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Arsenal 4-0 PSV: The Debrief
Back in the Champions League with style
We have gotten so used to teams bunkering against Arsenal it was a fun change of pace to play a classic Peter Bosz style attack with open space in the final third to exploit.
The vibes were immaculate with the build-up to the first Champions League match in a long time hitting just right and getting everyone in the mood. It felt like Arsenal was back to a place where they belonged and they did not disappoint with the performance or result.
Arsenal 4-0 PSV: The Graphics
Arsenal 4-0 PSV: The Debrief
4 - Goals for Arsenal
18 - Shots for Arsenal
18 - Shots from open play for Arsenal
2.7 - Expected goals for Arsenal
4 -Shots in prime locations (inside of 12 yards) for Arsenal
3 - Big Chances for Arsenal
15% - The average shot quality in this match for Arsenal
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One of the early stories of the Arsenal season is that Arsenal have been fully in control, but the attack has been just off and not fully clicking. This is the first match this season where it feels like it finally did.
Arsenal had a bit less control, they allowed 132 attacking third touches and 21 touches in the box (both second most this season behind only the 10 men performance against Crystal Palace). This did open the game up with significantly more space for Arsenal to exploit.
The attacking pressure illustrates this dynamic well. Both teams had chances but with this level of difference in the teams talent, Arsenal were happy to make the trade off to gain the space to attack into.
PSV were able to get 12 shots (second most allowed again this season behind Crystal Palace) off against Arsenal but they still struggled to turn this into real danger.
They managed just one shot over a 10% rating and just 2 shots inside of 12 yards. They did test David Raya with 4 shots on target but he looked up to it and the miserable rain conditions.
This is exactly the type of performance that Arsenal needed to come into the North London Derby feeling excited. It will be very interesting to see if Ange Postecoglou takes this as a warning for what might happen should he come with the idea to not change his tactics for Arsenal.
Martin Odegaard is on a new level
69 - Pass Attempts with 91.3 Pass completion percentage and 114.2% - Pass Efficiency (ratio of expected pass completion to actual pass completion)
7 - Progressive Passes, led all players
6 - Box Entry Pass, led all players
3 - Shots
0.19 - xG that turned into 1 goal (and a rebound for the first goal)
3 - Dribbles Completed, led Arsenal
2 - Times Fouled
6 - Deep Touches
I have jokingly started wondering if Odegaard is hunting his shot too much but honestly with his technique and the results for finding the corners, even from the long shots that seems like a very dumb question right now.
Odegaard is continuing his performance from last season that saw him deservedly be short listed for the Balon d’Or. He is doing it in a slightly different way as well as the team evolves around him becoming a true goal threat and not just a creative player. He has the passing in his locker but it is often coming a bit earlier in the buildup rather than as the final pass, with him taking advantage of the often double and triple teams that Bukayo Saka to punish teams that leave him in space.
Gabriel Jesus reminds us what we were missing
13 - Pass Attempts on 84.6 Pass completion percentage and 107.8% Pass Efficiency
0 - Progressive Passes
1 - Key Passes
6 - Shots, led all players
3 - On Target, led all players
3 - Shots in Prime, led all players
1.4 - xG turning into a goal, led all players
2 - Dribbles Completed
8 - Dribbled Attempted
12 - Progressive Passes Received
13 - Touches in the box
0.69 - Goal Probability Added, led all players
That is really all I can say about Jesus right now. This performance reminded us that he is still one of the best forwards in the world, especially in the Mikel Arteta Arsenal system. He was a menace on the ball and brought danger to every moment he was on the ball.
Eddie Nketiah has absolutely impressed filling in for Jesus while he was hurt, both this season and last but this was a performance that grabbed you by the lapels and forced you to notice him. With Jesus in the team and in this type of form my estimation of what this team is capable of goes up by a magnitude. I am glad he was able to show us this again.