The second-half continued in much the same vein and although Arsenal never appeared to be in any danger from Villa – the introduction of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain got the crowd buzzing again. The young star showed his potential with a couple of scintillating dribbles.
Arsenal had 72% of possession in the game and their complete domination resulted in a richly deserved third goal. Deep into injury time, Song was fouled outside the area. Arteta stepped up to crack home a thunderous free kick from 25 yards that swerved and dipped beyond the despairing dive of Given.
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As you can see from the statistics above (via our Stats Centre powered by Opta) Arsenal’s complete domination is illustrated by the fact Arteta, Sagna & Song completed 187 passes together – more than the entire Aston Villa team combined, who completed just 152. However, it was not only possession that the Gunners but also attempts on goal. Villa did not muster a single shot on target. The much-maligned Arsenal defence is now the only side in the Premier League to restrict their opponents to no shots on more than one occasion this season. A further statistic that emphasises Arsenal’s complete performance is the extraordinary fact they won 100% of their attempted tackles.
Alex Song was again inspirational. Not only did the Cameroon midfielder get his eighth assist of the season, he had 90% pass accuracy, played 7 long balls with 100% accuracy, made three perfect tackles (the most in the match), made one interception and had one successful dribble.
My Man of the Match goes to Mikel Arteta who was brilliant. The Spaniard completed 90% of his passes (61/68). In the attacking half this was even better with 96% of his passes (20/21) finding a teammate. As well as his phenomenal strike from distance, Arteta made six crosses, won three fouls (the most in the match), made three key passes and one interception. The midfielder’s importance to Arsenal cannot be underestimated and this is highlighted by the amazing statistic that Arsenal have not won a game this season in which he has not played. With Arteta in the side, the Gunners win 72% of their matches.
All of the stats from this article have been taken from the Opta Stats Centre at EPLIndex.com – Subscribe Now (Includes author privileges!) See Demo’s and videos about the Stats Centre & read about new additions to the stats centre.