 8


Édouard Mendy — GK

Made one very important save off of a deflection and took care of one tricky pass behind the defence very well. (Arsenal’s post-shot xG tally was 0, which is a bit weird.)

Stats of note
3 saves (1 from inside the box)
1 defensive action outside the box

RATING: 7


Reece James — RWB

Tormented Arsenal’s left-flank all game, grabbing a goal and an assist. Beyond just the end-product, his game looked positive, which has not been said often about his wing-back displays under Tuchel so far, and the willingness of Lukaku to attack the six-yard box offered him a consistent target.

Stats of note
1 goal
1 assist
7 shot-creating actions - 1st
4 tackles - Joint 1st
7 progressive carries - Joint 1st
11 loose-ball recoveries - Joint 1st
10 touches in box - 2nd
4 shots - Joint 2nd
4 key passes - Joint 2nd
3 passes into box - Joint 2nd
3 carries into final third - Joint 2nd
9 progressive passes received - 3rd

RATING: 9


César Azpilicueta — RCB

Did very well to snuff out chances in the box, including a block on Smith Rowe before the play was called back for offside. While his pass selection was mostly excellent, he often released the ball a tad too late.

Stats of note
4 carries into final third - 1st
20 pressures - 2nd
2 tackles - Joint 2nd
2 interceptions - Joint 2nd

RATING: 7


Arsenal v Chelsea - Premier League Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Andreas Christensen — CB

Another serene display. Christensen is rapidly acquiring Silva’s trait wherein he has great games without having many stand-out events. He repeatedly took the right decisions on both sides of the ball, allowing him to take care of business with minimum fuss.

Stats of note
4 clearances - Joint 1st
11 loose-ball recoveries - Joint 1st
4 aerial duels won (6 contested) - 2nd
2 tackles - Joint 2nd
2 interceptions - Joint 2nd

RATING: 8


Antonio Rüdiger — LCB

His recovery-speed came in handy more than once, solving defensive problems on the fly. His game on the ball was short of its usual high standards but he deserves a pass — and the pun — for it.

Stats of note
3 clearances - 2nd
2 interceptions - Joint 2nd

RATING: 7.5


Arsenal v Chelsea - Premier League Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Marcos Alonso — LWB

While this performance was not as dynamic as the one against Palace, Alonso had a great game once again. His current run of form and overall resilience has made it very hard for Chilwell to return to the team right now.

Stats of note
5 key passes - 1st
4 interceptions - 1st
5 aerial duels won (5 contested) - 1st
4 clearances - Joint 1st
6 progressive carries - 2nd
3 passes into box - Joint 2nd
2 carries into box - Joint 2nd

RATING: 8


Jorginho — RCM

Had a quiet display by his recent standards. His ball-progression (3 progressive passes and 2 passes into final third) was short of his typical levels and his partnership with Kovačić was targeted and exploited by the opposition — and was only solved when Kanté was substituted on.

Stats of note
28 pressures - 1st
4 tackles - Joint 1st
8 loose-ball recoveries - 2nd

RATING: 6.5


Mateo Kovačić — LCM

Moved the ball splendidly, with his links to James in particular creating plenty of advantageous situations. Defensively, his lack of awareness was exposed and he was not as active in terms of defending on-ball actions as he typically is.

Stats of note
6 passes into final third - 1st
8 progressive passes - 2nd
3 passes into box - Joint 2nd
18 pressures - 3rd
5 shot-creating actions - Joint 3rd

RATING: 7


Mason Mount — R-CM/AM/W

Shuttled between the roles of a third midfielder and a wider No.10 at various points in the game. He was excellent at moving the ball, creating chances by himself and helping others to do so as well. His dynamic with James on the right flank was delightful, too.

Stats of note
1 assist
4 passes into box - 1st
9 progressive passes - 1st
2 successful dribbles (4 attempted) - Joint 1st
6 shot-creating actions - 2nd
11 progressive passes received - 2nd
4 key passes - Joint 2nd
5 passes into final third - Joint 2nd
3 carries into final third - Joint 2nd

RATING: 8.5


Romelu Lukaku — CF

The word “dominant” is what Lukaku used to describe his own performance, and he’s not wrong. Arsenal’s defence could not get near him and Chelsea’s vertical passes found him with frightening precision.

Pass completion percentage is a metric that tells us very little in most games, but he got 19/20 passes on target (95%) and that is ridiculously good. Most elite strikers average 60-75% in big games.

He could have had two goals were it not for a great save, and could have been more precise in some situations as well, but overall, this was an overwhelmingly positive display.

Stats of note
1 goal
8 shots - 1st
14 touches in box - 1st
3 carries into box - 1st
17 progressive passes received - 1st
2 successful dribbles (4 attempted) - Joint 1st
7 progressive carries - Joint 1st
3 aerial duels won (5 contested) - 3rd
5 shot-creating actions - Joint 3rd

RATING: 9.5


Kai Havertz — L-AM/W/F

Interpreted the role differently compared to Werner or Pulisic, acting as more of a wide striker dropping deep, rather than a traditional winger. His associative play was great and he dovetailed very well with Lukaku. His finishing, however, cost him a potential brace.

Stats of note
4 shots - Joint 2nd
5 passes into final third - Joint 2nd
2 carries into box - Joint 2nd
7 progressive passes - 3rd
7 touches in box - 3rd
5 shot-creating actions - Joint 3rd

RATING: 7


Substitutes

Arsenal v Chelsea - Premier League Photo by Clive Howes - Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

N’Golo Kanté (67th minute) — Got some minutes under his belt after a minor injury and did not look too rusty.

Stats of note
2 successful dribbles (3 attempted) - Joint 1st

Hakim Ziyech (82nd minute) — Got into good positions but his eagerness (greediness) to score clouded his decision-making.

Timo Werner (90th minute) — Nothing of note, although it would have been nice to see his combination with Lukaku against a tired defence.