West Ham United claimed their first Premier League victory of 2019 in the Saturday lunchtime kick-off, defeating Unai Emery’s Arsenal 1-0 at London Stadium thanks to Declan Rice’s 48th-minute strike.
Join us as we crunch all the statistics from the well-matched all London encounter, which saw Manuel Pellegrini’s men put in a performance deserving of the three points and propel themselves closer to the UEFA Europa League places. From tenth to ninth on 31 points.
Whilst, on the whole, the free-flowing matchup was relatively even, with the home side having the slight edge on proceedings, our first team stat, possession, did not follow that trend.
As expected and as they so often do, even away from home, the Gunners dominated the possession with a 58.6 per cent share. This left the Hammers with just 41.4% of the ball, although there can be little doubting the team who made better use of the ball, the team that ended up with the victory.
When we move onto the next team stats we’re going to be analysing, we find that things are starting to even up a lot more. We’re going to take an in-depth look at the number of shots attempted by the hosts and by the visitors.
Of the 22 that were on show throughout the early afternoon in front of a record West Ham home attendance of 59,946, 11 came from the home side and 11 from the away side. This offers us a big clue as to why the winning team emerged with victory, and it’s confirmed by our next stat.
Shots on target
Shots on target records the number of attempts that were aimed directly at goal and in this case, the figures reflect the scoreline. Pellegrini’s men won by one, having one more shot on target by Emery’s boys.
The margin was three to two as the Irons made more of their shots on target than the North Londoners by scoring one goal to their zero and thus being more clinical in front of goal. The closest Arsenal came to scoring when hitting the target came when Alexandre Lacazette burst through the defence and was denied by Lukasz Fabianski from close-range in the first half.
Pass completion, the percentage of the passes that successfully reached their intended target, as a statistic, is usually a strong indicator of what type of match was played out. Two very technical teams meeting on one of the biggest pitches in the league could only ever produce a free-flowing, easy-on-the-eye affair.
And it did, with both sets of players impressively recording pass completion rates of over 80 per cent. Possessing arguably the better quality of players, the North Londoners came out on top, despite passing being the foundation of the East Londoners’ victory, with 86.3% to their 80.8% pass completion.
From the stats we’ve analysed today so far alone, it’s not hard to work out which attack enjoyed the better day and this is very much backed up by this next stat, key passes.
Key passes are the moments of magic that can change a game, split open a defence and solely create a goal, a fine example being Samir Nasri’s lay-off to Rice for the only goal of the game. Here, Pellegrini’s men excelled in creativity, whilst it looked like their opponents were missing a creative spark, with three fewer key passes. West Ham 10-7 Arsenal in key passes.
Apart from goals scored, the stat with the most significant gap and the biggest gulf-in-class between the Hammers and the Gunners was surely corners won, but neither could take full advantage of them.
Apart from a Rice free header just before half-time, the hosts struggled to create anything directly from their seven corners and it’s an area they’ll be looking to improve on in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, the away side made it tough for themselves in the beginning by only winning a measly three of the type of set-piece.
As is customary when we crunch the post-match statistics, our final two stats are measures of how the defences and the goalkeepers performed and how much workload they were forced to deal with.
The even nature of this analysis returns when we analyse our first one, the number of clearances made by the defences. Of the 22 recorded throughout the 94 minutes, it was 11 apiece, an interesting figure on the day one defence shone and one was left with egg on its face.
Last but not least, it’s the turn of the two goalkeepers, Fabianski between the sticks for the Irons and fellow summer signing Bernd Leno in goal for the North London outfit. As we take an in-depth look at saves made.
Surprisingly, the Polish international had more saves to make than the German international, though there was very little in it, just one stop in fact, with the score standing at 3-2. In reality, it was a fairly quiet afternoon for both shot-stoppers in terms of action with Fabianski to deny Lacazette the only real save of note in East London.
So, now that all the team stats have been well and truly crunched and analysed from a historic afternoon few West Ham fans will ever forget and Arsenal fans will want to forget in a hurry. Will we have more positive Hammers statistics to look back on come this time next week? Following the meeting with AFC Bournemouth on the south coast? Join us once again, then, to find out.
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