Data hungry Arsenal still have work to do after narrow win against Norwich

Data hungry Arsenal still have work to do after narrow win against Norwich

Gunners finally fire off the mark with narrow win

Arsenal fans can breathe a sigh of relief this afternoon after the Gunners finally broke their duck and bagged their first three-point haul of the 2021-22 Premier League campaign with a narrow 1-0 win against struggling Norwich at the Emirates. A clean sheet was a sight for sore eyes this afternoon, with league debutants Takehiro Tomiyasu and Aaron Ramsdale playing a key role in the result.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang tapped home from close range halfway through the second frame, giving Arsenal a deserved one-nil lead that would stand the test of time to offer a temporary reprieve to their current situation in the table. The win now sees them climb out of the basement and up to 16th, contingent on how both Leeds United and Burnley fair in their clashes to close out the weekend program.

The data behind the result showed a dominant performance in many respects. Arsenal registered thirty total shots against the Canaries while netting an xG of 2.69 but only managed to test Tim Krul on six occasions, while the bulk of the Gunners’ xG came from a pair of chances in rapid succession through Nicolas Pépé (0.56) and the aforementioned Aubameyang (0.67) which resulted in the Gabonese hitman opening his 2021-22 goalscoring account. Note: data provided by Understat

Arsenal remains overly reliant on wide areas of play as well, despite Martin Ødegaard (who was excellent on the day) being expectedly included in the matchday XI by Arteta. Both Pépé and starlet Bukayo Saka ran the creative show on the afternoon, with the tandem creating a combined 10-chances (Pépé 6, Saka 4) and registering 12-shots between them (6 each). Despite their effectiveness, better defensive outfits will be able to cope with Arteta’s insistence on channeling the origin of the bulk of his side’s creativity from the wide channels.

But the struggle to find more than just a single goal despite the number of chances created will still leave some fans frustrated with the club’s inability to polish off their opponent, a notion that has so often come back to bite them in fixtures past. Things are still far from perfect under Arteta, but three points goes a very long way for an Arsenal outfit looking for any positives in a season that has started so frustratingly as the club move on to Burnley next weekend before a clash with rivals Tottenham in the North London Derby.

Norwich set a new record in defeat at Arsenal

It was never going to be easy at the second time of asking for Norwich boss Daniel Farke after the Canaries climbed back into the Premier League after failing to avoid the drop in 2019-20 when they finished dead last. Their last three seasons in the English top-flight have all ended in identical fashion, relegation. If the early weeks of 2021-22 are anything to go by, that trend could be set to continue after the Canaries failed to take anything off an Arsenal outfit that started just as poorly this campaign.

Data behind narrow Arsenal win reveals Gunners still have room to grow

NORWICH, ENGLAND – AUGUST 03: Norwich City Manager Daniel Farke during the Pre-Season Friendly match between Norwich City and Toulouse at Carrow Road on August 03, 2019 in Norwich, England. (Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)

But a historic mark set by Farke’s men makes for poor reading in the aftermath of the away day after Norwich have lost their first four Premier League fixtures for the first time in the club’s history.

Though the Norwich boss hardly expected to take much away from Arsenal on the afternoon despite the Gunners struggles, the Canaries tackled the summer transfer window in solid fashion, adding eleven players in a bid to improve both depth and quality in the hopes of staving off another unsuccessful post-promotion campaign.

Those efforts have thus far been in vain, with Norwich now sitting bottom after four fixtures and just a single goal to show for their efforts despite purchases for Josh Sargent, Christos Tzolis, and Milot Rashica. There is still time to right the ship at Carrow Road, but things are shaping up to end in an all too familiar conclusion come May.

Aminat Aigbe

Aminat Aigbe is the first lady of afronaija and a very good blogger ( Original Mrs AfroNaija )

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.