Currently, the Dutchman has scored one more goal for the Red Devils than the Frenchman has for the Gunners – five goals to Giroud’s four but here are five ways Giroud beats Van Persie…
Van Persie may have the better goal tally at present but, after ten games played, Giroud has taken more shots on goal than the man he replaced at the Emirates. Giroud has taken 38 shots to Van Persie’s 32 but, crucially, Giroud has played 10 games and Van Persie has only played 8 and come on once as a substitute for United. Still, though, Giroud averages 3.8 shots per game to Van Persie’s 3.6 shots on average.
Meanwhile, one would have thought with the arrival of Mesut Ozil this summer, Giroud would be the direct beneficiary of the German who has made more assists in the past three seasons than any other players in Europe’s top leagues.
However, the French striker has been doing much of his own dirty work and has even chipped in with four assists for goals that his teammates have scored (of which Ozil was one). Van Persie, so far, has made half that number with 2 assists for United.
Passing has always been one of Arsenal’s strengths and, furthermore, their best weapon and one would have though a man who spent eight years under Arsenal would have the advantage over the (relatively) new arrival. But, Giroud has made 294 passes to Van Persie’s 188, averaging 29.4 passes per game to the Dutchman’s 20.9 per game.
That’s just the generalised passing overall but, in terms of key passes Giroud also comes out on top – he’s completed 17 key passes to Van Persie’s 5, averaging 1.7 per game to Van Persie’s 0.6 per game.
4) Free Kicks
We all know how dangerous the Dutchman is with his left foot – his ability to take free kicks has never been in question but his ability to win them is – Giroud has won Arsenal 15 free kicks whilst Van Persie has earned United less than half that – 7 in total.
5) Aerial Duels
Van Persie is 6ft 2in tall and Giroud undoubtedly a slight advantage here – 2ft on the Dutchman – and his game is demonstratively more physical than the United striker’s is in general. Therefore, it’s no surprise Giroud has won 50 out of his 95 aerial duels this term and Van Persie has won just 10 out of 38 which gives Giroud a 52% success rate to Van Persie’s 26% success rate.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald