A 3rd goal in as many Premier League games from Olivier Giroud powered Arsenal to their 4th consecutive victory in all competitions and their 2nd consecutive victory in the Premier League. The 1 – 0 victory over North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur was also Arsenal’s 101st Derby win. But it wasn’t a cake-walk for them as the team had to toil and toil hard until the dying moments. Credit must be given to Tottenham for putting up a fight, albeit in a losing cause. The club that HAD purchased nobody beat the one that has bought everyone, but gone are the days when Arsenal used to maul their North London rivals. In the game played on 1st September 2013, Tottenham had 56.7% Possession of the ball and completed 433/509 passes with an accuracy of 85% (Arsenal completed 297/394 passes with an accuracy of 69%). In the end, Arsenal did what mattered on the day, score a goal! Arsenal’s defence held it’s nerve and did not allow Spurs’ attackers to get past them and find the back of the net.
Here’s a comparison of Statistics of 4 players from either side from the North London Derby.
I. Koscielny vs. Vertonghen
Laurent Koscielny has been Arsenal’s best defender since January 2013 and he continued his good form after serving out his suspension whilst Jan Vertonghen is a class act and a very consistent defender. Koscielny made a total of 7 clearances as compared to Vertonghen’s 3. Vertonghen won a ground duel every 30 minutes (Koscielny, every 18 minutes). Both players won 1 aerial duel each. Koscielny won 3 tackles , while Vertonghen could not manage to win a single tackle. Koscilny conceded 2 fouls while Vertonghen kept a clean disciplinary sheet.
The statistics may suggest that Vertonghen did not have an impressive game, making three errors, but whoever watched the game will agree that Arsenal were more than content to defend their lead in the second half as Tottenham pressed forward for an equaliser.
II. Rosicky vs. Dembélé
Tomas Rosicky and Mousa Dembélé played for 79 minutes and 69 minutes respectively. Both these mid-fielders had an equally impressive game. While Rosicky completed a pass every 2.14 minutes, Dembélé completed a pass every 2.03 minutes. Rosicky manged to play Walcott through in the 40th minute but Walcott could not quite reach it. Dembélé failed to play any though balls but manged to recover the ball on 6 occasions, as compared to Rosicky’s 3. Both players managed 21 accurate Attacking-Half Passes, and Dembélé managed 5 more accurate Own-half passes than Rosicky.
III. Cazorla vs. Paulinho
Cazorla for Arsenal and Paulinho for Spurs were outstanding throughout the game, as is evident from the statistics. Cazorla completed 45 passes (with an accuracy of 82%) and Paulinho completed 50 passes (with an accuracy of 86%). Cazorla compared a pass every 2 minutes, while Paulinho completed a pass every 1.8 minutes, best among both the teams. Cazorla put in 4 crosses into the box and made 20 accurate Final-3rd Passes. Paulinho on the other hand put in 1 cross and made 9 accurate Final-3rd Passes. Cazorla created 3 chances as compared to Paulinho’s 2. Paulinho won possession in the Mid-3rd 5 times, as compared to 4 times by Cazorla. Cazorla is continuing his brilliant form from last season and will be an important player for the team this season too. Paulinho looks to have adjusted very well to the Premier League and could be one of the signings of the season. He has had 3 very good games in succession and could play a pivotal role in Tottenham’s quest for Champions League football.
IV. Giroud vs. Soldado
Olivier Giroud became only the 4th player for Arsenal since Wiltord, Henry and Reyes to score in the first 3 games of the Premier League. With his 3rd goal, he is the joint leading goal-scorer in the league. Roberto Soldado is one of the Marquee signings for Spurs but did not really have a presence in his 1st Derby game for Spurs. Giroud scored the only goal of the game and managed a shot every 22.5 minutes, 2 of his 4 shots were on target (shot conversion of 25%). Soldado managed a shot every 45 minutes, only 1 of his 2 shots was on target while he failed to convert any of his chances into goals. Giroud recovered the ball 4 times, while Soldado recovered the ball on 3 occasions.
Giroud has been in fine from since the start of the pre-season and scoring goals at will. His form is good news for Arsenal and a warning to the other teams in the league to not take him lightly. Here’s a look at the top attacking stats in the league:
Olivier Giroud has the best Minutes per goal and Minutes per shots on target statistics in the league after 3 games (for players who have attempted 5 shots or more). Arsenal fans will be hoping that the forward can keep up the good work and help end the trophy drought. Arsenal’s latest recruit, former gunner Matheiu Flamini was impressive but the lack of numbers in other departments could force the manager to make one final dash in the last hours of the transfer deadline day.
Spurs fans can take heart from the fact that all their new signings have been impressive, and that the team fought till the very end. They have prepared well for life after Bale and if the early signs are to be believed, they could do very very well in the league. With this, we come to the end of this analysis. It was an entertaining and well-fought North London Derby. Both teams will want to go from strength to strength in the league and try to finish above the local rivals to get the bragging rights. A very intriguing phase awaits the premier league and I will be hooked onto to my TV and Laptop to not miss a single moment of my favourite team’s games.
Please note that the comparisons made and inferences drawn are based purely on statistics, which may not always correlate with the actual performances of the players. Some of you may have a different point of view or may look at the statistics differently, so feel free to share it with me here or on twitter (@SilverHawk_24). Until next time, this is me signing off.