Arsenal

Arsenal

The Gunners laid the platform for a convincing win with two early goals, yet the Blues matched the hosts in many statistical areas during the weekend clash

On paper it looked a tight game, yet Arsenal recorded a thumping 3-0 victory over neighbours Chelsea in Saturday’s London derby.

All the damage was done in the early stages of the game. Early goals from Alexis Sanchez and Theo Walcott, who both scored within 15 minutes of the start, were the platform that Arsene Wenge’s side built a convincing victory from.

These strikes allowed Arsenal to sit back and absorb pressure, thereby skewing some of the numbers in this encounter. The Gunners were happy to play on the counter, and they added a third goal before the break through Mesut Ozil in just this style.

Possession was shared identically between the sides. Each team enjoyed 50 per cent of the ball, while Chelsea made a single more pass than Arsenal’s tally of 534. Both sides’ passing accuracy was close to inseparable, too, with the Blues edging their rivals in that capacity by 83 per cent to 82 per cent.

Arsenal, though, were infinitely more incisive than their opponents. Chelsea were ponderous when they had the ball, and though they enjoyed 25 per cent of their possession in the attacking third, they managed a mere seven shots, two of which drew action from Petr Cech.

The hosts, meanwhile, produced a perfect counterattacking performance. They might only have seen 17 per cent of the ball in the third closest to their opponents’ goal, but they were able to make the most of it. Arsenal had 10 shots in total and were more accurate than Antonio Conte’s side as half of these were on target, three crucially finding the net.

Wenger’s men were also more unpredictable when choosing the point of their attack. Although they had a slight bias to raiding down the left, attacking 38 per cent of the time down the channel where Alex Iwobi was so influential, they offered far more variety than their guests.

Conte’s men also preferred going down their left, where Eden Hazard was stationed, yet they were far more reliant on that sector than Arsenal. Indeed, they attacked in that area a massive 46 per cent of the time.

Ultimately, Hazard’s failure to positively influence the game limited the visitors once they had fallen behind, but it was their defensive fragility that had played them into that impossible position.

This was a fixture in which the statistics hid the true nature of the fixture, which was comprehensively controlled by the hosts thanks to their quick start.

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